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I am an active 65 year old who works out regularly. I’ve been on this site commenting sparingly but reading voraciously. I came here to try to gain some insight into what I have been experiencing. I hope my story can help alleviate some concerns of others who are going through the trials of healing.
For the previous 8 years or so I had been getting up 3-4 times per night. I wrote that off to aging and drinking beer regularly. But in January 2017, my trips to the bathroom started to rise in the 6-7 times per night. I was now experiencing tremendous difficulty maintaining any kind of stream when urinating. It was typically some short streams followed by intermittent drips and spurts.
I went to the urologist who put me on Flomax which really only provided a modest improvement. After several months, I had had enough and went through a urodynamics test during which the nurse had difficulty getting a catheter into my bladder. I was only able to void about 90 ml of urine before the test and my Post Void Residual (PVR) was 450 ml. Also by this time, if I sat on any hard surface, it felt like I was sitting on a warm golf ball. I decided it was time for surgery and I had my TURP surgery on August 16, 2017.
On the day of my surgery, I voided as best I could but they still removed 450 ml from my bladder in the operating room. My prostate was quite large weighing in at 100 g. The doctor removed ~70% of the prostate and told me my bladder was all stretched out and floppy. The actual surgery went well. I stayed overnight in the hospital with a Foley catheter. They ran a saline solution through my bladder all night and the results were promising. I had essentially no pain and very little blood was coming into the catheter bag. The next morning the Dr. saw the results and said I could be discharged with the Foley catheter immediately and come back in four days to have it removed or I could take the catheter out and produce two specimens over the next few hours showing a decrease in blood in the urine. I opted for taking the Foley out and then spent the next 4 hours trying to produce a sample.
By noon, I had only produced two drops of bright red blood and was beginning to pace. I managed to produce a couple of tea spoons of red urine when he arrived and the bladder scan showed about 250 ml. So he said he’d be back at 5:00pm. I tried desperately to pee but couldn’t. By 3:00 I was in such pain from my distended bladder that I couldn’t sit or lie. I was barely able to complete a thought the pain in my bladder was so intense. We got the nurse to put the Foley catheter in removing 1000 ml of urine. I thought I had gone to heaven. The release was orgasmic. With the Foley catheter in, I was discharged.
Over the next few days, I got the best sleep I had in the past 10 years. I had the Foley catheter removed four days later. Peeing was very difficult the rest of the day. At best, it was short streams and a few spurts. Totally unsatisfying. I went in the following day and the doctor saw I was retaining urine in my bladder. They taught me to self catheterize and they also took a urine specimen as I complained of having night sweats. It turned out I had an infection. They prescribed the antibiotic, Cipro. I took that for three days but was getting worse - not better. By the fourth day, they found out I had a staph infection and switched me to Keflex. However, the Cipro was in my system and I was allergic to it. By that night, I was breaking out in hives. I went to the ER where they gave me steroids, benadryl, and pepcid. After a couple of hours, I calmed down and went home. I was anxious to self catheterize as I was overdue by three hours. Try as I might (4 times), I couldn’t get a catheter in. Bladder pressure was mounting fast. Back to the ER. The first nurse couldn’t get the Foley catheter in either. He tried for 30 minutes. By this time, I’m hitting the side rails of the gurney with my hand just to distract me from the pain in my bladder. They eventually found a coude Foley catheter that worked. Twelve hundred ml’s later, I reached nirvana again. I went home with another Foley catheter in for the next week. I drained anywhere from 1500ml to 1800ml every night over an 8 hour period.
I had the catheter removed, the antibiotics had reduced the inflammation in the prostate and urethra, and I was able to pee better. However, now I was leaking like a sieve. Urine just continued to leak out of me. It’s like I had a catheter but no bag. I had no choice but to wear Depends around the clock. The days turned into weeks but I wasn’t seeing any improvement. I would get up from a chair and Woosh! Cough and Woosh! Laugh and Woosh! - a significant stream of urine shoots out that I didn’t even know was happening until I felt it’s warmth. I was growing despondent thinking that somehow my surgery didn’t work; I feared I was going to have to be on a self catheter program for the rest of my life.
The doctor saw my frustration and prescribed imipramine which helps dry up your system. After 10 days on imipramine, I started to notice that when I awoke, I only had a couple of minor drips in the Depends. For the first time, I was encouraged. I was still having trouble during the day with sudden releases but the nights were getting better. Within just a few days, I wasn’t leaking anymore. I still get up from 2-4 times per night. It has now been 2 months since surgery and I am finally beginning to believe that I will fully recover from this surgery. I’m still getting up 2-4 times per night as my bladder had been “trained” to prompt me to urinate based upon always having a residual. So right now I typically void 250-350ml. I sense that it will improve over the next several months. My Dr. used the analogy of a burn victim. It takes several weeks for a new dermis to cover a burn wound. The same is true when you burn the interior of the prostate. It is already a moist environment so the new surface takes a while to cover the wound.
I’m reading the patient stories here online and it does serve to lift my spirits knowing that my case is not unusual. Many others are worse off and some are better off. The point is that there is a full spectrum of recovery from this surgery from my friend who was totally fine 3 days after surgery never experiencing any problems to guys that have had multiple surgeries and are still struggling.
For the first time, I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there through the dark times. For a few, the surgery is successful right away. God bless them. For most, it’s a series of trials and challenges.
All the best to everyone.
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