The Day Had Come.
The day had come, that they would remove my kidney stone. I had to report at the hospital on July 1 at 11:00am. 6 Hours before that, I could have 2 crackers with jam and a cup of tea. So at 4:30 am, I was having my breakfast. Else it would be a very long day without anything to eat.
From 9:00 am, I was not allowed to drink anything anymore. Only a little bit of water with my medication, if needed.
At the hospital, I only was allowed to enter alone. At the entry I got the standard questions, to check if I had any COVID-19 symptoms. After that, I had to go directly to the room that was located for me.
That’s where the intake took place.
So many questions. Double-checking my name, date of birth, all my medications, blood pressure, INR value and contact names and telephone numbers. They also explained how things worked in the hospital and what the time schedule could be.
This last one is always a bit unsure because the previous operation could run late or be finished early.
I was “in luck”. As it was looking like my scheduled time of 12:45 could be 12:00
So to the room and change.
In the room, I had to change into the famous operation clothing. The one with the opening at the back.
They also collected all my things, because afterward, I would go to a different room. Also got some paracetamol as the start of the pain killers. But I already know that these don’t work immediately. The day before, I already took some, just in case.
They also had placed the intravenous drip. For now, it was just the standard liquid and they also put the antibiotics. This is for the protection of my mechanical heart valve.
And then wait. There was not much else to do.
At just after 12:00, they had come to pick me up. Bed and all.
There We Go.
From the room, they brought me to the OR Holding area. In there, they will check your name and date of birth again. Also, the one that did the intake, will hand over some details.
When the antibiotic bottle was empty, they replaced it with the morphine. They also placed a hairnet, for protection. And then it was waiting again.
In the holding area, everyone is waiting to be picked up and brought to the OR. It was not that busy.
At the time I arrived, we were only with 3. Everyone working there was wearing blue clothing.
One time I had read somewhere, that someone already called it the “smurf room”.
Then it was my turn. They had come for me. Again they checked the standard things like name and date of birth. They also asked if I knew where I was in for. When this was all explained, they wheeled me with my bed to the operating room.
It is very impressive when you enter. A lot of machines, computers, screens, tools, and lights. There were several people walking around, but they were still waiting for the rest.
In the meantime, I had to move from my bed onto a special bed/table. There they placed stickers and wires on me. These were for monitoring several vital signs.
The surgeon explained quickly what they were going to do and to the team, he told it in more technical terms what his plan was. After that, they placed a cap over my mouth and nose.
This was for oxygen. The purpose of this was to get fresh oxygen in my lungs.
I had to breathe in and out a few times. In the meantime, they removed the drip bottle and started to inject the anesthesia.
To calm you a bit, they started to ask me what I normally would be doing around this time. Because it was after 12:00, I told her that maybe around this time I would have my lunch.
Slowly I started to feel dizzy and it looked like the room was slightly turning. She asked me if it was already working and just answered that I felt a bit dizzy. And then, the lights went out.
Before I knew it, I started to wake up a bit. Still did not open my eyes, but I could hear people talking in the room. It was so nice to just lay there, eyes closed, relax, and just listen.
But I think they noticed that I was slowly waking up. They asked me how I felt.
Just told them, tired and sleepy. She just laughed and just let me.
I also told her that I had to pee. She told me to just let it go. They had placed a catheter.
That was placed from my bladder, through my urethra into a plastic bag.
I think I had dozed off a few times. They still checked now and then how I was. And maybe an hour later, they told me that they will call some people to pick me up.
The two people that picked me up were the nurses of the floor and the room where I would be staying.
They also asked me how I felt. Because it was a bit cold in the hallway, they had placed an extra blanket.
During the ride to the room, I also tried to ask if they knew how things had go. They only could tell me that the doctor would pass by later to explain things.
Once in the room, I still felt very sleepy. I went in and out to sleep several times. Nice.
The room I was, was with two other men. As far as I could understand, they had the same operation done.
They also were carrying that bag for their urine.
When I checked the clock in the room, it showed 15:00. I remembered that when I left the holding room, it was around 13:00. So the whole operation took two hours. I did not pay further attention to it.
A little later, the doctor had come.
First he asked me how I was feeling. Maybe a bit battered?
I just told him that I was still a bit sleepy and tired. But so far, no pain. Then he explained what happend.
The operation was not successful. I was surprised. He told me that getting to the bladder was no problem.
But the connection between the bladder and the kidney was too narrow. They were not able to get to the kidney because of that. So they also could not reach the stone.
