March 2nd came and went without…oh, wait, there actually was quite the incident: perineal urethrostomy. This was to repair, or more accurately: bypass, the damage done by all the goings on in December. That being, an infection that pretty much finished off my urethral reconstruction that was done when I was a child. After consultation with what we have been told is the place on the West Coast to have such things done, full repair and reconstruction (such that urine passes through my penis as it did when I came out of the factory) would be difficult, risky, much lower chance of success, and way, way more invasive because they would be pulling skin grafts out of my cheeks. Oh, and at least two surgeries spaced about 9 months apart.

A perineal urethrostomy, on the other hand, would be one surgery and about six weeks recovery, with pretty darned good odds of success. Going in, I was told that a piece of cheek might still need to be pulled from inside my mouth, but it would be much smaller than for full reconstruction. Oh, and from now on I squat to pee. Writing your name in the snow is way overrated anyway.

Breath deep, and the next thing remembered is waking up in the recovery room. Hey, my mouth feels fine, guess they didn’t need skin. Bonus. Back to my room, where Katherine is waiting, and try and snap out of it. Weird side note: I was nauseated, from what I assume was the anesthesia. Weird, because I’ve had plenty of general anesthesia, and I’ll bet it’s been twenty years since it has made me feel sick. Weirder yet, a day or two later I’ll feel that yucky “general anesthesia taste” in the back of my throat that kinda makes me a little pukey. Now that has to be psychosomatic, it’s not even the same anesthesia anymore. Perhaps nostalgia for the olde days when anesthesia was better, not like that fancy stuff you kids today use.

Now to wait to get the hell out of here. Since no cheek meat was required, I should get out the next day. But it won’t be an easy wait. I don’t know what the deal was with my roommate, but he was a noisy one. A Sousa band doesn’t toot that much, for starters. But, hey, everybody poops. More so, though, I don’t his mental capacity was 100%. He was making a lot of noise due to the pain he was in. He was hitting the call button every 30 minutes for something. And the TV never turned off. This would continue on into the night, and I ended up with about two hours of sleep. But here’s the thing: dude had a chest tube of some sort, he was obviously in a considerable bit of pain, wimp or not, and just generally having a rough time of it. I, on the other hand, was pretty much past the rough part and was just waiting to go home. If I can ride a motorcycle all night with a 90 nap on a rest area picnic table, I can sit and watch old episodes of Battlestar Galactica until things quiet down. Things never did quiet down, but I got a couple hours sleepy time.

The next morning, when the kitchen opened, I ordered up room service for breakfast…oh, did I not mention the room service? Yeah, guess I haven’t been in a hospital in a while. Better food than Evergreen had last month, but when you’re in the hospital I don’t know that it makes that much difference. T’was yummy, though. Then wait for Katherine to show up, and home we went. Shout out to Emma, the nurse who actually got me out the door, and not my assigned nurse as he was busy. Emma took care of me and Mr. Sousa next to me.

I’ve not been able to get comfortable all week. If you clicked the links and looked at the pictures (oh, $DEITY, I hope you didn’t look at the pictures, but if you did…) you’ll see why. What is between my sit bones is all cut up, and the dressing packs up in there, and…oh, I’ll spare the details. Plus, there’s a catheter down there, I’m sure that doesn’t help. Catheter goes away about mid-March (two weeks after surgery), back to normal activity 2-4 weeks after that. But for right now: sit (which, I’ll point out, I don’t do well with right now) around and wait. I’m all TV’ed out, but there are still a few books left to read (John Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding has been making for a good, time-consuming slog).

Remember that blog post back in October or November about how I was going to go backpacking? Yeah, those were the days. Never made that first trip, either, after the scooter crash. But I am here to tell you, first day I have clearance from the doctor, a pack goes on my back, mail goes to the boss, and I’m off to the mountains. It’s a trip that has been six months in the making.

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  1. Pingback: The Christmas Letter | Mike and Katherine

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