About eleven weeks ago I had a Laser Ablation procedure. After years of sparring with my prostate, only to see it up the ante, I consented to a procedure to reduce it in size. Doing so would abate some of the growth in size, and hopefully reduce the elevated PSA (Prostate-specific antigen) amount produced by the this dastardly gland.
As I noted in a previous blog, my doctor spent more than twice the normal surgical time carving out my prostate, like a Halloween pumpkin. The result led me to a night in the ER and a hospital stay. Other complications arose during the next month.
I was beginning to wonder whether it might have been easier to live with the angry prostate.
Gradually, the post-surgery issues lessened as did the impending fear of urinating. As we age, and our body begins to resemble a used car, we accept the squeaks and rattles, and occasional misfires. Urinating was such a discomforting event that I reduced my liquid intake to reduce the trips to the bathroom. As the healing continued, I did not experience a corresponding reduction in discomfort. Every couple of weeks, the body shed a noticeable piece of tissue. After the first time, I recognized the sensation as it worked its way through my urinary tract. Thankfully, it did not have the texture of a kidney stone, which often brings a grown man to whimpering like a baby. Still, as it moved along the slow path (several days in duration), it was quite noticeable.
After the first month of healing, any pain was replaced by mid-grade discomfort. This discomfort came and went, but it was certainly better than the immediate post-surgery tenderness. By the end of the eighth week, I began to accept that I might always have a bit of discomfort and was preparing myself for that situation. I also noticed improved urination flow and being able to empty my bladder, two conditions that were problematic by the size of the prostate prior to surgery. I was using two medications for this. After surgery I still took one medication to assist with the bladder, but cut back on it to encourage my system from depending on it. Within the first month following surgery, I visited the doctor’s office several times as the healing process seemed to be going sideways instead of forward. Since then, I had not been back, only needing a refill of the one medication I occasionally used.
By the tenth week, I barely noticed any discomfort, in fact, I did not even think about it. I was reminded of needing a blood draw for the PSA score. The doctor posted my score for me prior to my upcoming appointment but I did not look. Whatever the score, I would deal with it.
My appointment started badly, I completely screwed up the time, arriving an hour early. Crap. The receptionist told me to wait, they would work me in, which they did. After providing a sample, and having my bladder measured by sonar, I waited for the doctor.
She immediately said the score was great, which gave me great relief. Whereas it had climbed to consistency around 10, this time is was 2.6, which was a score I had not seen in almost fifteen years. What a relief. It is a very good score, particularly for someone with so much rust and dented fenders.
What I have now is hopefully a peaceful co-existence with my prostate. It was angry and I knew it. It caused me discomfort and lifestyle issues. I thought I might not ever be able to travel, or I might have to start wearing something under my clothes. Ain’t that grand? Now, I was getting angry.
Thankfully, I’m nearly normal, the prostate is content. Not bad for an old used car.