It's been over a month since my last post, partly because I've been so tired all the time. I finally went back to work on June 29, six weeks after my surgery. For the first week I worked half days, because I was getting exhausted midway through. It took another week for my stamina to allow me to put in a full day, but I had little energy left over. I don't know if it's because the surgery takes so much out of you that it takes that long to recover from it, but that's what some people tell me. Anyway, I found myself not sleeping well, which I attributed to the discomfort from wearing the overnight diaper and getting up at least once a night to urinate. My surgeon's office sent me a prescription for Ambien, and that helped me get to sleep, but I still have trouble getting a restful sleep. But little by little my continence has improved to where I'm at a pad-and-a-half per day. I'm not where I thought I would be after two months, and I guess I'm just impatient, because others I've talked to said it takes more like three or four months for the continence to normalize, which means I'm more in line with whatever "average" recovery time is. I keep telling myself everyone is different and we all heal according to our own schedules.
As to potency, I feel a little sensation every once in a while, and I know that will take more time to recover. By the way, I had a conversation with my health insurance case manager about Viagra not being covered by my plan. I told her the guys in my local support group were saying that it should be because it's not being prescribed for recreational purposes but for post-surgical recovery to keep the blood flowing to the cells so that they don't get damaged. She said I'm the second person to raise the issue, and now that "more than one person" has asked about it, she can refer the issue to her medical director for a decision. She said the only time they allow it is when it is used for the purpose it was originally developed for. I said I ought to be able to make the case that this is the same situation, at least for the first year post surgery. I'll let you know what comes of it.
Finally I want to report the good news of the day. My post-surgery blood was drawn July 6, in advance of a July 13 office visit with my surgeon -- which his office had to postpone for three weeks, meaning I met with him today, August 3. He said the lab report has my PSA level as <0.1 or "undetectable" which means I am now an official member of the Zero Club! WOO-HOO! I also spoke to the surgeon about my low energy levels, and he asked me if I had things on my mind that were keeping me from getting a good night's sleep. I suppose it could be from subconsciously worrying about my first PSA results, so hopefully that means my stamina will start to get better. He suggested a Vitamin B complex but was not concerned. He said my continence progress is normal. I mentioned the potency status, and he said enough time has passed that now I can attempt something meaningful, and he told me to take a full (100 mg) dose of Viagra (chewed not swallowed) and see what happens. My daughter is going to a sleepover this Friday night, and my wife had already planned a date night, so if nothing else it's good timing for a test run.
I want to once again thank everyone on the forum for their support. I've become a real pain in the butt at work, making sure that all the men over 50 know what their PSAs are. That's my new crusade. Life is good.
PSA history: 2.9 (Oct 04), 3.7 (Dec 05), 2.79 (Nov 07), 4.54 (Jan 09), 4.9 (Feb 09)
05/18/2009 - Robot-assisted (daVinci) laparoscopic radical prostatectomy by Michael Esposito, M.D. and Vincent Lanteri, M.D. http://www.roboticurology.com/ both nerve bundles spared
Surgical Pathology: Prostate gland 51.8 grams; Gleason score 3+3=6; Pathologic stage T2c, N0, Mx; Left/Right Pelvic lymph nodes clear (no tumor present); No presence of extra-capsular invasion; No margin involvement
05/26/2009 - Catheter and incision staples removed
05/30/2009 - Started Viagra 25mg 3x/week
07/06/2009 - 1st post-surgery PSA <0.1