Hey all. I haven’t had anything to say. So I haven’t said it. I’m still alive. Defeated and deflated I think you could say. In hospital, you had a major operation only a few hours ago, and had a team of nurses and doctors, sorting everything out. You felt safe, pain free, and in good hands. You get home, and that support is gone. Your family is fantastic in helping look after you, but other than providing for your basic needs, like supplying food and drink, painkillers and helping with dressings and catheters, which is immensely helpful, you end up, ultimately, feeling quite alone. Life carries on. The kids go to school, wifey goes to work.
I was in a fair bit of discomfort when I first came home. I think I could say with a fair bit of certainty, that the uncertainty of what will happen when you arrive home, is certainly the most perplexing part of the operation. It’s all a bit confusing, probably like this opiate driven entry.
All I can do is share my experience and what I plan to do about it. Absolutely everything about the surgery and the after care in Super Hospital was fine, excellent even, apart from one thing. Pain relief. I came home with 10 days of antibiotics, 10 days of Clexane injections (to thin my blood), and 8 Endone tablets. In hospital, I needed a fair bit of analgesia. I’m a bloke, it’s going to be sore. I can manage the pain in the wounds. That’s OK, it hurts, feels like 1000 sit ups were done recently. The pain in the middle is the bad one- The pain in the bladder or ex-prostate. Around and about that area, anyway. Parts got removed, fair enough. It’s going to hurt, but then sewing parts onto bits that were not previously joined together, is going to hurt as well. Then, putting a 30ml balloon and pipe in these raw parts to roll around and irritate said parts, would, in my humble opinion, hurt a little more. I’m 85kg and six foot tall. Personally, I didn’t think that having Endone four times a day, with paracetamol was that much. They seem so worried about getting me addicted, they didn’t want to give me any more to take home, in case it masked anything serious, that they wanted me to go back and see them for. Eh?
So the option is paracetamol regularly with one or two Endone, for breakthrough pain. I’ve got 8 of those. I’ve been taking two four times a day in hospital. I get in on a Friday afternoon, 26 hours after surgery finished. I’m living 40kms from the hospital and with three kids at home. It’s not that easy, just to pop back and see them. I’m not allowed Ibuprofen or anything like that because of the blood thinners. Of course, if I did develop any new symptoms or worsening, I would go back, but having worked in a walk in centre for years, I had seen enough people wait all week for their minor illness to become major, whilst ignoring all health care providers when they were open , to arrive at 7pm on a Friday night, expecting a wonder cure from just us nurses, and our magic wands. It just seems to me that if I’m on Clexane for 10 days post op, then the expectation is that I am going to be laid up somewhat, and not trotting around the block with the dog. By that rationale, if the operation is severe enough to warrant 10 days blood thinning, then, again, it is just my humble opinion, that expecting us blokes to carry on with only paracetamol from 48 hours post surgery is a big ask. After all, being in pain does not offer any benefit to one’s recovery, and if anything, is likely to slow it down, as you become less active… But, hey, that’s just my thoughts on that. Everything else was completely fine.
Taking my health in to my own hands, I became a man with a plan. I phoned the out of hours doctor service, for the first time in my life, and within 2 hours had a long tall Irishman in mine and wifey’s bedroom. A strange trio. Me all sweaty and naked, with just a tiny sheet to cover my manhood, wifey looking pretty hot in the subdued lighting, and the dulcet tones of the Irish Giant gently soothing my displeasure. He was sympathetic to my woes, promptly wrote me up for a big box of Endone, to see me through the next few days. Just having them there has made a massive difference. The box of Endone, not the Celtic three-some. I won’t take them all, but just to know I won’t get stranded in pain is great. Even the pharmacist commented that it was a first to issue prescription for controlled drugs via the out of hours service, so Dr Irish, really went the extra mile. Or could see me for the delicate flower that I must be.
The surgeon came to see me just before I left the hospital, when gorgeous wifey (she has not been celebrating sarcasm month, so earned a moniker upgrade, to just gorgeous wifey) was having a car moving moment. The apartment they stayed in had a car lift, and she was forced to do it on her own. Surely it can’t be worse than a hospital lift? It’s like a super big lift that you drive your car in to, the only difference being it has lots of flashing lights, and target areas to drive on. A bit like driving on to a car ferry or barge in the midst of an acid house party. The worst thing, however, is the fear that shoots through you when you drive on to the bloody thing, and it drops by a few inches as it takes the weight of your 4×4. Poor wifey.
