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Something to be Thankful For


Something to be Thankful For


As I feel I have a debt of gratitude to all of you for sharing so much, I thought I should, in the spirit of what Thunder’s is all about, post what I experienced earlier this year. If one of you can benefit by my experience that, in retrospect, could have been a total unmitigated disaster to me and my family, then this will have been most useful. Also, if it is long, then I apologize in advance. I will break the entire post into a series of shorter messages so as not to lose too much in case NeverLink (err, SuddenLink) disappears.

Background - I had been experiencing nocturia, partial voiding, and sudden urges to go off and on for the past few years. I experimented with various botanicals, supplements, even prostate massage and the symptoms would go away. Kind of an ebb and flow effect.

February 8, 2006 - I had been working on my building project. Lots of intense, manual labor in finishing the steel frame, siding, and roof. Having felt just terrific during most of the project I was a bit concerned starting towards the end of January that I might have a bug or something. Just kind of a malaise or just felt a bit off. Then the evening of Feb 7th I awoke in the early morning hours with a pain in my back - just a dull ache and I thought maybe a muscle spasm or something. It slowly got worse during the day. Finally, when I went to get the mail walking out to the mailbox I felt nauseous. So, for sure I had a bug (or so I thought) so I went in and self-administered an enema. Bingo! An immediate drop in the ache so I was able to take a much-needed nap. Couple hours later I awoke and the ache was back - took another enema and Presto - more relief. Two hours later, it was back and an enema and Excedrin didn’t touch it so I started pacing.

Later that evening after my wife came home from her teaching job, she remarked ‘you look like crap’ - ‘that’s totally impossible given all the enemas I took this afternoon,’ I wisecracked. ‘Where does it hurt?’ ‘Back,’ I remarked. ‘Bad?’ ‘Bad enough.’ ‘Get in the car, I’m taking you to the emergency room -NOW!’ ‘Ididn’t argue.’

Then - BPEL 5.9, EG 5.2 - Now: BPEL 7.2, EG 5.6 Listen woman, "Don't bitch at me for burning the candle at both ends - just get me some more wax!"

At the ER:

I was fortunate enough to have a male nurse on the AM shift that really new his stuff and was just as kind as could be. When vitals showed BP 230/130 (and rising) I was mildly sedated and whisked off to radiology for a CAT scan. CAT showed enlarged prostate, a full bladder (even though I thought I went just before leaving for the ER) and the right kidney appeared dilated (thus the back pain) but no stones. A bit later when the blood work came back everything was normal except creatine and that was seriously elevated, (400+, 140 is hi normal and mine generally was less than 100) where upon the ER Doc quipped ‘not only do you have urinary retention, you have kidney failure and a prostate the size of New York.’ I felt like strangling the bitch but the male nurse just smiled and said not to pay any attention to her BS. He then numbed my dick (the numbing gel stung like hell) and proceded to insert a Foley catheter to relieve the retention. The ER doc gave me a referral to a urologist and sent me home, piss bag in one hand and a list of catheter instructions in the other. Sleep didn’t come too easy that night.

At the Urologist:

A couple of days later I found myself with my piss bag on the floor along with my pants, my elbows on a table, and this Doc’s finger up my butt and non-too gentle at that as later that afternoon I had blood in the bag. I’m not too pleased. Then he says that because of the size we’re looking at a radical prostatectomy (that’s major abdominal or abominable if you prefer surgery) where you’re cut from belly button to pubic bone so as to get to the gland. ‘What about TURP (that’s transurethral resection of the prostate which is like coring an apple where the offending tissue is excised)?,’ I ask.’Nope - you’re gland is too enlarged - total RP is the only way to go.’

