Things seem to be progressing well on the health front.
The early ride to Victoria General Hospital for a 7 a.m. appointment with Urologist Dr.Iain McAuley is fading, as are the anxieties that face old men when confronted with problems they can’t themselves control or resolve.
We hear so many stories on our health care system’s faults and failings that I hesitate to write I found none. Admittance was smooth, the handover to the pre-op preparation crew the same. I even appreciated the repeated asking of name and date of birthday, as they made absolutely sure they had the right guy heading for the right surgeon.
It all moved quickly but calmly to a brief chat with an anesthetist to confirm I had requested a spinal anesthetic rather than the dream-sleep method. With the spinal you are conscious throughout the procedure and I was looking forward to casually chatting with the crew during “the procedure.”
Alas, they removed my hearing aid. I was awake – but voices were a distant mumble. Being unable to join the conversation – probably a good thing all round – I just lay back and didn’t feel a thing.
Somewhere along the way someone asked me how I felt and I mumbled “not ready for the marathon” as they wheeled me away to “recovery”. Waiting for the lower half of my body to come back to life was the worst part of the day. There was no pain, but every time the nurse checked to see how I was doing she asked me to wiggle my toes.
A strange feeling to try to order your toes to move when you can’t feel your feet. It was lunch time before I was deemed flexible enough to be rolled from recovery and whisked down corridors to ride the elevator to the seventh floor and post-op care.
Wasn’t there long. Just an afternoon, night and morning before I was told I could go home. And for the record the nursing care was excellent. Throughout the entire period I was carefully checked and charted to identify any repercussions trying to interfere with orderly progress. I felt protected, cared for, by nurses who were not only good at what they were doing, but cheerful although short staffed and facing incredible pressures.
Schoolteachers should take note when they talk about class sizes and the pressures of the classroom.
And that’s enough health care news. Roughly 36 hours after arriving at Vic General I was rolling back down the highway with son Nic driving to be welcomed home by long time friend, fellow traveler, care-giver, Anne who believes only the finest balanced diet will restore me to full health.
I’m lucky. I know it. And am thankful to be around to celebrate the renewal Easter brings.