Originally Posted by Albertarose
On April 11/07 my hubby and I found out he has prostate cancer just a week after he turned 50. It's been a trying time for the both of us. He is very emotional about the entire situation. We are both seeking help from our counselors, friends, and family.
I am finding it difficult to express my feeling as a wife to my husband and the support I am receiving is great but I feel I need support from other wives whose husbands have gone through this. I am being as supportive as I can to him but I was wondering how I can be more help to him besides attending appointment, being there for him while he undergoes surgery on May 25th. When he comes home from surgery how can I make him more comfortable while he recovers? What questions should I ask the doctor?
Any help would be great Thank you
Here's a "cut & paste" I made up for another lady like you in a similar circumstance. It outlines many of the needs and pitfalls of my hospital experience. Hope it helps...
First of all, your hubby will do fine. My da Vinci surgery was pretty easy all things considered. There were some annoying and uncomfortable times but nothing to write home about. I was told what to expect and what I was told was the exact truth. Nothing was sugar coated!
Here are a few tips regarding my experience on surgery day and my hospital stay…
It was January when I got my surgery done. Cold! I showed up wearing a heavy winter jacket, a flannel shirt, work boots, jeans, underwear and a ball cap! When they took me in to prep me, none of that stuff fit into the little plastic bag they handed me for my personal items.
Tip #1. Have your hubby show up wearing stuff that he can just hand to you while he’s changing into his hospital gown.
Tip #2. My wife packed an overnight bag like I was heading off to compete in the Alaskan Iditarod Great Sled Race. Two pairs of sweat pants (open at the bottom), a heavy sweat shirt, two sets of boxer shorts, two loose fitting tee shirts, two pairs of socks, bedroom slippers, pajamas, a winter coat and a winter hat! Needless to say, I didn’t need all of that! I did not get out of my hospital gown until one hour before I was going home. At that point, I needed just the loose fitting sweat pants (Important: open at the bottom) to allow for the catheter, loose fitting boxers also to allow for the catheter, a loose fitting tee shirt to make room for the stapled incisions and dressings, a loose fitting button up sport shirt that’s easy to slip on and off, socks, bedroom slippers (okay for going home) or maybe penny loafers and a jacket that suits the weather. You’ll be helping dress him because he will still be tender.
Tip #3. While in the hospital they will want him up and walking around ASAP after surgery. When they do that they will disconnect both leg massagers and put on slip resistant booties on his feet. They will disconnect the IV bad and hopefully put another hospital gown on backwards to cover his butt. Then they will hand him his Foley catheter bag to carry and they will escort him around the hallway. There’s no rest in hospitals. They are always at you. Always in your room to empty the Foley bag, change the IV bag, retire the IV alarm, take your temp, take your BP, for me I had regular finger sticks to test for blood sugar because I’m diabetic. Not only for you but most likely there’s a guys in the next bed getting all the same stuff done to him! I couldn’t wait to get home to get some rest! I will say however, the nurses and the staff were very attentive. I did not wait long for anything. If I pushed the button, they came running. Sometimes two of them!
Tip #4. The five top items I found that I absolutely needed during my hospital stay…
1. An electric (rechargeable) razor
3. Comb & brush
4. Reading material
5. My regular RX meds (the only meds provided, if needed, were for pain thru the IV)
They gave me a cute little complimentary “wash kit” to wash my face and hands and a tooth brush and tooth paste to brush my teeth and mouthwash but absolutely no taking showers until you get him home!
Tip #5. When I was leaving they gave me a brand new Foley bag (big urine bag) for sleeping and they gave me a smaller leg bag that strapped to me leg. They showed me "in detail" how to use both bags. It'll take some getting use to once he gets settled in at home.
Tip #6. I needed a stool softener for my first few BM’s after I got home. Since the LRP procedure comes very close to the rectum wall and it may still be tender down there. I got “Colace” stool softener, which worked out very well and made it much easier. Some guys like to use fiber therapy mucilloid type softener. That's good too!
Can’t think of anything more right now…
If I do I’ll post it!
God bless and best wishes!