Remember the list of stuff from my last post that needed to go well before I could go home? It all went well. I’m still tolerating the low-res diet and my stoma output is good. I’m still getting gas/bloating in my pouch area, so the residents inserted a tube for about 30 minutes yesterday evening to assist with drainage. It helped a little, but my pouch is definitely still retaining something, which causes some discomfort. They don’t seem concerned and expect it to pass. As an aside, the residents here are great. They work ridiculous hours, yet always maintain a good attitude and bedside manner. My little procedure last night came at the end of a long shift, so they were a bit punchy. We had some good laughs and a nice conversation, which is pretty remarkable considering they were sticking a rubber tube inside my newly created pseudo-colon at the time. I really can’t say enough about UCSF’s staff. With very few exceptions, patient care–from the nursing assistants to the chief of colorectal surgery–has been phenomenal.
My catheter came out at midnight (not pleasant, but mercifully brief), and I’ve peed several times since, which is obviously a good thing. My nurse did a couple ultrasounds during the might to make sure my bladder wasn’t retaining urine (which means it’s not yet ready), and it’s not. If you’re curious, they take the catheter out at midnight because they wait 6 hours to make a determination about your bladder function and don’t want you up worrying about whether you’ll pee or not. It’s easier if the “worry” happens in your sleep and the 6 hours ends shortly before the residents make their rounds in the morning and can sign off. Finally, the JP (Jackson-Pratt) Drain on my side has slowed down a bit and may be able to come out this morning. Worst case, I go home with it and come back in a few days to have I removed.
So now I’m just waiting on morning rounds for the final determination, but fully expect to be released by lunch. I know I’m supposed to be excited about this, and I am. But I’m also nervous. I haven’t really minded the hospital this week, and there is a tremendous sense of comfort in knowing you are surrounded by such great care if something goes wrong or you need help. But I also know I’m making better-than-anticipated progress with fewer-than-anticipated complications, and it’s time to free up the bed for someone else. Plus my wife will be home with me the first week, so I’ll be in great card. And there’s a bigger TV.