Sixteen days after my surgery, things seemed to be going well. Until a rapidly increasing fever set in.
When I called the urologist, he ordered me back to the hospital as soon as I could get there. That was going to be tricky, because that day, a winter storm was approaching. I couldn’t drive yet, and my boss lived not far from the hospital, so I called him just as the company decided to shut down the plant and send people home ahead of the storm. He happily gave me a ride to the Emergency Room.
I was re-admitted to the hospital and was subjected to a battery of tests to determine what was going on. In a nutshell, lymph fluid was building up around my bladder and had become infected. I was started on a course of intravenous antibiotics, and two drains were inserted into my groin to drain the fluid.
I remained in the hospital for five nights–three nights longer than for my original surgery–before the antibiotics kicked in and got the infection and fever under control. I was sent home with the drainage tubes still sticking out of my groin. Each had a lemon-sized rubber reservoir that the fluid drained into, and I had to measure and record the fluid output.
The urologist was wanting to see the fluid output below a certain level before making the decision to remove the drainage tubes. It took two weeks before one tube could be removed, and an additional week after that before the second tube could be removed. Frustratingly, I had had a catheter or tube coming out of my body for 33 of 38 days after the surgery. It sucked.
The surgeon said that this was a very rare occurrence; I guess I was just the “lucky” one that had to have it happen to him.
Needless to say, the whole experience slowed my recovery, but I don’t think there were any lasting effects as a result.