Friday, January 24, 2014

PART X: Cancer Treatment; How to self-advocate

One of the most difficult parts of cancer treatment, is post-op care. My biggest fear is managing a catheter. I am nothing, if not a patient advocate. I can do this! Hubby's dietary issues seem better. We've been very careful.   No dairy, no sauces (for him), nothing fried, etc. The other day he twisted his foot, pulled a muscle in it and cannot go in the backyard to feed the deer, which is tragic, as it's the only pleasure he seems to have outdoors (of course it's been -20 C!).

He's doing his kegel exercises, 200/day, which will speed healing. He'll only be having 6 small incisions, which will further speed recovery. We are anticipatory about this. Our only concern is getting him home. He signed up for a private room, knowing how private he is, which his insurance will pay for, thankfully.

I spoke to the physician's assistant. We asked for another day in hospital. A 5 p.m. discharge (about 24 hrs. after surgery is fine, but during rush hour?) will mean a 90 min. trip home will be 2 hours, in the dark, through rush-hour traffic, and deer in the dark on the highway.
He, apparently, isn't even guaranteed a bed overnight, as they are very full up. That's no problem, being in recovery is a fine place to be. I think I've managed to figure out how to lobby for an earlier discharge.

To get him home, to bed, with his own bathroom, equipment, antiseptic catheter cleaning products, cats, food and shelter, will be the goal. I'm sure I can swing it. Besides, they cannot keep him in. If the interns say he is good enough to go home at 5, surely he'll be good enough to go home at 3, or so. Apparently, I'll have to fight the floor protocols and interns for the privilege of getting home in good time. The catheter, required to promote healing, needs specific cleaning protocols, with a night bag and a smaller day time bag that straps to his leg. It will be tricky preventing cats from playing with the bag, but at night we can hang it inside a garbage can, covered with a towel, methinks. You know how they love their snakes. That's where we are, at this point.

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