Surviving In This Very Moment…

My Personal Battle with Prostate Cancer … And Life!

Archive for the day “November 27, 2012”

The Day Before Surgery…Embracing Chaos


Chaos (Art Credit: Roger Passman)

This morning I woke up with a sense of dread. This afternoon I am obligated to force some 32 pills down my throat over a period of about one hour in order to begin the process of cleansing my colon. Then later in the evening I have to do it all over again albeit with about half the number of pills. As I write this, I can only speculate about how I will be effected, how long I will be doubled over with pain as my colon empties not once but twice. Of course, I waited until the very last minute to read the pharmacy blurb that comes with prescriptions as I recounted in an earlier post. I am happy to report that the matter has been settled and that a replacement was found and that is that. It still took an additional phone call to the urologists office to get things settled. I really dislike dealing with bureaucracies of any sort.

Of course, I must still anticipate a phone call from the hospital telling me when to arrive tomorrow. I am hoping for an early morning appointment with the DaVinci robot but there is simply no guarantee as to when I will be scheduled.

I am finding it very difficult to stay focused. I want to read a bit today but I can’t get through more than one or two pages when my mind begins to wander off into somewhere where I choose not to be. The simple truth is that I am completely stressed out just waiting around.

Now I can be quite manic about this condition by acknowledging the situation as being rather abnormal and let it consume me. Or, on the other hand, I can choose to simply stoically accept that once in a while chaos creeps into one’s head and it simply won’t go away so embrace it and let it be. The simple truth is that, while I have had surgeries in the past, each one presents a set of unknowns that cannot be accounted for. I think the worst of those conditions is the interminable waiting within a space that is anything but proximate. There is a scientific distancing separating the patient from those servicing the patient in order for the staff and surgeons to maintain a professional distance yet it is precisely that distance that makes the waiting feel unnatural.

Waiting in proximate space is not at all stressful. Waiting for the other to respond to that announcement of “Here I Am!” is quite different than waiting for a call to be somewhere of bureaucratic choosing. The former is a space created by the self in anticipation of being of service while the latter is a space created by separation leading to the anticipation of simply waiting as if in free fall. Proximity is created by the former while distance is created by the latter.

So here is what I decided to do. I am going to take a nap, sleep until it is time to stuff those poop pills down my throat with gallons of water and then, tonight when I finish round two, go back to sleep until it is time to get up to go to the hospital. It is a simple solution with very few drawbacks. At least I won’t have to think about the distance.

Panic…or Don’t Medical Records Count for Something?

Don't Medical Records Count for Something?

Don’t Medical Records Count for Something?

So my urologist prescribed OsmoPrep, a total of 32 pills to act as a bowel cleanser prior to surgery. I filled the prescription at a cost of $56. I left it in the bag until this morning. When I took it out of the bag and began reading the long sheet that the pharmacy supplied discussing the drug, its actions and contradictions my eyes nearly bulged out of my head. Right there in plain text it said that the drug is not recommended for anyone that has had a gastric bypass where stapling of the intestines was used. Oops, I have had such surgery (I lost about 100 pounds in the process).

What is the use of providing medical records if physicians don’t pay any attention to them. Prior to this surgery I specifically mentioned the gastric bypass to my urologist as we were discussing the placement of the five puncture holes used in this surgical procedure. I also provided him with an updated medical history, the same history was provided at my pre-op testing and clearance that was performed at the hospital’s pre-op testing clinic and the gastric bypass was done at the same hospital and through the same physician’s group as this cancer surgery so it appears in my medical records at the hospital as well as in the records of the group. You’d think that the physicians would pay a bit more attention to the medical records they ask for rather than write standard orders…Just saying.

Were I to take this prep, the potential for my food intake pouch (what is left of one’s stomach after bariatric surgery) is that the pouch could simply explode requiring extensive repair were I to survive the explosion. I am certainly not willing to take that risk when there are alternatives that do not carry the same potentially lethal side effects.

Right now, I am waiting for a return call from the urologists office. There are substitutes preparations that will cleanse the bowels and all I need is a prescription called into my pharmacy to make this work. If we cannot get this taken care of this morning I suspect we might have to cancel the procedure and find the next open spot. Talk about things outside of one’s direct control…

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