Now that I’ve been decatheterized, I can focus on recovery for the two most impactful side effects of a prostatectomy – incontinence and erectile dysfunction. I won’t begin to even discuss E.D. with my urologist for another month. Dealing with incontinence comes first.
This maps well to how I personally rate the two. I find incontinence a thousand times more distressing than E.D. It’s an awkward condition to ask questions of my urologist. Not that there is anything between us anymore. I’m considering making him my kids’ godfather and sharing my bank pin code with him. When I ask what to expect, I get responses in terms of, “well 75% of men are 100% recovered by 3 months and 90% of men fully recover by 12 months.” And I’m advised to wear pads. This is good to know but not the level of detail that satisfies me.
As for the causes, my urologist generalizes that the entire urinary ecosystem has been severely traumatized, leading to leakage. My radiologist told me my bladder would have spasms for perhaps a couple of days, causing leakage. I would like to know the exact cause. My bladder having spasms. The elasticity of my urethra recovering from the catheter. Muscle control. I imagine my urologist has the bases covered because the answer could be any or all of the above.
I could have used more detail on the need for protection too. Pads? Diapers? My urologist suggested I would be fine with a single pad for the full day so I didn’t bother buying diapers. He was right and that was an easy call because I couldn’t bring myself to take a box of men’s diapers to the checkout line. But not having a better idea of what constitutes leakage made this questionable. While I read nothing that implied this would be needed, I went as far as to dress my bed with a waterproof mattress pad. That was dispiriting too but I couldn’t take the risk of soiling my mattress. This might have been smart preparedness for the seven nights I slept at home with a catheter. I removed the waterproof mattress pad today.
Turns out, I don’t need the pads either. Three days ago when my catheter was removed, I leaked a couple of drops the first time I coughed, and the first time I sneezed, and with my first flatulence. Apparently I have an autonomic bladder and sphincter because I haven’t leaked a drop since. It may be too early to call, but I feel like I have this issue under control. Anyone need a box of fifty Depend Men’s Shields? To be fair, this actually does not make me all that exceptional. If you read this incontinence link, most men do not have ongoing issues with urinary function.
I intend to keep my physical therapy appointment, but it’s nearly a month out in May. If I were to need help, I would think I’d need it now. I’m keeping the appointment mostly because I figure I’ll be able to discuss remedies for E.D. I don’t even care to turn my attention to erections this early. One of my remaining areas of extant pain is my penis. And anything near it. I feel as if 500 boots have stomped across my johnson. Fairly certain this throbbing pain is due to the catheter. It’s a huge distraction. I stopped taking the prescription-strength AZO but am considering taking them again because they numb the penis quite effectively. I’m sure this will subside soon. Hopefully before I return to work so I can think straight.