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» Tuesday, October 23, 2018Look, Ma, No Tubes
Today James had his official post-op appointment. Unfortunately we had to drive all the way down to Kaiser's Southwood office (near Southlake Mall in Morrow—or Jonesboro, depending on what GPS we were using). Since we didn't know how long it would take us to get down there, we left rather earlier than needed, but were able to take the freeway, which was more freewheeling than usual. By the time we got down there and sorted out where it was (they laugh about Atlanta having so many Peachtree-named streets, and this place has Mt. Zion Parkway, Mt. Zion Boulevard, Mt. Zion Road...), we were rather frazzled.
The Southwood office is huge, about the size of a small hospital. One building is for regular offices, one for specialties. We lucked out, someone was backing out of a handicapped parking space right as we got in, and urology was the closest department to the door.
Last Thursday James had a buildup of blood in his urine until it was very dark at night. When it was no lighter in the morning, we drove up to Urgent Care. They did several tests on him and told us that not only did it look worse than it was, but that, in fact, all his tests looks pretty good. He had just gone back on Brilinta and the ACC doctor said to hold it until we saw Dr. Starr today. Ironically it went back to normal abruptly on Friday afternoon, just about 24 hours after it began.
To cut to the chase, the nurse removed the catheter, James retired to the restroom, and...finally the waterworks have returned. However, the doctor was still concerned that he was not voiding enough. His policy is that only 150ml or less should be left in the bladder after you urinate. So he basically sent us out for lunch and told us to come back around 1:30. I was high as a kite with the news the surgery had worked and the foley could go while James remained more sober, but we did celebrate by having lunch at Olive Garden. James had soup and salad with a meatball pizza bowl, and I did the all-you-can-eat pasta. Sadly, two plates were all I could eat, so it was a little wasted on me. I had cavatappi with meatballs for the first course and just plain spaghetti for the second. It was all yummy, except the cavatappi was overcooked. The spaghetti was nicely al dente, though.
We got back to Southwood about 1:45, James having availed himself in Olive Garden twice, and miraculously again got a good handicapped parking spot near the door (otherwise the parking lot looked like the Courtland Garage during DragonCon); he got re-tested and passed the under-150 test. The catheter, for now, is suspended. So we endured another terrifying ride home on I-285, passed by three sports cars that were obviously racing each other, and stopped at Kaiser Cumberland to pick up the insulin James so desperately needed.
And since then he has been free of needing tubes. It actually may be a little too free. He's in the bathroom every hour (at least) and has to get up multiple times a night. The doctor warned us about this, though; being on a foley catheter since April has atrophied his bladder muscles, so he must respond immediately. However, he just needs to get a proper amount of liquids now, two liters per day, he doesn't have to drink like a fish as he had to to keep the catheter clear and free of infection.