There was another needle in my left hand that was used to draw blood. There was also another place on my wrist where they had apparently attempted an IV stick during surgery. They had apparently missed and there was a small amount of bruising on my arm that faded over the next couple of weeks.
For pain, there was a pump that would administer pain medication every time I pushed the button but not to exceed a certain amount. If I did not push the button, I did not get any pain medication. I quickly learned that I needed to push it about every 15 minutes initially. By the third day, I was pushing it much less frequently.
On the third day, my IV “infiltrated,” meaning that the fluids were no longer going into the vein but were going into the surrounding tissue. My arm began to swell. They were going to re-start the IV on the other hand. I questioned whether the IV needed to be re-started. They called the Dr. and got permission to switch me to oral pain killers and therefore not start a new IV.
Also in me when I woke up from surgery was a drain tube to the left of the incision. It had its own small incision, separate from the main incision and there was a bulb attached to it to collect fluids from the prostate area. The nurse emptied it two or three times a day. It contained fluid that looked like watery blood and the volume emptied by the nurse decreased each time she emptied it.
There was also a catheter in me. This is a tube that extends from the end of the penis into the bladder. It was anchored with a swivel pad to the inside of my right thigh (to prevent any undue stresses on the tube in case some one trips over it or it gets caught on something.)
From there it goes to a collection bag which must be emptied periodically. Initially, the urine output was somewhat bloody and sometimes contained clots. After a couple of days, it was less bloody and by the third day, it looked mostly like normal urine although maybe darker than usual. More about the catheter later.
The surgical incision, itself, ran from just left of my belly button to about 2 inches above the top of my penis. It was closed with staples and covered with layers of gauze. It was taped in such a way as to bind it together to reduce movement.
My testicles and penis appeared bruised after the surgery but the Dr. mentioned that it was caused by bleeding during the surgery which migrates down to lower points. As such, I never had a bruised feeling, only a bruised look.
The hospital bed was adjustable, head up or down and feet up or down. It felt good to me to sit up about half way. The surface of the bed had inflatable pockets that would puff up every time I moved to provide support to all parts of the body evenly. I assume this was to prevent clots from forming.
Next, I will describe the progression of how I felt. Upon first becoming aware of being out of surgery, I was not really in any pain and did not feel “badly” in the sense you might expect. I guess I was more or less in a state of shock. As I began to recover over the next 24 hours, I became more aware of specific parts of my body and how they felt. The stockings were uncomfortable. They squeezed and made my legs hot. (Still better than getting clots and stroking out.) The catheter itched and burned a little. The IV site was a little tender. I started to become nauseated two or three times but each time they administered anti-nausea medication that stopped it right away.
Also, the first night, I was somewhat restless. About midnight, they hooked up a pair of oxygen tubes in my nose and it seemed to calm me down a lot. Every 4 hours, they would come in and check vitals. This included blood pressure, oxygen saturation (measured by putting a clip on the end of my finger) and temperature. My blood pressure moved around a lot while in the hospital.
Sometimes it was up and sometimes it was down but never far enough from normal to be cause for concern. My oxygen saturation was also normal every time. 99% or 98% is good and I think mine was mostly in that range. My temperature was elevated (between 99 and 100) almost the whole time and it went above 100 on the second day. They administered Tylenol to bring it back down. My temperature continued to be between 99 and 100 for about a week after the surgery.