Summer holidays are a big thing here in Sweden. Most people take four weeks off in a block and that includes hospital staff. I had no chance of getting my urethrotomy done before the summer holiday period started and we’d already booked holidays for most of August.
So when I got back from vacation at the end of August there was a letter with an appointment for outpatient surgery in just over a week. Somewhat inconveniently it was going to be at a small hospital (that seems to exist largely for political reasons) about 60 km away, instead of the county’s main hospital that’s a 10 minute bus ride away.
I’d still had almost no information about the procedure, apart from some very generic instructions about not eating or drinking and washing with special disinfectant sponges before the operation.
On the day my husband drove me to the hospital and we sat and waited. I had a quick chat with the surgeon, a nurse and the anaesthetist and got changed into the lovely stockings and nightgown. Then I waited some more.
Eventually I was called into the operating theatre, got myself settled on the table, hooked up to various machines and drips and was discussing the Scottish independence referendum with the surgeon when the anaesthetic took effect.
I woke up in the recovery ward, feeling pretty OK but still a bit confused. My husband was allowed in and the surgeon came in to tell me that the operation had been a success. He said he’d had to cut away 5 cm of stricture, although it later turned out that he hadn’t bothered to record this anywhere.
Once I’d had a sandwich and some (horrible) coffee I was judged fit to go home. They’d put in a foley catheter during the surgery but I didn’t really get much in the way of instructions of supplies for looking after it. I was told to make an appointment with the nurse at my GP to have the catheter removed after a week.