On Saturday a package arrived from my Urologist that contained so much information that I simply wanted to curl up into a ball and go to sleep. Forms to fill out, orders for pre-operative testing, a medical history (which they already have) and page after page of what to expect before, during and after this procedure. Since we were on our way to the symphony, I just put the package away and didn’t think about it until this very morning, Monday!
Now I am no stranger to operating theaters. Arthritis tends to wear out joints, impact the spine and central nervous system and I have experienced both. Two hips replaced, one knee replaced a short four months ago, a cervical fusion and a lumbar fusion among other things have brought me under the surgeon’s knife. So the information I received was, to say the least, redundant. But, this one seems a bit different. My very existence, my life, is at stake here, not merely relief from pain and suffering. While this is perhaps a bit of an overstatement, it clearly reflects the gravity of this surgery…and it is being performed by a robot. Once I am put under I won’t even know if the surgeon will be in the room or out in the lounge with his console performing radical surgery like it is a video game.
I am not at all certain that I am comfortable with a remote control device poking and cutting inside my body. It somehow feels like the Matrix or Tron or something that is somehow the property of film special effects departments, not the surgical suite. Of course, I have little choice in the matter for this is now how a prostate is removed from one’s body these days.
Sure I use computers and I even play games on the computer, but I know that eventually I lose the game. The game is stacked against winning. Perhaps that has something to do with my apprehension about having a remotely controlled surgery. At least the surgeon is not trying to rack up as many points as possible before the game finally ends.
All that being said, I am still approaching this surgery with a bit of awe. I would like to have a video made (I assume that since the operation is guided by a camera that is shoved inside of me that a record of the surgery is made for later evaluation if needed) so it would be easily transferred to a DVD for later watching. I think that might be interesting. I have watched a YouTube video of a DiVinci resection of a prostate but watching my own resection would be interesting to say the least.