Checking the peritoneal catheter

Because the catheter started to leak I had to go back to hospital for another operation to check the catheter; This time just key hole surgery.

I went to the dialysis centre first, and did my dialysis on the Monday morning, then after, walked to the hospital and was admitted after a nice lunch. They put me in a room with an elderly gentleman who had sleep apnea problems, his machine made noises akin to a dying vacuum cleaner. I slowly got ready, shaved, had a Betadine scrub shower and put on my pyjamas. I had a supper of pasta and chicken, nothing exceptional; The sleep;
The night was long. The poor gentleman’s machine honked and clonked , and I was stressed about the operation.

The next day, no food or water until after the operation. In fact, that took place at 4pm. So they wheeled me off, after I’d had a Betadine shower and put on the gown. The gowns have clips on the back, and the two nurses came to check the shaving was ok and helped me clip up the gown. Now I know you’re all thinking that two nurses came and checked out the family jewels, but no, they just checked the pubic area and didn’t get to see those family jewels. How often does one get asked that kind of thing! “Can we check your pubic area please! My long suffering wife did get to look at that zone, and (ad lib here) said it was “like the Christmas turkey” and that she’d “stuff two balls of stuffing up my derrier and put a sprig of holly on it”. Ouch! I’d laugh, only it hurts too much.

So they wheeled me in, did the keyhole. I remember telling the surgeon the time before drifting off in the drug induced stupor. I woke up, gagging on the tube, and they took it out. My throat was like a cat’s litter tray, smelly and dry. Then the pain. If you’ve read Stephan King’s book, Misery, he describes pain very well in there, waves, coming in over, but I hadn’t had my legs shattered. The pain was worst in my shoulders, which sounds strange, as the operation had been on my belly, but the doctor said the two are linked, and they pumped me full of gas( which delightfully escapes over the next week in full Dolby sound ) and the pressure of that gas hurts the diaphragm which hurts the shoulders and then you start to sing ‘Now hear the word of the Lord’ After, I slept, fretfully, with the vacuum cleaner noise from the next bed, waking up to vomit some green bile, which felt like a fishing hook was stick to my stomach and a fisherman was pulling me in, reeling in the biggest whopper ever.

My wife and little boy popped and we smiled and held hands. My little boy was amazed with his latest toy, a camping car from Playmobile. They smiled, and I drifted into sleep.

So it was I beached on the island of pain.The morning came, and I woke. Waddled off to the shower. Reminded the nurse for the third time about the taxi to take me to dialysis that morning at 9.
Like the Beatles song, “Day in the life” ‘Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head, made my way to the desk and drank a cup, and looking up I noticed the taxi was late’
So it was I walked out of the room, with all the stuff i had walked in with. Case, books, computer. I struggled to the desk, and explained about the taxi. If I wasn’t at the dialysis at the right time, they may not take me, and I’d be ill. Where was the taxi? Well they looked a bit sheepish and hurried conversations started in corridors , like a wild fire starting in the bush or a page burning in a book, slow at first then out of control. I picked up my stuff and walked to the dialysis, it would take ten minutes. The taxi guy got me half way to the centre. I just shrugged my burning shoulders. If they cant organise a taxi, then it leaves little confidence in the operation.

At the centre, They looked at me and wagged their fingers. I shouldn’t be walking anywhere. I should have waited for the taxi. I retorted.They should have booked the taxi when I asked. Phone calls were made and opinions exchanged.

Then, after the dialysis, they wheeled me back to hospital. X ray and IRM scan. Let’s check what they’ve done and that the pain is just because of gas.
My wife is worried; I try to reassure her on the phone. The taxi man who was with me at the hospital was supposed to wait for me, but he’s gone to do another fare with all my stuff except my phone and he’s left me. I finish the tests and then wait. Apparently he’s coming back. He’s not coming back, and I phone my wife. Book a new taxi with the same firm as they have my stuff in their office. Another taxi comes, with my stuff and an hour later I get home. Not the best day for taxis.

Armed with all my prescriptions, my wife went to the pharmacy. What a star!
I’ll go back to the dialysis on Friday, and then Monday, and Wednesday next week. Slowly getting better. Slowly appreciating the fact I get treatment.


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