July 22nd, 2011

cancer-scars

[cancer] Post-op day 3

Feeling a lot better today. Pain levels are about the same, but I woke up with a lot more energy and focus.

Yesterday was tough because I woke up behind the curve and never really caught up. They did get me out of the ICU finally, which was nice. My care quality down there was very good, but the ward itself was kind of a dungeon. It didn't help that the floor above was undergoing construction of the banging on heavy metal and running loud drills sort. And my room was broken — the bed had at least two different problems, the tray didn't elevate or extend correctly, the visitor recliner was possessed by demons, and the phone was damaged. I did recommend to the charge nurse that they write up a maintenance ticket on the room, but I suspect most ICU patients don't have a lot to say.

Now I'm up on KPV13 with a million dollar view of the Willamette Valley and Mount Hood. The tram station is just below my window. Much bigger, nicer room without any booby traps.

This being a hospital, funny stuff has happened. They decatheterized me two days ago, blessed be, but my bladder and urethra were being sullen and refused to engage in the more usual way. My nurse finally came in and said, "You haven't urinated in nine hours. If you don't do something soon, we're going to recatheterize you." She succeeded in scaring the piss right out of me. All 800 ml of it. (You really don't want to have 800 ml of urine on board, which was pretty much her point.)

My surgical post op team has been funny. They come around twice a day in a gaggle of staff physicians, residents and med students, and are all nice as hell. They've also figured out that I have a blog, because one of the students asked me this morning if I was going to mention them on the blog. I mentioned that I only said nice things on the blog, but then, they were being pretty nice. So here's a big shout out for the Gold surgery team and all the nice folks who've been working on my liver and taking such excellent care of me.

The surgical wound healing is if anything ahead of schedule. Likewise my general recovery of well-being and mental acuity. What we're waiting on is my lower GI restart. Right now I am host to a veritable symphony of gastric voices. Entertaining but somewhat painful.

Still, we wait. And I do feel pretty good.