For me, that was a big disappointment and was already thinking, “And now?”. He told me, that they had inserted a tube in the connection between the bladder and the kidney. With this tube, they hoped that this will stretch out the connection. And hope that with a second operation, they can get to the kidney and the stone.
For now, I had to wait for a new appointment for the second operation, which could maybe take place in two weeks. Rights now I just had to recover from this and sleep and tomorrow they would check how things were going through the night.
I tried to relax but did not feel well with it. Just some small worries. And when I was able to do something I informed my wife about what had happened. She told me that they already had called her and told her about it. And that she would come for visiting hours, to see me.
Not Feeling Well.
Around 17:00 it was dinner time. Because I had arrived in the morning, I did not fill in the form of what to eat for dinner. In that case, you would get what was leftover. I was a little bit lucky with that.
Beetroot with gravy and a small piece of meat. And for dessert some vanilla custard.
I raised the head of the bed, so I could sit up a bit and eat. Then things went the wrong way.
I felt really dizzy, nauseous, and started to feel really hot and sweating everywhere.
I put the head of the bed down again, but still not feeling good. I waited a bit, but it did not go.
Maybe I was hungry? Did not eaten anything since 4:30 that morning. Or maybe still some after-effect of the anesthesia.
I just waited a few minutes and then tried it again, but still the same. There was also still a heavy thick blanket on me. That’s also not helping.
So I called for the nurse. I think she already saw something was not right. I explained it to her and asked her if she also could remove that blanket and just give me a thin one. Just to be sure, she also checked my blood pressure but this was ok.
She blames it on the maybe empty stomach, medications, and laying down for some time. I just had to take things slow and see how much I could eat.
Slowly I started to feel a bit better again. Just before sleeping, the nurse already asked me to maybe sit on the side of the bed. Maybe this also would help against me being dizzy.
So with her help, I sat there for a while.
Just looking out of the window because there was not much on the tv anyway. After a few minutes, I lay down again and decided to try to go to sleep. The rest in the room had the same idea.
I think it was around 22:15 when I tried to sleep. With a lot of turning, I thought I had fallen asleep a few times. But when I check my clock, I saw it was only 2:00 am
I think it was because of that tube that was sticking out for my urine and maybe a not so comfortable position, and the thinking of what had happened, I could not sleep well. I decided to put the head of the bed up and try to see if I could fall asleep in a bit of an upright position. And this seemed to work.
But not for long.
At 6:00 am they were already at my bed. The nurse wanted to remove the catheter.
After the operation, they had placed some kind of balloon in the bladder, that has a tube connected to it.
So to remove the catheter, they have to let the air out of the balloon and pull the whole thing out.
She already told me that this would not hurt, but it would give a strange feeling. I had to breathe in deep and when I breathe out deep, she would pull it out. So we did.
Indeed, it was not painful but it was a very strange feeling. After that, it just felt like my urethra was burning. But there is nothing you can do about it. After some time, this will go. She also left a bottle.
When I had to go and pee, do it in there. So they can check how much you had peed and if the color was okay.
It took quite some time before my bladder had filled up again and I had to pee. But lucky, after 3 hours I had to go. It was very painful. It felt the same as when you have a bladder infection.
The pee was good enough and they told me that this morning I could go home. That burning feeling would still stay for a while. That’s normal because of that catheter and all the other things they have used to get to the kidney.
The only thing that helps is to take paracetamol and hope that that will work soon.
At home again. A bit strange. Because I know that they were not able to do what was planned. This was not something I could think of.
In the back of my mind, I was just hoping and praying that they could get the stone in one go. So I did not have to go back for a follow-up.
But now I still need to go back again, because they were not able to reach the stone. I know now what will happen next time. It’s okay, but as with every operation, you are not looking forward to it.
All I can do now is rest and sleep well. I also will try to move a little as possible. I noticed that every time I start walking, I also feel the need to go to the toilet. And if I go, it is only a little bit. But not looking forward to the pain. I just pray that the burning pain will be gone soon.
Normally I have some closing words or thoughts but right now I don’t have much.
I know what is waiting for me and what I need to go through again.
Just for now, I pray for healing and peace during this time of waiting. But I know, no matter what I am going through, the Lord will be with me.
For everyone who already had prayed for me and sent me “Get Well” messages, thank you so much.
And I hope you will keep me in your prayers until the next operation.
Everyone, take care and stay safe.
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