‘BS,’ I thought - I had done a lot of iNet research and reading and knew better. This guy is knife happy. ‘But I thought RP was generally used for advanced Prostate Cancer.’ ‘Well, it is and you just might have that, too.’
‘Oh Really?! - How can you tell having only done a DRE (Digital Rectal Exam)’ ‘Well, we’ll know for sure soon enough after we run biopsies.’ ‘Oh shit! I thought - then asked, ‘Did you palpatate any nodules or hard spots?’ No. Then I asked,’Then why not run a TRUS (trans rectal ultra sound) and see what you get before taking such invasive action?’ ‘No Need. - You’re PSA is above normal (it was 5 which, given the apparent size of the gland is not seriously elevated).’

Well, after a few more questions and obvious irritation and some condecention on the part of this Doctor I zipped up my pants, picked up my piss bag, and left with ‘I think I’ll get a 2cd opinion.’

Looking for that 2cd Opinion:

I have a good friend that is a GP. I called him for a referral to an urologist. He mentioned three that he could recommend. I then called a nurse that worked at one of the local hospitals - she gave me a couple of names. THen I talked to the wife of a very close friend that is a blood testing specialist at one of the major hospitals in our area. She, too, gave me a list. Turns out there was one name that came up on all three lists and that is who I contacted.

To be Continued …

Then - BPEL 5.9, EG 5.2 - Now: BPEL 7.2, EG 5.6 Listen woman, "Don't bitch at me for burning the candle at both ends - just get me some more wax!"

Crikey MrTips, what an absolute nightmare! :faint:

Donate to Thunder's Place and help save the daffodils :spin2: , but remember to add an extra 30 cents every time :leftie:

That 2cd Opinion:

Well, it’s a few days later and it’s deja’vu all over again. Here I am, piss bag and pants on the floor, elbows on the table, and this Doc has his finger up my butt. Again, not too gentle.

‘I’ll bet you’re getting tired of lugging that bag around,’ says the Doc. ‘Yeah.’ ‘Well, here’s a catheter plug and instructions on how to use it.’ ‘Just keep track of your intake of liquids and how much you void over the next few weeks.’ ‘WEEKS?! You mean I have to wear this damn catheter for weeks?’ ‘Yep - we’re going to let your system purge itself and hope your kidneys recover before we do anything too radical.’ Damn - there’s that RADICAL word again. ‘You can go back to normal activities as long as you don’t have any blood in the urine or pain.’ ‘Also, I’m giving you a moderate prescription for Cipro more as a prophylactic so as to prevent any infections since you have a foreign object in your body.’ ‘We’ll take a blood sample today and schedule you back next week for a TRUS.’

‘What about Prostate Cancer?’ I ask. ‘Probably not - you have BPH, but your PSA numbers don’t scream the big C and the DRE doesn’t alarm me either, other than the gland is large.’ ‘We’ll know more after the TRUS.’ ‘What will we do about the enlargement?’ I asked. ‘Too soon to say - we need more tests.’

To be Continued . . .

TRUS time:

The nurse ushers me into this elaborate room that almost looks like a medeival torture chamber. ‘Off with the shoes, pants, and shorts. Here’s a cloth to drape your lower half with. Set on the edge of the examining table and put your feet in the stirrups.’ My eyes are getting BIG! She smiles evily at my wife and says, ‘We women know all about stirrups - it’s so refreshing to see a man in them, don’t you think?’ (I could have strangled the bitch.) My wife just laughed.

So, the doc comes in, ushers my wife out, lubes up my tail pipe, pops what looks like an abbreviated condom on this probe, and proceeds to very methodically insert it where the sun used to not shine. I’m not so sure about that any more.

I hear these ‘mmm’s, hahhhs, that’s interesting, a few grunts (as if he should be the one grunting), followed by a long sigh and a there you go as he eased this thing out.’

After I dressed it was time for the big powwow.

