Post-op Day 33: Catheter out

Yesterday my primary care doctor removed the supra-pubic catheter. It wasn’t painful at all. Just a weird little tug then an odd sensation… I know, that doesn’t explain much, lol. It was a very odd feeling but not the least bit uncomfortable.

Before removing the catheter he used a syringe to draw the last bit of urine from my bladder and to deflate the balloon holding the supra-pubic catheter in place in my bladder. I had just used the bathroom but he drew 60cc of urine out. Apparently I haven’t been emptying my bladder completely. I told my doc I thought it was because completely emptying my bladder while the catheter was in place had been uncomfortable. Because of that I probably stopped short without realizing what I was doing. My doctor told me that I really need to empty my bladder completely in order to avoid infection.

As suggested by Cris (in the comments) I’ll try gently pressing on my lower abdomen to help get the remaining urine out of my bladder. Once the bladder heals from the catheter it should empty completely as it did before.

My doc looked everything else over, including the inside of my mouth (the buccal mucosa graft donor site), and said he thought I was healing well though he thought I should stay off work a few more weeks. This was not a directive, just his opinion given my work environment which involves driving for extended periods of time.

Today

Today I’ve been a little achy for some reason. The swelling in my scrotum went down several days ago but today it feels like I have that pressure again. I don’t really know why – maybe I moved around too much this morning with laundry and cleaning house. I’ll be glad when it goes away.

At about 1800 I took two RRET Tylenol.

At about 2220 I took a Norco. It feels like someone is pinching me.

EDIT: I think I may have popped a stitch. When I clean the midline of my scrotum with a saline-soaked cotton swab (aka Q-tip) there is a bit of stinging back near where I can still see a couple of stitches.

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Active Day – Rest Day – Repeat

Over the last week or so I’ve found that this is the best way for me to move forward. If I’m active one day (such as Days 25, 27 or 29) the best thing for me to do the next day is to relax and rest – even though my stamina is increasing and I have almost no pain now.

Don’t push it too hard. There will be plenty of time to play or work later. Relax!

Post-op day 31

Yesterday and today I’ve had little pain – only occasional, low-grade twinges. My stamina is getting better and the pain is much less frequent.

Yesterday I spent most of the day at home. Friends came over for the afternoon and I moved back and forth between a dining room chair, the couch, and the bed (a hour-long nap in the afternoon). I also folded a couple of loads of laundry and cooked a ham.

I’m getting really tired of sleeping on my back. Last night I tried lying on my side with a pillow between my legs but it didn’t work out. I just couldn’t keep my legs far enough apart to be comfortable.

Today we left the house by 1000 and went to three different stores before returning home. At the store where we spent the most time I used a wheel chair so I could be comfortable while others shopped. It worked out very well. At the other two stores I walked and while I’m getting around better and with little to no pain it is very tiring. There was a little discomfort due to the chafing between my fat mons area and my penis. I’m able to walk with my legs a bit closer together but still not a normal walk.

At about 1800 today I took two RRET Tylenol. Yesterday I didn’t need any pain medicine of any kind.

The day after tomorrow I’ll have the supra-pubic catheter removed and I’m looking forward to that. The catheter has finally started to bother me and be a little uncomfortable. Also, I have to be careful not to accidentally open the clamp. That happened today while I was driving so I had a wet spot on my underwear and pants where I had the end of the catheter tucked into my waist band.

Post-op Day 29: Holiday

I was startled awake in the middle of the night when I felt pressure on my scrotum. I had rolled to my side in my sleep and brought my legs together. I separated them quickly and rolled to my back. It wasn’t painful, just uncomfortable.
 

Overall the pain today wasn’t bad but I did take Norco twice.

With the get together with my family today I was up moving around more than usual. At about 11:30 and again about 17:30 I took a Norco. At 21:30 I was a little achy but not enough to take any medicine.

I was definitely moving more today and even with my legs a bit closer together at times. I’m still trying to keep them apart even though putting them a bit closer together is not uncomfortable (though putting them all the way together is uncomfortable).

Not much else to report. It was a long day and I’m tired and ready for bed.

4 Weeks Post-op (Summary)

A Wheelchair and a Scooter

Yesterday I went out again but I took a Norco just before leaving the house. I drove and I walked in and out of the establishments (mall, restaurant and grocery store).

When we went to a local mall I used a manual wheelchair provided by guest services. I knew that a lot of walking wasn’t going to work for me yet so the wheelchair was our best option. It worked out very well as we spent about 3 hours at the mall and I spent almost all of that time in the wheelchair. I sat on a folded blanket (like a very small down-filled comforter so it’s very soft). I tried a donut but it was less comfortable. I did stand a few times just to have a break from sitting but overall it wasn’t bad.

After we left the mall we went to dinner (Chinese buffet) then to pick up a few groceries. At about 1630 I took another Norco just to stay ahead of the pain. At the restaurant I walked back and forth between the table and the buffet and I was also able to sit almost upright at the booth with only mild discomfort. Fortunately the booth had seat cushions that were fairly soft.

