We got to visit the Cancer Center for the first time on Tuesday so they could remove Frank’s catheter. Before we ever got to see anyone, I was confused. They told use to park in P1. So far, so good. Except it’s hidden around the corner from the building. There is a big sign: Parking for Cancer Patients Only, Please Stop at Attendant. So we stopped at the attendant. Very nice lady. She asked if we had an appointment at the Cancer Center. I said Frank did, so she waved us in. Impressive security.
The structure had lots of open spots. Unfortunately, there were no signs on the first level telling us where the building was. So we parked, and turned the wrong way. We ended up walking up the ramp to the next level. If we had turned the other direction, we were across from the unmarked entrance. Good thing Frank’s sick, not decrepit. I never would have found the Emergency Room. And my phone doesn’t work in parking structures.
We found the correct level in the Center.It looked like the concourse at an airport: Reception A, Reception B, etc., as you moved down the hall. Of course we needed Reception E at the far end. Frank went up to register, and I waited. Finally he came back. There was some sort of emergency at E, so he would get in quicker at B. Of course.
He did get in quickly. A very cheerful medical assistant came in to set up everything. She was quickly followed by a nurse. Who is even more cheerful. Maybe it’s a requirement when you apply to work there.
She said that she would remove the catheter. When Frank stood up afterwards, the downward pressure of his organs would cause him to urinate because of all the water they told him to drink before the appointment. Then he would need to drink more water there and urinate a second time before we could go. Sounded easy enough.
As they say, the devil is in the details. When he stood up, Frank didn’t have an urge to urinate. At all. It turns out that because the tumor is at the bottom of the bladder (where the urine leaves), his bladder has compensated by being over-extended on a regular basis. So this might take a while.
Add in Frank’s natural shyness, and it was not a recipe for speed. I had to keep leaving for water and coming back in, which was bad enough. But the nurses kept checking in for progress. Women (especially after childbirth) are used to having people look at their private parts. Men are not.
He finally got enough urine for both containers, so we thought that we were good to go. Then the nurse decided that even together, it really wasn’t enough for the amount Frank had been drinking. So they did an ultrasound. Way too much urine was still in the bladder. Back to the catheter.
Did he want the bag back or self-catheterize? Anything to get rid of the bag. So they had to teach him how to use the catheter. No worries. He had been trained at the beginning of this process when they thought he had a bad infection. The Center gave him two nice rubber catheters that could be washed and reused. The ones at home were disposable plastic. So we could finally be on our way.
Not so fast. Since Frank had to go back to being catheterized, our nurse had to speak with the doctor’s nurse. That nurse couldn’t speak with the doctor until Thursday. Someone would call Frank Thursday or Friday to let him know what would happen next. The only thing that was certain was that his return-to-work date of Monday was now tentative rather than definite.
At least we found the car with no trouble.
Coming Soon: What’s Next