‘Well Doc, what do you think.’ ‘Well, I still don’t think we’re looking at Prostate Cancer but I can’t totally rule it out either.’ ‘What concerns me more right now is that your creatine level is still above 200 which suggests possible kidney damage.’ ‘That damage can be treated by a nephrologist but after we take care of the enlargement.’ ‘By what procedure?’ I asked. ‘Maybe a radical prostatectomy but I’m leaning more towards performing a TURP even if I have to do it in two sessions say a week apart.’ ‘Why 2 sessions?’ ‘Gland may be too large to get in one session because of TURP syndrome, which can be fatal. However, you’re in good enough shape to easily tolerate two successive TURPs if that’s what we decide.’ I had read up on TURPs and TURP syndrome so I knew what the risk was - regular TURP uses a flushing solution of glycine. As the tissue is excised, the glycine solution (which is electrically conductive) flushes the tissue and blood out of the prostate. Prolonged exposure to glycine causes sodium loss from your blood system and that can lead to seizures, even death. ‘I need to think some more about your case - and what our options are for TURP-like procedures. Come back in a week for another blood check. That together with today’s test should give us a better picture on the kidney situation.’

‘Umm Doc - how many TURPs have you performed? - ‘Several Hundreds’ was the reply.

To be Continued . . .

Then - BPEL 5.9, EG 5.2 - Now: BPEL 7.2, EG 5.6 Listen woman, "Don't bitch at me for burning the candle at both ends - just get me some more wax!"

MrTips, I do hope this is going to have a happy ending, or I’m not even going to turn up at the hospital at all and the Doc can poke away at somebody else if he likes, because at this rate it certainly won’t be me :noreally:

I’ll just say I forgot all about it :gulp:

Donate to Thunder's Place and help save the daffodils :spin2: , but remember to add an extra 30 cents every time :leftie:

Blood Tests and More . . .

Well, all during this time from the ER trip on I had increased some of my food supplements, most specifically vitamin C and coenzyme Q10. I had read that CoQ10 could help one’s kidneys so it was worth a shot. Did it help? Not really sure but my creatinine level dropped to 160 by the next week and 140 a couple of weeks after that. By the way, if I mispelled creatinine in earlier posts as creatine (a protein) I really meant creatinine (metabolic byproduct derived from creatine and thus excreted) - sorry for the screwup.

Anyway, the Doc was pleased to see the drop in creatinine and we started to plan the next step - surgery. ‘I recommend we do a TURP using Gyrus saline.’ ‘Saline in your case is much safer and I can stay in and excise as much tissue as necessary without risk of TURP syndrome.’ (Gyrus is the name of the Company that makes this particular resectoscope. It uses an electric arc/loop that both excises the tissue as well as cauterizes the wound which limits blood loss.)

So, I was given instructions on how to schedule the surgery with the hospital of choice and some other things to take care of such as

1) Donating blood autologously (donating blood for your self)

2) Picking the aneathesia

3) Performing preop preparation including more blood work

March 20, 2006 - the big day:

I showed up at the hospital in sweat pants and a sweat shirt - my wife had my small bag that included just the bare necessities for a 2-3 day hospital stay. My procedure was scheduled for 9:30 AM so I went into preop about 8:30 where I swapped my few clothes for the notorious backless, impossible to tie, green hospital gown (Ugh!) My sweet, understanding wife strapped me in as this rag would hardly fit me through the chest. Even though I had PE’d in the past, not to worry about flashing anyone as mini-me was long since turtled into hiding.

Then it was onto a gurney, an IV in the left hand, a mild sedative, and that was followed by the epidural (my choice of anaesthetic) and I was out before my back returned to the gurney bed. I woke up in the recovery room thirsty as hell with mild prickles in my legs as feeling pretty rapidly came back. I was able to raise myself back up into a sitting position (basically a setup) to allow the RR nurse to remove the epidural needle - all in all, totally painless.

Then I was finally ushered into a hospital room and my wife was able to join me. I had the usual foley catheter and my friend the piss bag was back, hanging on the IV stand. In addition, there was a constant flow of flushing solution fed to the catheter so as to purge any residual loose tissue and blood from the prostate. Mine very rapidly changed over the next 24 hours from a medium rose’ to a light pink and then to nearly clear.

