Eight days ago I skied the American Birkebeiner ... 33.5 miles of kicking and gliding through the forests of northwestern Wisconsin ... now I'm resting after my enlarged prostate surgery which took place two days ago. My procedure used laser technology, and did not require an incision. You may read my earlier posts that describe my learning to deal with the events leading up to this surgery, including a trip by ambulance to the emergency room (part 1 | part 2). However, now my focus is on recovery. I have questions in my mind which any man might have:
- How much pain will I experience?
- Will my life return to normal ... hopefully a better normal?
- How long will it be before I am able to take long distance skis and bike tours?
Given my "Green Laser Surgery" also included actual cutting with a microscopic knife which is attached to the laser equipment, my body experienced more stress than might be typical from this procedure. Thus, my doctor decided to have me stay in the hospital overnight. While everyone's surgery will be different, here are my recollections of the event:
- Once they gave me a sedative, I did not even remember leaving the pre-op room to receive anesthesia.
- Apparently I did talk with my doctor in post-op. I have zero recollection of any conversation.
- I vaguely remember feeling a extremely strong burning pain in my urinary tract while waking up in post op, and asking for additional pain medication. My next memory was being in the secondary post op room (i.e. the location where you continue to recover, and family may now visit you)
- I actually gained 6 pounds in the hospital ... all fluid. During my overnight stay I was hooked up and receiving intravenous fluids. This pumped the fluid level up in my body, and allowed the hospital staff to monitor how my new plumbing was working. Basically before I left the hospital the staff wanted to insure I had minimal bleeding, and was able to urinate on my own (i.e. catheter removed).
Basically, I lost 4 hours of my life. About 5 to 10 minutes after waking up in the second post-op room (not in the immediate post-op), my wife was allowed in to visit me. In the days and weeks ahead I will blog about how fast I recover and am able to start serious physical training, both cross-country skiing (if any snow is left) and long distance bicycling. Right now I feel amazingly strong all things considered. I am taking some Tylenol for the pain, and have a burning sensation when I pass urine. Yesterday (post op day 1), the pain was more severe and accompanied by some mild nausea, but even this discomfort ended within ten minutes of going to the bathroom. This morning, the burning pain upon urination is much less severe. Pain of this nature is to be expected. Urine is acidic, and my urinary tract is inflamed right now.
Overall given how I feel, I am very optimistic about the recovery process. My doctor does not want me doing to much ... I would like to ski soon! We'll see. However, I very much want to thank my urologist and surgeon, Dr. Dean Tortorelis. He gave me permission to include his name in this post. Throughout this procedure Dr. Tororelis has been fantastic in terms of his medical ability, but also insuring both my wife and I knew the benefits, possible risks and complications of Green Laser Surgery.
In closing, here is a photo taken by my wife prior to my going into surgery. I originally said no to the "photo op", but given my daughter had texted my wife Molly and asked for a photo so she could see her Dad ... how could I say "no" to Karen!
Posts in this series:
- Postate Problems and Nordic Skiing (trip by ambulance to the emergency room)
- Prostate Problems and Nordic Ski Racing: Part 2 (competing with a catheter)
- Post Op: 2 Days After Surgery (this post)
- Post Op: 1 Week Later - Nordic Skiing! (amazing recovery)
- Post Op: 4 Weeks Later - Cycling