Thursday, April 21, 2011

The “catheter”

FEBRUARY 1, 2011

2:00 P.M.
Scottsdale, Arizona

If any of you in the western states heard a wild scream at that time, it was me as my catheter was being removed. I had thought that these devices only went into the bladder. It felt like mine was being pulled from my throat. In saying that I must admit that I am a wimp and am against pain in any form. My day at the doctor’s office began with a large but pleasant young woman escorting me to the exam room. When she told me to drop my pants and lay down on the exam table I did just that. In this state of Le Grand Exposé she began by taking the staples out of my abdomen incisions. Given the fact that I am beyond ticklish this was a mixture of hilarity and pain. For some reason at this point another young lady comes in to ask the first one a question. Perhaps the second female was just checking up on the first to see if some new form of torture had been discovered for future urilogical patients.

The “catheter” in for five days, while annoying, had not been as troublesome as I had expected. You have a large bag for nighttime use and a small bag that is attached to the inside of your calf for day use. To empty the day bag you just put your foot up on the edge of a toilet or fire hydrant whichever is closer and turn the valve.

When the office girls got done with me, the doctor came in to explain that pathology had confirmed  20% of my prostate to have been cancerous.  The cancer appeared to be contained to the prostate, which is no longer among my current list of internal organs.

Then came the “Talk”. The good doctor gave me some free Viagra pills with these simple instructions: “Use it or loose it”

With those encouraging words I make my way though the waiting room wondering if my diaper make me look fat.

Mr. “B”

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thanks for coming back Mr "B". Those relief drivers were scary !!

Perhaps less than a dozen times in my life I have felt deep emotional pain/sorrow. I don't mean the lump in your throat kind. I mean the kind that originates somewhere inside your chest and you are hoping to find a switch to turn it off. The first time I remember this happening was just before Rob left home to go to BYU. I was driving at about Broadway and Country Club. I came at that time to the realization that once your children leave home they generally only come back as visitors. That of course is part of life's plan and it is a good plan. The last time this happened before yesterday was when I dropped Ashley off in SLC on her way to BYU Idaho.

Tuesday morning I had my first doctor visit since my surgery a week before. My post surgery week had been lousy. This had been my sixth time on the operating table in one year. While it was only a one hour surgery my body seemed to be rebelling from the intrusions that involved knives and anesthesia. I had started driving several days before the doctor visit. I would drive and come home and go directly to bed after each run. I wondered each morning if physically and mentally I should even be driving a bus. It was decided by me and my doctor that I should quit driving and apply for a medical leave of absence. This in fact was the only way that  I was going to be able to come back to driving without losing my seniority #, good route, and good bus. I called dispatch and told them that I would be gone for the near future and I went directly to bed.

The next morning I realized what I had done and I had my melt down. I had been driving for three years arguably some of the best students in the school district to the Mesa Academy for Advance Studies. I was their Mr"B" and I knew them by name. When I came back from my numerous sick leaves I was always greeted with enthusiasm. Thanks for coming back Mr "B". Those relief drivers were scary !! I had been practicing my departure speech for a week and I left without even saying good by. Well there you have it. A crusty 67 year old bus driver with a heart of mush.

Mr "B"

"Do you wish to state a religions preference?"

I don't know if I shared with you that I will be going in Monday morning for another surgery. The hole near my belly button where they took my prostate out did not heal up properly and left me with a hernia. It is an outpatient thing.

Friday night a lady called me from the hospital to ask me a long series of health questions. I don't like these long telephone inquires but I tried to make the best of it. This is how some of our conversation went.

"Do you wish to state a religions preference?"

"I'm LDS."

"Do you smoke or drink?"

"No , they don't let us".

"I know you are not suppose to but since I don't go to your church you could tell me ".

"Really I don't".

"Do you ever have any anxiety attacks"?

"Yes sometimes".

"When does it happen"?

"Usually when I am laying naked on an operating table".

" Who will be accompanying you to the hospital at 6:00 AM"?

" Either my wife or my girlfriend--whoever I can wake up".

Maybe I shouldn't have told her I was LDS. Actually we were both about laughing to tears by the end of our conversation. EB