Anyway, the fellow did most of the operation with ED (epic doctor) helping out where required. Fellows are consultants who have passed all the exams, but have not yet started their posts, usually because they want to specialise more or go somewhere different for a bit. The fellow is called Dr Lovely. By me and the nurses. His manner is just so easy and empathetic, whilst being humble, I would even have his baby. If only I wasn’t now sterilised… Anyway, he filled me in on the ins and outs of the op.
First thing he said was that my cancer would have caused me great harm, in 10 years, and that I made the correct decision. He also said that the operation went really well, on the whole. There is good news and not so good news. The not so good news was that the biopsy I had back in June, had caused some prostatitis. Otherwise known as inflammation of the prostate. I didn’t know that, and thanked him for letting me know. He explained that the biopsy sometimes can cause this. Funnily enough, I had been saying to wifey that things had been different in the trouser department, ever since the biopsy, so was actually fairly pleased that there was something there to cause it. The only analogy I can relate it to is a shotgun. Pre biopsy, trigger pulled, both barrels go off. Post biopsy, trigger pulled barrel one goes off, then another quick pull to get barrel two to fire. Same killer result, just a bit different, and kind of good in a way. A multiple orgasm if you like.
Anyway this prostatitis made it a lot harder for them to separate the prostate from the bladder. They had to do a fair bit of stretching, to be able to sew the urethra back on to the bladder. Rather than wanting to just take the catheter out after 11 days, they have decided to do a cystogram first, and then subject to there being no leaks, they will either leave the catheter in or be able to take it out. This is the bit he told me I have to be very careful with. If I picked up the wrong thing, got hung on by a kid, or fell over, I could damage the anastomosis and fuck up my plumbing, requiring more surgery to try and fix the problem.
Now for the good news. The good news is that whilst doing the nerve sparing bit of the surgery, they found an extra nerve and vein. Yes that’s right, I am blessed to have an extra nerve and extra blood flow to my cock, compared to the average man in the street. WooHoo! This means that everything is likely to heal better and with a greater chance of working to the previously high benchmark that I set. Dr Lovely said there is a little bundle of super vascularisation down in there, the likes of which had never been seen before. I have an extra portion. More than normal. A benign mutation like a superhero. Extra-vascular cock man! I had always rather suspected I was pretty special down there, and if she is honest with herself, I suspect wifey was already aware also. Hopefully, it means I will possess supernormal healing speeds and get straight back to the job in hand. So, from early appraisals, it looks like the wee part is going to be the hardest to fix, and the sex part is going to be the easiest. Who’d have thought it? I wouldn’t have it any other way. What’s a golden shower between friends?
Dr Lovely told me to take as long off as I needed. I was told, in my literature, I could go back to work in 3-4 weeks, in an office job, and 5-6 in a more demanding role. Granted, I’m not a miner or builder, or even anything like that, but there’s a fair chance I could have to push a wheelchair, or a bed, or have to assist (and potentially get leaned on/grabbed by) a patient. To be on the safe side, I figured I haven’t had a sick day this year, and recovering from cancer certainly counts as sick, so pencilled in 6 weeks from operation to long service leave starting. I have literature from the ward telling me I can’t drive for 4 weeks. That would make going back in three pretty difficult. The same literature says my continence may take a couple of months to return, so would you go back to work, out of control down below, squirting away like a rogue fire hose, every time you help a old lady up from her seat? It’s all a bit confusing, and that’s why I thought I should cover myself with the long service leave afterwards.
I asked Dr Lovely if I was cured. After all, the cancer was contained in the prostate and the prostate is contained in a jar in the lab. He told me not to run before I could walk. Wait and see. So I wait and see, house bound with my pissy handbag. Mild pain like someone rolled a truck tyre down a hill and I stopped it in it’s tracks with a pelvic thrust. Ouch! Different pain like someone gently rubbing my insides with a hard bristled brush. My balls have gone back to normal, but my cock is simply frightful. Think of an eyeless red bellied black snake choking on a Biro…..