March arrived along with the appointment with the urologist for the scope. I waited outside while the procedure was done. A nurse wheeled hubby out and explained that he had an enlarged prostate which was keeping the bladder from being able to empty. He would need surgery and they were referring us to an outside specialist to do this. We were able to choose a civilian hospital close to our home to have the operation. The procedure was to go into the prostate and scrape off tissue so the bladder could function.
Because of hubby’s lung and heart issues, he had to have a release from both of those doctors. We hadn’t yet seen a heart specialist at VA. The next few weeks were filled with doctor appointments, but hubby was given the go-ahead for the surgery. It was decided he would receive a spinal anesthesia (like a saddle block) rather than to put him completely under due to the heart murmur.
The morning of the surgery I ran into a problem with admissions at the hospital. They hadn’t received paperwork from VA okaying the surgery. I asked them to go ahead and put it with Medicare and I would try to get the papers faxed to them from VA. Hubby was taken back to be prepped and my Pastor, daughter and I were allowed to see him just before they took him to the operating room. The anesthesiologist was there and seemed concerned about giving the spinal since hubby has a curved spine. We said a prayer and I kissed him goodbye then went back to wait. I called VA and they said the papers had been faxed to the hospital days ago, but they would resend them. People from admissions kept asking me what progress I’d made. Talk about stress! Finally, they confirmed VA had approved and all was well. Our daughter and daughter-in-law sat with me in the waiting room and their presence helped to keep my mind from worrying. Three hours later we heard the surgery had been successful and hubby was in recovery. Praise God, there was no cancer found.
The worst part for hubby was coming home two days later still with a catheter. He would have to wear it until the follow up visit with the urologist in two weeks. But spring was here and the sun was shining. Signs of renewed life surrounded us. The two weeks went by quickly, with the expectation of better days to follow. The day the catheter was removed was a day of joy and a little bit of anxiety. Would it really be successful? Hubby had some pain but his bladder was functioning correctly again. Praise God. On the follow-up visit he was given a scan and we learned the bladder wasn’t completely emptying, but it was good enough. We were certainly blessed!
Now it was Four months into my retirement, and there had been no time to “adjust” to being retired…I was too busy. A good thing, I suppose. We had long ago given up the dream of traveling in an RV around the country. My retirement plan was to spend eight hours a day in my home office pursuing my writing career. God had a different plan and I had fallen into the role of caregiver. However, now that hubby was better, I was able to focus on my writing for small snippets of time. There was still the housework, grocery shopping, yard work, laundry, driving hubby to and from doctor visits, and most important…spending quality time with him and with God. As spring jumped into summer, we began to settle into a routine never expecting what was yet to come…
Please feel free to share your caregiving experiences with me in comments.
“I didn’t plan to be a caregiver, but God had a different plan for me. I accept it with a happy heart, thankful that my love and I are still together.”