This is for Gene and Bill23 (Both quoted below),
The only time I reflexively feel I don't want to read someone's post is when I read something like: "I had my prostatectomy yesterday and I never needed pads and my wife and I are enjoying sex today better than ever......" I really do want to celebrate these victories.... It just requires setting aside my fight momentarily.
One Kegel exercise that was helpful to me was when I woke up in the morning with a full bladder: I would stand over the toilet and COUGH as hard as I could and try to hold it.... Like celebrating the blessings of others, it can be a real challenge!
Aside from my point about confusing the smooth muscle valve, I do agree stopping the urine flow is an important execrise. However, even that flexing does not incorporate all of the pelvic floor muscles involved in regaining continence. I whole-heartedly encourage those with incontinence challenges after 8 weeks to look into bio-feedback therapy.
Below I am quoting three posts that Gene, Bill, and I wrote today. I also want to add something about living with incontinence that I resolved to when in week seven I thought I would leak forever: Having to "change diapers" is not a sentence to living the life of an aged invalid. It's just another job - one usually reserved for parents and grand-parents. You can discretely change out a nineteen cent - 12 ounce pad every 2 hours. There are worse "jobs."
Heal Well! ICTHUS! CCedar
Bill, I have followed your various comments and your first ones that I saw came at a time when I was pretty negative, too. I hope I did not encourage you in negativity, because I know that is not the answer. I have had to do what seems best for me at the time and that is using the Bard-Cunningham clamp, a devise that no one on the board recommends because Dr. Walse advises against it. The only one I know promoting it at this time is my surgeon, whom I feel much like the way you feel about yours. I wonder if he knows something he's not willing to talk about relative to my surgery. I can contain absolutely nothing in my bladder and of course can pee absolutely nothing except in the mornings. He tells me to have patience, too, which is what I (and you) must do at this point. A close friend of mine said his continence returned to normal suddenly at six months, so that is my hope now, whether it is at six or twelve months, or whenever. I too have been somewhat discouraged by all the testimonies of success, but I am trying to turn that discouragement into hope. I am glad these other guys are doing better than I. I wish and pray the best for them.
Like you, at first I felt I had made a terrible mistake by having the open radical instead of the robotic, but I have found jon this board just about as many with that surgery who has incontinence problems, too.
Let's make a pact together to keep looking "up" through this. Although you are a much younger man than I am (I'm now 64), let's get better together, while the people on this board watch us. They are very supportive and concerned. And perhaps we can encourage someone else. By getting interested in someone else other than myself, I seem to do a lot better with my attitude.
I am, after tomorrow, going to be limited on the computer until I get situated in my new location, but I will get back on this site as soon as possible. I will see the surgeon tomorrow. Maybe he will give some new data. Also, I do want to remain annonomous, but there may be a point when you and I can communicate on a personal level. If so, we'll have to figure out how we can get personal without the whole world knowing who we are. In the meantime, do not dispair. Do not dispair. Look up to the Creator and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
It seems as if you and I are in the same boat. I'm 2 months post-op, and leak continuously during the day. A lot of the guys on this board suffer from the "classic" form of stress incontinence.... which is leakage when coughing, sneezing, running, etc. While a real pain, it is not as bad as the continuous leaking I have even when standing perfectly still. This does not allow my bladder to accumulate any volume whatsoever during the day.... it all comes out in my pads, which I change up to 15 times a day.
As far as your initial question, I try to hold a kegel as long as I can, but I must eventually let go, and everything in my bladder just pours out. It is truly ruining my life because I have seen zero progress in 2 months.... it is taking a huge toll on my well being because the total lack of any progress is so atypical from most people on this board.
Are you able to stop and start the flow in the morning? I can only slow the flow briefly, not stop it. Since the morning is the only time I have a full bladder, I can only practice this once a day.
My prostate was rather large at 60 grams, so I am fearful that some damage was done to the sphincter or pelvic floor muscles upon removal. The doc, of course, says no but I honestly feel he is feeding me a bunch of BS to cover his rear. All he knows how to say is "patience and kegels".... there has to be more to it than that after 2 months. I started doing kegels weeks before surgery, and have just started biofeedback lessons, although the technician says that I have been doing the kegels properly.
I'm beginning to regret having the surgery at all.. I spent so much time researching all the procedures and doctors, in order to make the right choice, only to face the prospect of being a guy in his early 50's living the life of a 90 year old in diapers.
Sorry to be so negative, but this is becoming unbearable. There are a lot of upbeat, wonderful people on this board who have offered words of encouragement, I'm sure you are better off listening to them!! Good luck to you!
Good Morning Gene,
I hope the move at work is going well. I have a good feeling about your work there!
My understanding - from my bio-feedback therapist - is that you don't hold at maximum all the time. However, there is a certain muscle tone that develops in all of the pelvic floor muscles that will seem somewhat flexed (Think half-power while doing elevator kegals.) all the time. Also, she suggests, after a few weeks of scheduled kegal exercises, in addition to the scheduled routine, to just do a partial routine of kegal exercises whenever you think of them. If you compare this work to conditioning other muscles in the body, you might exercise - say your legs or arms - for even hours at a time, but you would not just flex them all the time. The muscles you want are dynamic. Not static.
I personally do the warm-up (2 seconds on 2 seconds off) or elevator kegals (off 5 seconds, half-power 10 seconds, full-power 10 seconds, half-power 10 seconds, - repeat) for as many times until I get bored - whenever I think of them. For example, whenever I sense leaking..... whenever I am driving... whenever I am typing at the computer.. whenever I am doing some routine job on my feet.....
Your other post mentioned your using the clamp. Even when I was leaking at full speed (at week 4 upon return to work), I could go 2 hours with the combination of the men's 8 oz. liner and women's 12 oz. incontinence pad at 90 degrees- mostly just replacing the wonen's liner every two hours if I remembered. My point: I feel that using the clamp has to be a lot like doing kegals while urinating to stop the urine flow. My bio-feedback therapist believes that doing this for any reason except to learn to isolate the muscles is counterproductive as it confuses the smooth muscle (no conscious control) valve of the bladder that is an integral part of your ultimate continence.
When you become continent again, four things: your overall health, the muscle tone of the pelvic floor muscles, periodic conscious control of the kegel sphincter when lifting - etc., and this bladder valve all work together.
You will recover to full health. You are "...fearfully and wonderfully made...!"