I actually went into surgery with no ID, no credit cards, and no insurance card. The reason is that I dropped by the day before and pre-registered, and took care of all that administrative junk. That sure simplified things the morning of.
I wore loose shorts, tee shirt, socks and tennis shoes, which is also what I wore home. After they started the IV, and wheeled me into surgery, they gave me some kind of gas to breathe, and within seconds of taking a few deep breaths, I was a gone pecawn.
Spent two days in hosp, although I could have come home the next day. I was up and walking the halls the same day as the surgery. Walking was not difficult at all. The somewhat painful part was simply getting in and out of bed. The surgical center where I was had some incredible nurses who really devoted themselves to patient care. I was duly impressed.
The catheter is not painful, but it's aggravating. Make sure you have some triple antibiotic ointment, Q tips, and alcohol wipe pads. I've heard of guys having difficulties with irritation and even infections where the catheter tube exits the penis. I was careful to clean this area with the alcohol pads and apply antibiotic ointment at least twice a day.
Keep a bucket or small trashcan beside your bed to hang the catheter on at night. One thing you will enjoy is the new ability to drink a big glass of your favorite beverage (ice water for me) right before bedtime, and not worry about it.
The two weeks at home dealing with the catheter was the frustrating part for me, but I'm basically sort of the impatient type. We live in the country on several hilly acres so walking was a little more challenging, but we found places to make it happen. For the first week, my wife would go with me every morning. My surgery was July 21, so my recovery period was during the hottest period around here. We took care of the walking around daylight each morning, and even then, I had to shower as soon as I got back home. During the day, I would walk around the house. If you have stairs, walk them. (just be careful) I would go up and down the stairs until I had a noticeable increase in pulserate.
For the first two weeks I didn't go anywhere by vehicle, but I had plenty to do here at home to keep my mind occupied. Reading Dr Walshes book was one thing.
I never experienced any of the scrotal swelling that others have. I did have some bruising that took a week or two to go away, but that's all.
I am also a Gleason 9, but my pathology was all good news. Right now, I'm still trying to determine whether I should begin two years of lupron. I have an appt at MD Anderson in Houston in a week for a consult. Hopefully they can help me make the best decision for my situation. My PSA never got over 3.07, but it appears that my cancer volume is significant.
I ordered Dr. Snuffy Myers book. It just came in yesterday, so I'll be reading it in the next few days. He's a big fan of hormone therapy and diet. We'll see. The diet thing has really impacted my lifestyle, but maybe it needed adjusting a long time ago.
Be careful with the catheter tube. You DON'T want to catch that on a doorknob or anything else. If you have a comfy recliner, that's great. One thing I found was that when I lay back in the recliner, my bladder wouldn't drain well. When I stood up with a full bladder, it would spasm like crazy until it emptied into the catheter bag. Bladder spasms can be quite painful.
Prior to my open RRP, my bowel movements were as regular as clockwork every day, sometimes more than once a day. I'm still regular, but things are different. Sometimes I feel like I need to go, but cannot. (Can't figure that one out.) Give yourself plenty of time in regard to bm's, but be well prepared with stool softeners. You'll need them for months.
Just a couple of significant tips:
Drink, drink, drink. water, juice, and more water.
eat soft stuff the first week or so.
Stay away from foods that have given you gas problems in the past.
Keep some beano handy just in case some nice neighbor lady brings you a pot of butter beans that you can't resist.
Take the stool softener at bedtime.
Take good care of the area where that catheter tube enters your body. It's a lot easier to prevent an infection than to clear one up.
Don't sit on hard chairs. Your rectum will be sore for several weeks.
As soon as can stop the narcotics, do so. I stopped the vicodin after the third day at home, and just used tylenol. That helped the constipation quite a bit too.
Okay, if I think of anything else, I'll post it. Good luck.
Age 57 at Diagnosis
May, 09 PSA 2.26
June, 10 PSA 3.07 Free PSA 18%
Met with Uro, DRE +
June, 10 Biopsy, 7 of 12 cores, up to 60%, 4+5=9
July 21, 2010 - RRP
tumor contained in capsule, still 4+5=9
perineural invasion extensive
Aug 5, 10 catheter out
Sept 3, 10 PSA - 0.00 (great big whew)
As of 9/3/2010, I'm 99% continent - only occasional stress incontinence !