Two steps forward, several steps backward...and then there's the option of doing nothing but lying flat on your back enduring pain worse than at any other time since surgery. On the day of surgery, nurses introduced me to the pain scale - 0 meant no pain, 10 meant the worst possible pain imaginable.
During the first 8 days of recovery from surgery, it was generally at a 2, sometimes creeping up to to 4. But I had my morphine-based self-administered pain pump which allowed me to function most of the time at a level 2.
With the advent of far more serious bladder cramps Friday than I had ever experienced before, we were in new territory. Friday night was absolutely the worst pain-filled night I have yet experienced, with bladder spasm induced pain spiking easily to 5 and settling most of the time at 3 or 4.
Then came the sub-cutaneous morphine. That would settle things down for about an hour, then the pain would reassert itself (2 mg of morphine). By the time morning came around, I was becoming quite adamant about seeing a urologist and finding some other approach to pain management for what looked to be just a terrible weekend.
We finally settled on both sub-cutaneous needle injections of morphine and needle-stick IV administered morphine, received an order for higher dosages, doubled the buscapan muscle relaxant (so-called antispasmodic), and kept the extra strength Tylenol coming every 4 hours. That made life bearable once again. But there will be no consultation with a urologist until Monday.
Doctors wanted to use suppositories, but I vetoed that based on the low anterior resection and my surgeon's unequivocal comment to me not to use them under any circumstances. Too bad they are the best way to relieve pain of bladder spasms!
I saw my family physician on Saturday, had more college visitors and family visitors, and even have managed to gently walk the medical ward hall circuit once each day. But the price of doing so is a spike in bladder spasms immediately afterwards.
I can see hope though. It's like a piece of fruit hanging on the edge of a branch in a tree just too tall for me to reach out and pick it. Emotionally, I am feeling the affects of not having any semblance of control in my life while being hospitalized this third time. But it's best for me and my family for me to be exactly where I am until I have recovered fully enough not to be a complete burden on my wife and sons.
Tomorrow, I'll have another lung scan to see how the PEs (pulmonary embolii) are doing. I may have the catheter removed in order to test my ability to void on my own. If both are positive, then a discharge in the near future seems possible.