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User
Posted 24 Feb 2016 at 05:15
Hello

I am considering my options for recently diagnosed locally confined cancer. I am leaning towards a removal option however I live on my own and I am particularly concerned about going home after hospital to an empty house and how I would cope. Anybody else been there and could offer some advise or experience.

Thanks
User
Posted 24 Feb 2016 at 11:36

Hi Ian,

Have you spoken to the hospital about this?
I'm not sure if they have any rules or guidelines in place for returning home after prostate surgery.

If it's any help, although I have a wife at home, I managed to deal with my catheter during the day and at night on my own, also personal care was not too much of a problem either.

I slept on my own in a spare bedroom for quite some time before and after my catheter was removed.... we have dogs ( big awkward oneshttp://community.prostatecanceruk.org/editors/tiny_mce/plugins/emoticons/img/smiley-smile.gif ) so I didn't want them charging in and jumping up on me!

Having said all that, I had the reassurance of knowing that if I did have a problem or needed help my wife would be there to assist....which is a bit different than being completely alone.

Luther


PS.... forgot to add .....the advice is no lifting anything heavier than a kettle for around 6 weeks so you need to consider that also...

Edited by member 24 Feb 2016 at 11:40  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 24 Feb 2016 at 11:51

A number of care homes have the facility for short-stay patients and are geared up for it.


My sister who lives alone, stayed in one for two weeks  after a hip-replacement and found it was beneficial because of her impaired mobility. Care homes come in all varieties and budgets.


It might be worth investigation whether some/any are funded as part of the treatment.


However, I found returning home wasn't a problem after my prostate op. A taxi home was necessary as my wife doesn't drive. Exercise walking with the catheter in place was a bit strange at first but easily mastered.


If I remember correctly I was able to drive myself back to hospital for the catheter  removal.


I never really became at easy with the anti coagulation syrettes being self administered but that was probably just me, in the event they were no problem.


Best wishes


Dave


 


 

Not "Why Me?" but "Why Not Me"?
User
Posted 24 Feb 2016 at 19:43

Hi Ian apart from fetching me out of hospital my oh left me to it saying that recovery would be quicker if i did everything myself.I did manage and probably did me good so apart from transport and food supplies I did ok all the best Andy

User
Posted 24 Feb 2016 at 20:09

Hi Ian,


Yes, it is "doable", and although my wife was with me, if I was single I still would have gone the surgery route. All comes down to preparation.


First thing is to make sure you're fit to leave hospital, try and get an extra night on the ward if you feel you need it.


Second thing is to make sure the discharge nurse gives you a bag of goodies: spare catheter bag, an overnight catheter bag (2 ltr), spare catheter straps, pads, pain killers, discharge notes, clexane syringes


Regards travelling, if you can get a taxi from the hospital straight to home, take it. You may need to plan in a "catheter emptying break" depending on how long it takes you to get home. My journey took nearly 2 hours (taxi and train) and I didn't need to empty it.


At home, I would suggest you go for simple, easy to prepare (and digest) food - buy two weeks worth beforehand.


With regards managing the catheter, I'd recommend a bucket to put the catheter bag in at night (in case you leave the tap open) and go to bed "empty". I didn't need to get up in the night to empty it but set an alarm if you feel you'd need to. Of course, it goes without saying not to drink any tea / coffee in the time leading up to bedtime.


Showering is manageable too. Remember to empty the catheter before you shower, and remove the straps. If you forget, this is where the spares come in. You're soon get into the routine. Baggy trousers are the order of the day.


Main thing is to take it easy - so stock up on books, DVDs etc. beforehand.


If you're given Clexane syringes, these are pretty easy to do as well. You'll be shown how and where to do them before you're discharged from hospital.


If you have friends and family close to you, I would invite them round. I'm sure they'd be pleased to see you and happy to do the odd job.


Best wishes


Flexi


 

User
Posted 24 Feb 2016 at 21:17
Originally Posted by: Online Community Member


If I remember correctly I was able to drive myself back to hospital for the catheter removal.

Dave



Not that we would encourage this, of course, as it would probably invalidate the insurance :-0

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
User
Posted 24 Feb 2016 at 21:29

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
If I remember correctly I was able to drive myself back to hospital for the catheter removal. Dave
Not that we would encourage this, of course, as it would probably invalidate the insurance :-0


You are right, of course, Lyn -  I wouldn't have gone against requirements. I think it was a month that I wasn't to drive for - it seems a long time ago now (2012 http://community.prostatecanceruk.org/editors/tiny_mce/plugins/emoticons/img/smiley-undecided.gif)


Thinking about it, I do recall going in by taxi as I've just remembered booking, and waiting for it to come  from the 'hospital end' rather than the local firm- the only time I've done that.


 


Dave

Not "Why Me?" but "Why Not Me"?
User
Posted 24 Feb 2016 at 23:46

I was teasing but it is a serious consideration for Ian, perhaps. My husband has a company car and the insurance company refused to cover him until 12 weeks post op unless he had a letter from the surgeon confirming he was fit to drive. As the surgeon wasn't prepared to put it in writing (he said he had no idea whether John was a good driver normally!) it took until about week 11 to persuade the GP to write instead.

Many car insurers will only cover you if there is confirmation that you can do an emergency stop safely which for many men is 6 weeks post keyhole surgery and 10 - 12 weeks post open surgery.

That's the other thing Ian - going home and coping alone might be more difficult if you have open surgery - most of the guys that have responded above had keyhole I think. Which type are you having?

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
 
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