Hospital Discharge Day

After going to sleep at 9 or 10 pm the night before, I woke up at 5 am. I already had an agreement with the night nurse that there was no need to wake me up to give me painkiller drugs, so I slept for quite a while. I also skipped the painkillers in the morning, since I felt fine. I went out of bed for a walk, came back, ordered greek yoghurt, oatmeal, and coffee for breakfast and started waiting for the doctors team.

At 7 am, the intern doctor stopped by and informed me that we were just waiting for the team to approve catheter removal, then she would be able to give the order to have it removed. This would be a huge relieve for me, since it is very cumbersome to move around with the urine bag and hose, not to talk about the look when I was out walking. She came back at around 8:00 am and notified me that she had given the order for the catheter removal.

At 8:20am, the nurse came in and removed the catheter. The most painful part of that is the removal of the attachment that holds the hose in place. It is a circular very sticky piece of cloth, approximately 3 inches in diameter, sitting on my leg. Once removed, I had a completely hairless circle where it had been. Next, she asked me to take a deep breath, and then she pulled the catheter out in one long relatively slow move. It was not really that painful. Right after this the doctors team stopped by. I convinced them that it was time to discharge me, since I had passed some gas, had not gotten any pain meds for 12 hours, an was feeling fine. They agreed, but on condition that I would be able to urinate on my own.

An hour later I had produced 800 CC of urine (yes, I can really drink a lot of water fast). And the nurse notified me that they were in the final stages of prepping the paperwork.

At 11 am, the nurse stopped by and explained to me how to proceed at home. I got 5 pages of instructions, some prescriptions for pain medication, and I signed the discharge order.

There are a few caveats in the discharge and I will have to return to the hospital for any of the following reasons:

  1. If I do not pass any stool within 3 days of discharge
  2. If I get a fewer above 101.5 f
  3. If I get nauseous and starts barfing
  4. If I get serious pains in my stomach or pelvis area.

There is a 10% risk that the resection will leak (Anastomotic leak), and that is a very serious matter. If it does, it can and will in some cases be lethal, because the stool can enter the abdomen that way. So we have practiced the fasted way to get back to the ER a few times over the last week, just in case.

If the resection leaks and the doctors will not be able to seal it properly, the result will be a temporary ileostomy. I really hope that will not happen to me.

I am definitely not out of the woods yet, but everything looks good so far.

I was discharged at 11:20 am, after having been admitted for 54 hours.

Life after surgery
I was so ecstatic after getting out of the hospital that I had my wife take me to a cafe in Palo alto for lunch. I had a chicken sandwich, and a big fruit / vegetable juice. On our way home from there, we stopped by another cafe, where I got a latte. (imagine a 50 year old dude staggering into a cafe, barely able to keep the speed of a sleepy snail).

I was so happy. Everything had gone way better than I had hoped for. I had mild pain, I  could pass urine on my own, and even control it. I felt that all of my senses in my pelvic area are intact. It was such a relief.

Needless to say, I was bloated to the point of an explosion after my lunch escapades, and we immediately agreed on that the rest of the day would allow for liquid food only.  We went back to our apartment in Mountain View (temp, rented through Stanford Hospital), I rested for 4 hours, but felt fine. At 5pm we went to San Jose downtown and picked up my pain medication and laxatives. At that time I was at a higher pain level that at any other time since surgery. Now armed with Percocet 5-325mg, I took two pills while in the car outside the drugstore. 20 minutes later I felt fine, and barely had any pain. We went grocery shopping, and then back to the apartment.

I did not eat anything for the rest of the day, except for a piece of chocolate, and a few licourice’s. At 8pm we went to the Shoreline theaters and watched Hitman 3, sitting in very nice recliners. There were too many people for me to feel completely comfortable, but I can honestly say that this was a joy. I was so excited and happy.

At 11 pm, one more Percocet, took the Laxative, and then straight to bed.

No stool so far , but I did pass gas again later in the day and the “bloatedness” got better…

You can check my food and medication during my recovery here