Well, it’s now November, two weeks before Thanksgiving. It’s been roughly two years since this entire process started rolling.
I had my prostate removed during the last week in August. Two months and two weeks have passed. In my last post, (Post Prostate Removal), I said that the Foley catheter was removed on Day Nine post-op and my return to driving occurred just four days later. Which is all true.
However, allow me to pick up from there.
The pain had not really stopped. The prescribed narcotics were still in my system. Only when the narcotics had fully worn off, did my true state display itself.
Man, oh man, what a sad state it was. The pain returned, big time. It seemed determined to recapture all of the time masked by the narcotics. I would be sitting in the recliner, relaxed, and doing absolutely nothing. Then, out of nowhere, the lower abdominal muscles would cramp up. I don’t mean the kind of cramping when you defecate. I mean CRAMPING! Like an out-of-this-world charley-horse contraction—tall, wide, and deep! It was like a band of concrete, rock-solid to my pressing fingers, which seemed to help alleviate some of the hurt. (Very little, actually.) On the other hand, try to imagine a band of hard, rolled steel right below the lower belly skin. That’s how tight the muscles felt.
This tight-fisted kink would last for fifteen to twenty minutes. All I could do would be to grab the area in both hands and press against it. If I was standing, all I could do was stay standing. The same for sitting. Forget about walking—all motion stopped! Sweat would break out on my forehead. I did my best to keep breathing—small, shallow breaths was all I could manage.
Being male, I tried to man my way through it. You know: Stand Tall! Man Up! Power Your Way Through All Adversity!
After that first episode, I went looking for drugs.
Surgeon had said to use over-the-counter meds for any follow-on pain management. Okay, I found some Alleve in the medicine cabinet. The information on the bottle said to take one pill/caplet/capsule every twelve hours for proper pain control. Good, I popped a pill. After allowing for plenty of time for it to dissolve—about thirty minutes—I experienced another episode just as painful as before. I took another pill.
I soon worked my way up to three of the things every four hours. That dosage lasted for the next seven weeks. I know, I know, that’s a very large amount, yet it was the only way I found to control the pain and function normally. I went back to work four weeks after the surgery and kept up the regimen for another three weeks. Had to, there was no other way to do it. Even then, sometimes the pain would still power through the meds. Quite often, I found myself clenching my abdomen, pills or no pills, with sweat pouring from my forehead, scalp, and neck. It was exhausting.
Ladies, if this is anything like giving birth, I salute you!
Eventually though, I did notice a day when I did not have an attack. Curious, I backed off to two pills every four hours the next day. Then to one pill every four hours the following day. I went to one pill every six hours and then to the package insert recommendation of one pill every twelve hours. Amazing! One week before Halloween, I was pain and pill free! As I write this, another two weeks have passed with no reoccurrences.
About two weeks ago, I had another KUB (kidney/urethra/bladder) X-ray to check on the status of the shattered kidney stone fragments still residing inside my left kidney. Nothing new here, as the pieces are right where they were since last time. My Urinary doctor was satisfied with this. Since I was in no pain at all, no vomiting, no nausea, no sharp and hard spasms; the fragments could stay where they were. That fact that I had no pain at all was amazing to him. Here it was, near the end of October, and he and Surgeon had fully expected the muscle pain to last until the end of November.
Before the prostate surgery, I remember viewing a YouTube website where some guy was bragging about the lack of pain from the same robotic laparoscopic procedure I’d had. He claimed he was three days post-op and in no pain at all! Of course, the character failed to mention that the narcotic painkillers had not worn off!
Final Result: Pain and pill free! Prostate gland and its internal cancerous growth removed. Bladder tumors appear under control. I will find out more after the next Cystoscopy exam in January 2015.