Hamala: great pun in the title of this thread!
I've been meaning to post about the success my husband (48) and I are having with the shots. In his case we had impotence problems for years before the surgery so had been through all three of the drugs with varying amounts of success pre-surgery. At the very least, he had a 'hangover' (he doesn't drink) after using the drugs and they weren't consistently successful.
Had I known about atrophy in the years prior to surgery, I might have encouraged shots or at least been more supportive with the drugs. Looking at it as therapy or preventative maintenance would have changed my attitude but I didn't know then and our urologist didn't think the impotency was a big problem.
Since surgery Jan 2006 we tried Cialis and Levitra. Had some success with Cialis (managed penetration almost the equivalent of pre-surgery with no drugs). Nothing with the Levitra. (Except the hangover!) He was extremely anxious to get 'back in the saddle' again so my needle phobic husband decided to do the shots. I would never had agreed except for the issue of atrophy.
The first time he was injected at the clinic the doctor said it was 70% erect and with stimulation it would improve to 100%. The second test at the clinic was also a success although both erections completely disappeared by the time we were to the parking lot.
Our first attempt at home was a disaster. He missed and the erection was fleeting, followed by pain and worry. And hysteria on my part. I didn't realize he missed and I figured since the drugs didn't work and the injection worked at the clinic but not at home, it was me...
The next attempt was a success but the erection was lasting over 3 hours so he's played around with reducing the dose and been injecting every two days since when he can.
The Triple-P (as it is called in Canada) costs less than 4 pills for about 100 injections. Because it is cheap, using it for therapy doesn't bother me. If we don't use it, it is going to go bad anyway so we may as well use it.
My husband's nerves were spared during surgery and the injections seem to bring them to the surface so the sensation is much different from an orgasm without erection. I'm very pleased with the results although it is taking adjustment on my part since we have to relearn lovemaking with a fully erect penis after years of coping with less than that.
The biggest downside is the meds don't travel well. My husband travels internationally for his work and because it needs refrigeration and needles he hasn't been taking it with him on his trips. Explaining it all to our almost-18 year old teenage boys (in case they came across the needle disposal case by accident) was a bit awkward but we've been honest and open about the rest of the surgery and this is part of it. Grandpa died of prostate cancer only 8 months prior to our diagnosis (it was my FIL's death that triggered the biopsy for my husband, psa was only a little high and the impotence was 'nothing to worry about.') so we are keeping the boys informed.
I would highly recommend trying the injections. At least go through the experience at the clinic and then decide if it is something you can manage at home.
For us, it is as if the last reminder of the cancer has been brushed away. He had the old fashion open surgery, recovered very quickly, continence came back quickly (within weeks after the catheter was out), he was traveling at the 6 week mark (corporate training on his feet for 8 hours a day). March he was away for two weeks (two different trips), April for a week, then a 28 day around-the-world trip in May and a week away in June. Being home enough to use the injections is the biggest problem we have right now!