Saturday, July 4, 2015

The bad, the good and the ugly.... Part 1...the bad

WARNING!! The following may be graphic, read at your own risk......

In the middle of June my husband, Steve, stared feeling like he had a UTI (urinary tract infection) as it burned when he peed. He delayed going to the doctor until he started having visible blood in his urine. He went to his PCP (primary care physician) and they did a rapid urine test and said there was blood in his urine so they gave him two prescriptions - one to numb him when he peed (called pyridium - not sure of the spelling - that turns the urine orange) and an antibiotic. Then a couple of days later the blood in his urine was worse so off to the ER we went.... The ER stated there was nothing they could do and referred him to a Urologist (and of course his urine sample was "clear" when he gave it at the ER even though all night at home it wasn't and he was also passing blood clots).

I went with Steve to the Urologist and the doctor ordered a CT scan and then after the CT Scan scheduled an in-office scope procedure (to be performed by the Urologist).  The weekend before the CT Scan we went back to the ER since the blood in the urine was constant and the blood clots were getting bigger. Steve had a hard time passing a couple of the clots. Since we were worried we went back to the ER. The ER told us the same thing and told us to come back if something was blocking the urethra not allowing him to empty his bladder. qa

Steve had the CT Scan and got a CD of the scan to take to the Urologist. I went with him for the in-office scope procedure and Steve was in a lot of pain during the procedure. The doctor said the bladder was too "murky" so he couldn't visualize much and so he wanted to do a scope in the hospital, outpatient and under anesthesia. He also said the CT scan showed something in the bladder but he wasn't sure what it was and so that's another reason he wanted to do the outpatient procedure.

Steve was scheduled for the outpatient surgery on Monday, June 22nd (the day before we were to leave for the Tetons for our vacation).

We dropped off our puppy, Lily, at the Kennel for our vacation, on the way to Steve's Surgery. We got to the hospital and got him checked in and then waited.......and waited...... and waited some more. He was supposed to be there by 10:30 and we got there early, but he wasn't taken back for surgery until almost noon!

Hunter and I went to the cafeteria and got some lunch (we hadn't had anything to eat all morning and Hunter was acting like he hadn't eaten for days). We ate in the surgery waiting room. I watched tv, checked facebook on my phone and played on my IPod. Finally the desk clerk in the waiting room called my last name and took us to a conference room to wait for the doctor.

The doctor came in (after a few minutes that felt like forever) and sat down near me. He had pictures and one was labeled "prostate" that looked pink and healthy (if pink is healthy - which for internal organs it usually is) and then three pictures of the bladder and something that looked like colorless cotton candy.  The doctor then explains the surgery went well but they did find something in the "corner" of his bladder. He took a quick sample and sent it to the pathologist for a quick confirmation of what he was seeing. He then told me that Steve has a tumor in his bladder, a splindle-cell sarcoma. He took a biopsy and sent it for full pathology so we could know more about what treatment options would be for Steve. He said that because of the CT Scan Steve had already had we could see that it hadn't spread anywhere else.

Because of the surgery the doctor wanted Steve to keep his catheter in until he told us to take it out. Before Steve was discharged the nurse taught us how to irrigate it and remove it.

The next morning, around 4AM, Steve woke me up telling me his catheter was leaking and he was in a lot of pain. I tried irrigating it but it just made it worse so off we went to the ER. They changed out his catheter (he had a 18 French in and they put in a bigger one - 20 French) and sent us home. WE ended up going to a 24 hour Pharmacy so I could fill his prescription for pain pills I wasn't able to fill the night before (the pharmacy I went to only had 4 pills and we needed 10) and Steve started saying he was in pain again and then peed his pants. He kept apologizing, but I knew it wasn't his fault. After getting the prescription filled we went back to the ER. They took Steve right back started to change his catheter to a larger size (24 Frrench - the biggest size they have) and they also irrigated the new catheter (and bladder) at the same time and were able to get a lot of blood clots out and by the time they finished irrigating it the urine was mostly clear - no longer tinged red from blood and clots.

We were supposed to go on our vacation that day but we postponed to see if Steve would feel better the following day (Wednesday) or any other day that we could go.