Those those know me may be aware that over the last few years my waterworks have been giving me problems. I've had Benign Prostastic Hypoplasia - non-cancerous swelling of the prostate gland for about 5 years now which has been managed reasonably effectively with prescription drugs. BHP causes all kinds of strange perceptions leading to dribbling, pain before, during and after passing urine, wanting to go (desperately) and not being able, and a frequent need to urinate. This in turn leads to sleepnessness and general fatigue. I imagine it might also lead to quite a lot of depression, but as a PTSD survivor I'm kinda used to living with depression fairly constantly.
Then, some while ago, I noticed that my urine constantly smelt awful, and it stung like buggery quite often. This did not get successfully treated for some time as my GP assumed it was another BPH symptom. Urine tests showed that I was passing white blood cells but the infection was not bacterial, and so antibiotics did nothing for it.
On Christmas Eve, 2012 I was horrified to see what looked like globs of red blood in my urine. Over the next couple of days the discharge of darker coloured material rapidly diminished, but needless to say I got an emergency appointment with my doctor's surgery as soon as they reopened after the Christmas break, which finally led to me being referred to our local hospital for further tests.
A CT scan had identified anomolies on my right kidney and ureter. The attempt to investigate these via flexible cystoscopy was apparently hampered due to the amount of debris in the urine; and so on Thurs 11 July I was due back into Lister Hospital to undergo a Rigid Endoscopy under general anaesthetic.
I had been experiencing severe discomfort and constant backache just prior to going in, and my urine test on the day identified a bacterial infection. The original plan was to try to image the anomoly in the ureter, possibly working through the suspected blockage and on into the kidney itself. There was also talk of installing a stent to bypass the ureter if the blockage could not be cleared.
On the day, I arrived at the Lister at 7am, and was taken down to theatre around 8.15.
A cheery anaesthetist talked me through the process, then gave me a first injection. 'You probably won't feel much from this one' he said. And I didn't. 'This next one, you may start to feel a warmth spreading up your arm' - and in went the second shot.
I heard a disembodied voice say 'Hello Mr. Cropton, you're in Lister Hospital, your operation went smoothly. We'll take you up to a ward shortly. Would you like a drink of water?'. I swear I have no recollection of anything that happened within about 30 seconds of the 2nd injection going in. Apparently, a couple of hours had passed. I became conscious fairly quickly, and was soon wheeled up to the ward.
I distinctly remember thinking, wow that wasnt so bad............