Brothers & Sisters,
The following true narrative is related especially for the Bluebirds of Titan. (These Bluebirds flew in pairs - with their human companion hanging to their feet as they soared over the mountainsand lakes of Titan.)
In week 8, I told my physician about the time Alfalfa of The Little Rascals was hiding in a laundry basket with his trademark cowlick stricking through. A chicken came along and plucked off his pride and joy and swallowed it as if it were an earthworm. Alfalfa sprang out of the basket and said: My personality!" My physician, appreciating the reference, said "Don't worry. We'll get your personality back." I responded, "Perhaps, if my personality is being a little prick..."
I'm on day one of week 10. I think my body is beginning to forgive me for the trauma it has gone through.
I've had the most 7-day improvement in strength and continence this last week.
The most pads I use now is four, even after a 12 hour day of lifting Fresh Produce AND drinking 20 ounces of water during the day... On days I do little lifting, I just use one pad - for insurance as I still leak a little.
JUST LAST WEEK I WOULD COMPLETELY SOAK 8 PADS with moderate lifting and no fluids! Keep the faith. Keep dry. As Jesus advised Saul on the road to Damascus, "It hurts to kick at the pricks."
One of the others here (pcdave?) suggested to hold the penis while doing kegels. I tried this and it seems to have given me more continence control - with the added benefit that my penis seems to have stopped shrinking into the pubic cavity and looks to rejoin the world. I do have some response to the physical stimulation (including temporary increase in size and - if I like - daily orgasms). While my erections and orgasms are intact at least in my mind and faith projection...., fortunately, for my fragile optimism's sake, there is no one in the room to make any jokes! I start vacuum therapy sometime soon (It took weeks for insurance to say they wouldn't pay.... I think I should have started weeks ago.). I have lived alone since the 1970s and do not have the relational issues concerning performance. However, I do believe I have the responsilbility to help these tissues recover as well. Who knows what relationship I may find myself in - in the future!?! (...and the many members of my very large family will not rule out that at least part of my personality is being a little prick... :-> )
The follwing was sent to me by a close friend. It has had an even more profound healing effect on me than holding my penis while doing kegels:
I WANT YOU TO BEGIN RIGHT NOW THINKING HEALTH. "I AM HEALTHY", "I AM WELL", "I AM HAPPY", "I AM PERFECT", "I AM FULL OF JOY", "I AM FULL OF GOD". DO NOT THINK "I DON'T WANT TO BE INCONTINENT. I DON'T WANT TO BE UNHEALTHY, I DON'T WANT....." DO NOT THINK ANYTHING NEGATIVE OR THINK OF WHAT YOU DON'T WANT. THINK ONLY WHOLESOME, POSITIVE THINGS OF WHAT YOU DO WANT. PICTURE YOURSELF HEALTHY, HAPPY, JOYFUL, WELL, PERFECT. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO NOT TALK OF YOUR PROBLEM....ONLY THINK AND SPEAK AND BE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR WELLNESS, HAPPINESS, HEALTH, JOY, PERFECTION. AND ALWAYS, ALWAYS HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE. AS THE BIBLE TELLS US: ASK, BELIEVE, RECEIVE, EXPRESS GRATEFULNESS. GOD WANTS US TO BE HEALTHY, HAPPY, WELL, PERFECT, ETC. ASK, THANK HIM, AND KNOW GOD IS WITH YOU AND PROVIDING ALL THAT YOU NEED. YOU ARE HIS PERFECT CHILD AND HE WANTS ONLY THE BEST FOR YOU......no negative thoughts, words,etc. ONLY ASK, BELIEVE, RECEIVE, THANK HIM AND THEN GIVE IT TO HIM. ANY TIME A NEGATIVE THOUGHT COMES INTO YOUR MIND....CHANGE THE SUBJECT. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!!!!! REPEAT THESE THINGS OVER AND OVER IN YOUR MIND."I AM WELL, THANK YOU, GOD. THANK YOU, GOD, THANK YOU, THANK YOU......."
The following is an excerpt from something I wrote this last week to Gene. It helped me a lot to vocalize some of the physical feelings I was experiencing in my pubic cavity. After I wrote this, I almost immediately completely stopped feeling the vacuity and "stumps" in my pubic cavity. I'm now up to 66 push-ups a day. I can almost do my entire pre-surgery rowing routine on the Total Gym. I do kegel exercises while doing these and other exercises. I would add here: The "rowing" that I do on the Total Gym is done in a reclined position. I encourage everyone to read Bluebird's admonition to avoid "sitting" exercises. I wish I had a stairmaster or elliptical at my disposal, too.
I ALWAYS love what "Swim" has to say! I completely agree with her about pushing the envelope. Do pay close attention to this idea of individual levels of comorbidity.
However, I would add that - for me - this particular abdominal surgery is VERY different from other abdominal surgeries I have experienced: inguinal hernia repair, appendectomy, or even laparotomy/spleenctomy, and incisional hernia repair (with retention sutures - OUCH!).
With this surgery (open radical prostatectomy) - as I increase my activity level, the "stumps" from the missing parts - and the relocated bladder - are VERY "loud." They literally take the breath out of me in ways that I cannot communicate.
Still, Swimom is absolutely correct about ratcheting up the healing process as much as you can - without hurting yourself. It's just that for me, it is not so much a question of "abdominal" strength (I've been doing 600 modified stomach crunches and 50 push-ups a day since week 5) as pushing past this vacuous sense of feeling weak and gaining familiarity/coordination with the new "land" I find myself living on. I am in week nine and I still let others unload the pallets of 60 pound boxes of potatoes. I do lift a few more heavier boxes - every day. (Thanks Swim!)
I also like the Bluebirds' cautions about riding bikes and sitting exercises.
A few more Kegels each day are in order, too!
May God's Love be with you, always - in the Son