Wednesday is a day where a lot happens, and at the same time, nothing much does. From my perspective, I have been poked, prodded, catheterized, injected, sampled, studied, and drugged. I have had my personal space invaded by the kind and caring nursing staff and flashed my butt at same nursing staff when I got up to brush my teeth with my gown flapping open behind me. People keep asking about my pain, but I really don’t have much. Probably due to the generous supply of Dilaudid provided by my doctors, of which there now appear to be about seven. There’s the hospitalist who saw me in the ER, the new hospitalist I was handed off to upon admission, a surgeon, a urologist and an oncologist, none of whom I have yet had the pleasure of meeting. Or at least remember meeting. What’s to be done with me? I’m not sure yet. It’s pretty clear that an 8mm kidney stone is not coming out of an opening the size of… well, it’s a small opening. At least not without some help.
I’m tired… dozing off a lot and not able to focus on reading the book David brought me or watching television. I’m in a delicious drug-induced kind of a haze, where the hospital bed is more comfortable than any I have ever slept in before. The nurses are great – so sweet, so wanting to make sure that I am doing okay. I love them all. Especially Rahima, who lets me brush my teeth and take a shower. How wonderful.
It’s after 8pm by the time I know what the plan of action is. I’m scheduled for surgery at 7:00 am with the urologist, who will use a laser to blast my stone, catch the pieces in a basket and then put in a stent. Then, if the surgical schedule can be tweaked, I will be moved from the cystoscopy room to a regular OR, and the surgeon will remove a lymph node or two in order to make a definitive diagnosis of lymphoma or something else. The oncologist says we shouldn’t jump to conclusions, and I try not to, but I already suspect that the ER doc was right. It will be easier (for the surgeon and for me) for him to take the lymph nodes from my groin rather than laparoscopically from my abdomen. We’re hoping the schedule will permit both surgeries to take place under the same anaesthesia so as to avoid putting me under twice. The anaesthesiologist comes by about an hour later to let me know that we are A-OK for both surgeries. Boy, these people work late. I am so grateful for all of their hard work. I can’t help but think that schedules like theirs have got to be hard on their families and their personal lives.
My nurse tonight has a daughter Katherine’s age who is also in the band at Rock Hill High. She’s so wonderful, and I have a nice time talking with her about the girls and band. David and I promise to email her some pictures we took at a competition a couple of weeks ago. It’s good to have a normal, non-medical conversation. She removes my catheter and the extra IV line from the inside of my right arm (where it is driving me crazy). Earlier that day, they put a new IV line into the back of my left hand. Hurt like the dickens when they did it, but that’s a much better place to have it.
After midnight, when the nurses and doctors and techs have gone and my room is dark, a few lonely tears escape. I’m not afraid of the surgery – somehow I know that will be okay. It’s the bigger, darker thing that looms out there that frightens me.
And thus endeth the second day.