I had prostate surgery 18 months ago. The surgery wasn't for cancer but to correct a urinary problem. After 3 months of bleeding, pain and infections, the physical healing seemed complete. That's when the the event that triggered my anxiety/anger/depression became apparent. Not only did the surgery NOT correct the urinary problem, it had a noticeable side affect (orgasims are now dry). I know for certain that the doctor never advised me that this would happen. I am on a regime of blood pressure and blood thinner medications, so I asked a lot of questions about bleading, resuming activity, healing and what I needed to look out for. Apparently my questions distracted him, he never got around to mentioning a loss of normal sexual function.
While this loss was unexpected and undesireable, it is not the primary cause of my anger. The fact that the doctor denies not informing me it would happen, the fact that the grievance I filed with the hospital was given all of 5 minutes of consideration and the fact that the complaint I filed witht the state licensing board allowed the doctor to present his defense but I was not contacted for my input all contributed to my feeling helpless and wronged without any way to rectify it. I pursued multiple lawyers about a malpractice suit, but the answer was always the same - It is too expensive and too hard to prove fault in all but the most agregious cases.
It was after all of my avenues of recourse were shut down, I shut down. Just thinking about what happened caused my hands to tremble and anger to build up. I was not sleeping at night and I had lost interest in any activity outside of my job. Thats when I sought profesional help. I have been seeing a therapist for about a year now. The intensity of my anger has subsided, I am sleeping better at night and I am on an anti-depressant (Wellbutrin) and an anti-anxiety medication (Xanax).
My issue now is that whenever I think about what has happened (less now than a year ago) I still feel angry and cheated. Any sexual activity with my spouse only reminds me of what I have lost and so it gets avoided - a lot.
My therapist says I need to get past feeling like the victim so I can move on and that's why I'm here. I tried the Prostate Cancer group, but the attitude there is quite different. They chose treatment, knowing that sexual function would not be the same as before in order to rid themselves of cancer. My surgery was to correct an
inconvenience. Had I known what would (certainly) happen, I would not have gone through with the surgery.
I am having trouble taking the next step toward healing. I found something called the "Anger Toolkit" that says forgivness does not mean that you accept the transgressors behavior toward you. I means that you refuse to carry a painful and debilitating grudge for the rest of you life. Certainly an accurate description of where I am now. Now if I could only make it work for me. I hope this is the right place to be.