Prostatectomy: Almost as painful as watching the Obama presidency
By: Dave Weinbaum
Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 10:45 pm
Less than 24 hours ago, I lay prostrate on an operating table while surgeons aided by a robot (da Vinci) made six deep cuts in my belly area and carved out my oversized cancerous prostate. The robot allegedly made such precise cuts that important nerves and muscles were protected from damage so my functionality would be maintained.
Makes one wonder if you can rent it for carving turkey — Hmmmm.
At home before the operation, as I relaxed in bed by playing fetch with a young boxer, Joey, 150 pounds of pure muscle, I began to realize the seriousness of the matter.
Just then, Joey, eyes glinting, barked then attacked the inflated saucer-like device lying beside the bed. He gleefully raced to the other end of the house and ripped it to shreds. It brought to mind my impending surgery.
I prayed my doctor would be just as enthusiastic as Joey, yet a bit more careful as he sliced into the extraordinary crowded neighborhood where my cancerous prostate currently resided. I wanted him to live up to his promise to artfully slice away my precious organ.
In the weeks preceding the operation, I received many calls, the most significant of which was from my 92-year old cousin, Dave. He called to commiserate and to impart some news of his own. Having his prostate removed 25 years ago, Dave was still “active.” He told me he recently got engaged to his 72 year-old girlfriend. I asked, “Gee Dave, how many times does 92 go into 72?”
Cousin Dave: “Every night, G-d willing!”
I used to date an anesthesiologist, but she kept putting me to sleep
As I prepped for the operation, I was most mindful of my ability to crack jokes in stressful, painful situations — like marriage, but I digress. As a young nurse wheeled me into the preparation/recovery room, I began an immediate banter with my shaver. Then the “Candyman,” a.k.a. anesthesiologist, showed up and started flicking the back of my hand in search of an “angry” vein to puncture and put me out.
Dr. John Fitzgerald McCarthy showed up and asked how I was doing. I complained about the chronic pain in my right side and asked if I might have appendicitis.
McCarthy: “We go in with a camera, first. We’ll take a right turn and take a look.”
Weinbaum: “If you find a rupturing appendix, can I get a twofer?”
I had also reminded him of the conversation we had two days previously. I had guessed correctly he was of Irish heritage and mentioned that it didn’t matter to me whether he worked better sober or not, whichever way steadied his hands. As he held his left hand out to show me how steady he was, the rest of his body went into Tourette syndrome tic mode.
Ha! All too soon he was to have me in stitches — literally.
Next I was transported into the freezing operating room and stacked and wrapped on the butcher block. I asked “Candyman” to tell me when he was starting to slip me the Mickey.
My relationship with an X-ray technician didn’t work out. She could see right through me.
The next thing I remember is my sudden awakening, this time in recovery. As I tried to fade back into a peaceful sleep, the bastards posing as orderlies wheeled in Norman. Ole’ Norm was babbling so loudly and non-stop the nurses were all over him trying to shut him up. Curiously, in this large room, they placed him within three feet of my rollaway where he relentlessly insisted he had to “pee-pee” and was told that he WAS peeing into a bag.
I think my ex-wife planted him.
“You look like a million bucks: old green and wrinkled.” — Dr. John Fitzgerald McCarthy
With that, one-and-a-half days later, the doctor dismissed me. He told me the operation went well. I offered him my Rams tickets for Sunday. I don’t know why, but he took that as an insult, leaving in a huff.
I have no pain, except when I move or breathe. Coughing is excruciating. I have a tube in my bladder. I sing “Me and my Piss Bag...” because we shower and sleep together.
But my spirits are good and my prognosis hopeful. Nurse Ratched (wifey Joni) is taking especially good care of me when her busy social schedule allows.
As I lay in bed, attached catheter bag lying on the floor next to me, enter Joey, the boxer. He eyes the saucer-like plastic half full of “fluid” as if I should reach down and fling it. Frustrated, there’s a glint in Joey’s eye, a bark from his throat and a leap toward the bag.
(Dave Weinbaum is a regular contributor of one-liners and commentaries to many regional and national publications and web sites, including the Reader's Digest, National Enquirer and Forbes and is a regular pundit for the www.jewishworldreview.com. Readers can reach Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or his website, www.daveweinbaum.com. Listen to the Dave Weinbaum Radio Talk show on KTTR 99.7 FM and 1490 AM on Friday mornings starting at 9:05.)