The food was great, the nurses were cute as hell, and they were even kind enough to laugh at my jokes. Except for a damn uncomfortable bed, life was good. So much so, I wanted up (and out) but was not allowed by the nurses to walk around until the next morning. But . . . where was the Doc?!

To Be Continued . . .

News - some good - some not so good . . .

‘Hey sweetness, did you know that you have a rather large bruise on your balls?’ asked my wife as we ate breakfast the following morning. ‘No - but I’ll check it out as soon as I can get out of this damn bed.’ ‘Speaking of bruises, I’d like to lay a few on that freakin’ nurse that came in to get a blood sample at 5:30 AM this morning just after I had finally drifted off to sleep (I could have strangled the bitch).’ ‘Just calm yourself,’ says my wife - ‘Just doing her job’ … (Yeah, I’ll do her . . . mutter grumble). So then in walks the Doc.

‘Well, I have some good news and some not so good news,’ says the Doc. ‘OK - give me the bad news first.’ ‘Well, I know from the nurses that you are ready to get out of here but I’m holding you over for another day.’ ‘Why is that?!’ ‘Better to err on the side of caution - I excised tissue out of that gland until my back gave out.’ ‘We don’t want to risk any unnecessary bleeding.’ ‘Good says my wife - the food is great and I/we can use the rest.’

‘So Doc - my wife says I have a big bruise on my balls - why is that?’ He smiled - ‘Well, between the length of your dick and the size of the prostate I couldn’t get the probe up your urethra and into the prostate far enough - so, I made a small incision in the perineum and into the urethra there so as to bypass your cock and give me more room to operate - this will make your life interesting the first time you urinate after the catheter is removed (another smile).’ I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. ‘You not only have a bruise on your balls from the probe, you have a figure 8 bandage around your legs holding a gauze pad over the incision.’

‘So how many stitches?’ asked my wife. ‘None. The urethra is very fast healing and it’s the last place you want any scar tissue. It’ll heal up on its own in a few days.’

And the good news . . .

‘I just talked to my collegue in the lab - no trace of cancer - none - NADA - zip.’ ‘And he stained and examined a small mountain of tissue shavings from you.’ I damn near cried with joy.

‘Oh yeah - you can get up and walk all you want to just be careful - we’ll plan on pulling out the catheter tomorrow morning. If your urine clears, then you can be discharged . . . later.’

To Be Continued . . .

Take a Deep Breath . . .

That’s what the nurse said at about six damn AM again the following morning. She had been fiddling around with the catheter, no doubt removing the balloon that held it in place in the prostate. When she said that I immediately grabbed my cock and gasped not even getting a full breath as she pulled what felt like 10 miles of tubing from out of my cock. ‘Hmmmm - a French 24 - damned big catheter,’ she mumbled. ‘No shit’ is all I could say as I got my wind.

‘So - there’s seven cups lined up in the restroom. You’re to fill every one of them. We’ll check them for quantity and clarity. Don’t piddle just 50 cc in a cup and think you’re in the clear and don’t dump any in the toilet and try and fool us, either’ said the nurse as she walked out carrying the trash including my French 24. (sarcastic/sadistic bitch - I could have strangled her).

So, I got up and went for a walk down past the nurses station and helped myself to a couple cups of coffee followed by a small glass of orange juice.

It didn’t take long . . .

To be Continued . . .

Not Enough Hands -

Well, it didn’t take long and I had to go - bad. Not only that, with that French 24 out of me I had a piss hardon. So there I was in the loo with a cup in one hand, my hospital gown in my teeth, and a rampant dick in the other hand trying not to spill a drop and then I feel a stinging burn in my groin and a warm drissle down my leg. Oh SHIT! (honey - are you OK in there?) F-no, not enough hands. So I cut it off (not an easy thing to do after surgery - thank god for kegels) ripped the freaken ball of now soaked gauze hell out of the way, switched the cup hand to my cock hand, and then used my now free hand to wad up the hem of the freakin gown and then used that plus finger pressure to stop the leak. Fortunately the hardon had receded so I was able to just barely bend the head of my cock over the lip of the cup, single-handedly no less, and fill that cup plus a bit into the second one. Screw the nurse - I was tempted to take the soaked gauze from my incision and add that to the collection but I relented and flushed it down the commode.

