It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly four weeks since I last posted an update. To a large extent that’s because I’ve had very little to report, and I feel that if I start repeating the same list of stuff over and over then it starts to sound like I’m whinging. Still, all that changed a little over a week ago:
Firstly, the results came back from the tests on my urinary problems; sure enough, I have a bacterial urinary tract infection (UTI), that just happens to be resistant to all the common antibiotics. My urologist provided a prescription for an antibiotic that it’s not resistant to, and after a week-long course, it seems to have killed it off.
Unfortunately, it currently doesn’t seem to be helping with the pain in my kidney when I wee, nor the urgency with which I sometimes need to wee. As I’ve only just completed the course of antibiotics, I’m currently crossing my fingers and hoping these symptoms will fade away now the UTI has been dealt with. If not then my urologist suggests that the most likely alternative is that I’ve been experiencing bladder spasms. These can be caused by a variety of issues; in my case, a fairly long period of catheterisation, the fact that my bladder has actually been moved from it’s normal location, and the fact that I’ve had a couple of post-surgical UTI’s are all possible indicators.
If that is the case then it can be medicated, but frankly, I’d rather avoid it if possible. Fingers crossed for the symptoms to disappear now that the antibiotics have done their work.
I also had my first ever ultrasound examination. This was to check to see if my left kidney is draining properly through the reimplanted ureter. If the kidney was distended then that would indicate that the ureter was still not working properly. This would be bad, and probably lead to more surgery, so I was keen that the results were good. Fortunately, they were.
My left kidney is significantly bigger than my (normal) right, and probably always will be. However, it now appears to be a lot smaller than it used to be while I was depending on a stent, and indeed, it seems to shrink somewhat when I empty my bladder – all good signs. My blood results also show that my overall kidney function is fine, which is also very reassuring, as the last thing I need now is to be put on dialysis!
The urologist intends to run another set of blood tests in 3 months or so, and if they are fine, I’ll be discharged from his care. If they are not good then I get another ultrasound …
The Tissue Viability nurses also wanted another look at me, and are happy with the healing progress that my perineal wound is making. However, they tell me that in all likelihood I’m still looking at months not weeks before that wound will heal, and I still run the risk of the wound closing off, possibly forming another abscess. I have a list of indicators (that you don’t want to know about!) that might indicate that this is happening, and instructions to call them if I need them. The likelihood then would be that my surgeon would open the wound up again to improve the drainage, something that I’d clearly rather avoid if possible.
Speaking of my surgeon, he also called me in for an examination, and in general he was also happy with my progress, but had the same set of concerns as the Tissue Viability team – so he wants to see me again in another 6 weeks to check on the healing of my perineal wound, and make sure that everything is going to plan. Fingers crossed that it will be.
Meanwhile I’m thinking it’s time that I started to get back to work. I’m missing the intellectual stimulation of work, though I fear that I may find the physical demands, especially of commuting, beyond me initially. I’m sure this is something that my management team will be able to help me with, so I’d expect to have some news on this in the next week or two.