MUST KNOW

You keep telling me to calm down, but you need to realize that I must know! How can I relax when I don’t know what is going to happen? For example, when are your patients routinely discharged, by which I mean, morning – noon – or night? Is there a specific time? My daughter needs to know because she has to park and by the way she parks where one hands over the keys and it can be quite a delay to get one’s car back, at least that has been her experience, and the cost is extreme – I cannot help wondering whether there isn’t someone noble and charitable who could assist in reducing the onerous cost of parking!

Ah, not something you deal with. More central to the discussion: How am I supposed to deal with a urinary catheter at home all by myself? My daughter works and you can imagine there would be some unease and even, speaking openly, a slight disgust, in handling such a matter on my behalf, but how am I supposed to take care of it? How do I wash my hands? How do I maintain asepsis in my home? Which sink do I use? Will there be gloves? What if there is some cross-contamination between fecal matter, urine, and the equipment? Also, I understand that every bit of equipment I am using at this moment is the property of the hospital. Who will order my supplies? Who will deliver them? How are they paid for? Who will set up someone to come to the house and assist me? How will I get training? How do I get a home health aide? How long will they come? I cannot do this on my own! I need training. I need extensive training! I am in the dark – completely in the dark about all of this!

Also, a small matter, but vital to me, you say that I am the one to order my food, but how would I know what to eat? Please tell me, what are the most recommended and fortifying foods for your patients post-surgically? Due to the extreme stress I have lived through, my kidneys may not be functioning well. I don’t believe they can process the food I eat, or even handle water. What? The kidney function results are – normal? So I can order – whatever I want to eat? Well, that won’t work! I wouldn’t know where to begin! I cannot have apple, which constipates me. I cannot eat toast – too dry. Crackers – same thing. My organism is delicate and it lowers my morale to try and explain this to people who cannot seem to understand how very finicky my digestion is. I simply cannot take responsibility to make these decisions right after a surgery! Please, order for me – I feel defeated in every way. Hot cereal? Too heavy. Breakfast burrito? Cannot digest beans. French toast? Too sweet. Fresh fruit, toast and two eggs? Well, okay, but I make no guarantee that I will be able to eat it!. I just wish I could know for sure which food items are best.

Was that phone call the doctor, finally? Thank God! When am I going home? And who will help me with my catheter? What? You are taking the catheter out here? What? Oh, no! How will I ever get a catheter to put back in, how will I get it placed, where do I get it and who on earth will come take care of it? My daughter cannot do this – if for no other reason, because she works! What? I won’t have a catheter at home? No catheter? Then how do I get the urine into the bag? Do you expect me to hold it all day? What if the bag overflows and makes a big mess? No bag? What do you mean, no bag? I won’t have a bag? You said I would have a leg bag!

Pee like normal. Pee like normal? But I suffer from incontinence. What am I going to do about that? Yes, I had incontinence before I came to the hospital for this procedure, but that doesn’t mean I want to go home with it! Believe me, I lost sleep over it. And there will be even less sleep for me when I get home! I thought I was going home on a bag. And I was worried about that. But now I am worried about NOT going home on a bag. Crosses upon crosses to bear. And what about the balloon the doctors placed inside my bladder? How will I get that balloon out? What, no balloon? You are taking it all out? But you already told me that I was going home on a bag. Here I was, worried about one thing, and now it’s another!

I just wish I could know, for sure, what is going to happen. You cannot imagine how much stress, how much fear I go through, when I want to know what is going to happen, and then you keep pulling the rug out from under me. Everything keeps changing, and my satisfaction is plummeting! I am filled with anxiety and a deep dread of the unknown. I know you have other patients to attend to, but before you leave, please, can you at least tell me when my breakfast will arrive? How many minutes? It would help me if I could know when to expect it. You don’t know? Can’t you find out and tell me? I would really like to know.