I learned really quickly how to cope with the hole in my perineum. Yes, I filled the obligatory 7 cups and the last three were clear so they let me go home late that afternoon. The rest of my post operative experience is quite uneventful. That said, there are several lessons and takeaways from this that I will post tomorrow.

To be Continued . . .

On the Way Out -

Just before checking out the head nurse collared me and the wife. ‘Doc called, and had an emergency so he asked me to debrief you before discharge.’ ‘So, listen up - no heavy lifting of any kind. No straining. Make sure you are regular and, if necessary, take a stool softener. You should take it easy.’ My wife is taking notes (Crap!) ‘And, last but not least . . . NO SEX!’ ‘For how long?’ I ask. ‘Eight weeks.’ (I could have strangled her, as my wife chimes in with a chilly ‘No Problem.’) I’m thinking, ‘Eight damn weeks - hell - I’ve had a catheter (think French 24) up my willy since Feb 8th and this old bird is hitting me with 8 more weeks in solitary - UGH!

The nurse sees that I am less than receptive so she continues with the wife. ‘You make him behave - we don’t want all that good work of the Doc’s screwed up.’ Lecture over, we left for home.

On the drive home I’m thinking about all of the possible side effects I’ve read about and the ones the Doc mentioned early on that are associated with TURP prostate surgery - these include but are not limited to:

1) Incontinance - due to damage to the sphincter, you cannot control your bladder. Hell, to top that I’ve got another pee hole to deal with.

2) Spasms - due to damage and inflammation the lower bladder spasms and you cannot control the urge and/or you get a cramping and burning sensation as you void.

3) Erectile dysfunction - The nerves that control sexual urge and function are wrapped in bundles on and near the surface of the prostate. Some of these nerves penetrate into the prostate. These nerves can suffer trauma during the operation. ED, if it occurs, generally clears over time in most cases.

4) Impotentcy - Most men are permanently impotent after a TURP because of retrograde ejaculation. That is where the fluids from the seminal vesicals travel backward into the bladder rather than forward through the penis. The reason is that the valves that control ejaculation are damaged during the operation. The Doc said that most men get used to the feeling of the ejaculate going the wrong way and would, in time, come to regard it as no big deal. So, there goes my career as a porn star - sighhhhhh.

5) Performance Anxiety - If you let it, your head can really screw you up. There are lots of things to worry about and not being able to get it up, keep it up, and give your partner the primo treatment you are famous for is one of those reasons. It can take as much as a year to fully recover physically let alone tote mental baggage on into the future.

To be Continued . . .

The First Week at Home -

It’s funny how your mind homes in on an issue. Normally you get the urge and you go. You don’t think much about it. Trust me, if you have a new pee hole, YOU THINK ABOUT IT! A lot. In my case I only had to think about it for a day because within 24 hrs of getting home the incision in the urethra sealed and, soon after, the perineum healed. It took a few days for the bruising on the scrotum to disappear.

The most startling and pleasing aspect was FLOW! Gosh, I could void 250 ml in less than 10 seconds, generally like 7 seconds. I hadn’t voided like that since I can’t remember. Foam, Baby! Lots of foam - foam is good.

Pain - none.

Spasms - none.

Nocturia - gone. I might get up once during the night for the bathroom but that would be it.

Sleep - much better.

Dribbling - a little. I had purchased a box of jockey shorts liners the day after the ER visit so I used them for a couple of days - that was it. Those liners are handy to have.

Blood in the Urine - very little. A few drops at the end of a voiding session is pretty common. This too cleared in about a week.

Morning Erections - fierce! - Let’s see 8 wks x 7 is 56 days . . . get my trusty calendar here and my Sharpy pen (damn - where’s my Sharpy - gotta mark days off this freakin calendar!).

To be Continued . . .

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