At the grocery store I used one of the store’s motorized scooters. This also worked out very well. I did walk to and from my vehicle with mild discomfort but I’m glad I did not have to walk around the store. Even though I hadn’t walked much throughout the day I was getting pretty sore.

By the time we got back home I still was uncomfortable and very glad to change from jeans to shorts and recline on the couch. In the two or three hours before I went to bed I did not need any more pain pills, not even RRET Tylenol.

I definitely did the right thing with the wheelchair and the scooter. I never would have made it through the mall and grocery store trips on foot. At least not without quite a bit of pain.

Today

I’ve had very little pain today. There has been some itching and a bit of aching but I think I caused some of that by cleaning around the stitches along the mid-line of my scrotum.

As usual I became a little achy by about 1830 and took two RRET Tylenol. It’s typical for me to become achy by the evening.

The fact that today has been almost pain free after being out most of yesterday is promising.

My progress at 4 weeks:

Healing

  • My only “bandage” is a strip of gauze I occasionally wrap around my penis to protect sensitive flesh.
  • The right side of my scrotum is still swollen but the swelling has decreased quite a bit over the last two days.
  • I still get “itch attacks” that drive me crazy but they are rare (a couple of times a week). I’m pretty sure they’re from the stitches. I do have to be careful of rubbing when I itch so that I don’t make myself sore.
  • I can still see some of the stitches along the mid-line of my scrotum as well as around the glans of my penis where it meets the shaft. I can feel a line of stitches on the under side of the shaft, slightly to the left, running from the base to the glans. There are also still visible stitches where the testicular implants were inserted.
  • The inside of my cheek is feeling closer to normal. It’s lumpy but I can no longer feel stitches.
  • Because the swelling in my scrotum has decreased I can see the stitches along the mid-line more easily. The upper/front half has healed enough that I can no longer see stitches. I can still see those on the lower half (back toward the anus). I still have a bit of blood coming from the very rear of this stitch line (which is normal – this will stop when the healing is complete).

Positioning and movement

  • Sitting and standing aren’t too bad – walking is what is the most uncomfortable, by far.
  • As long as I’m sitting on something soft I can sit up for longer periods and a bit straighter (thought not completely upright unless I perch on the edge of the seat).
  • I still walk like a cowboy – but with my legs just a bit closer together and with little or no pain.
  • I have driven my personal vehicle which has an automatic transmission. It is a bit uncomfortable because I can’t keep my legs as far apart as I’d like and because I have to sit pretty upright (on a folded, very soft blanket).
  • I still sleep on my back. I’m typically a side sleeper but I don’t want to risk bringing my legs together just yet.
  • I am not back at work (thankfully) and won’t go back before 9 December (at the earliest).
  • When I do things I still try to limit myself and do only a little at a time on a given day. (By “do things” I’m talking about simple food preparation, doing laundry and a bit of light house cleaning). I am able to do more and for longer than I could a week ago.

Pain

  • My overall pain level has continued to decrease.
  • I have taken more pain medicine on a couple of days so that I could be a bit more active. I was still careful about what I did and I would not do this on a regular basis.
  • The less I’m up and moving around, the less pain I experience – though things are improving.

Voiding

  • I am urinating through my urethra most of the time. While out and about I still wrap gauze around my penis to protect sensitive tissue from all of the movement. During those times I urinate through my catheter so I don’t have to remove the gauze until I’m back home.
  • I have an appointment for Monday (29 November) to have the catheter removed. (My doctor’s office is closed this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday)

Post-op Day 26: Relaxing

Not a bad day at all. I’ve been a little achy and had occasional twinges.

After being out yesterday I expected to pay for it today. I was pleasantly surprised to find that today wasn’t too bad after all. I’ve definitely been achy and I’ve had twinges of pain now and then but overall it hasn’t been bad at all. At about 0800 and again about 1700 I took two 2 RRET Tylenol.

As for urinating, I used the catheter early this morning then went back to bed. Once I was up for the day (around 0700) I removed the gauze from my penis and cleaned up with saline and cotton sticks (aka Q-tips). Since I planned to spend the day fairly immobile I left the gauze off all day. I also voided through my urethra all day (which burned just a little but it wasn’t bad).

I’m still picking up a bit of blood residue in the area of the vaginal closure. This is normal since there was a very small opening left for this purpose. In time it will heal closed.

Post-op Day 25: A day out

My pain was at a 4 by the end of the day. I did take a Norco at 1400 before I left the house and again at about 2100.

I’m still voiding with either my catheter or through the urethra, whichever is convenient. My glans is a little tender so I’m still wrapping it with a small strip of gauze. If I void through my urethra I have to change the gauze so I still use the catheter sometimes. I imagine I’ll be using my urethra alone within a few days.

I went out today and drove for the first time. I went to dinner and stopped at the store for a few things. I’ll tell you, I’m glad my vehicle has an automatic transmission. The driving wasn’t painful, just not exactly comfortable. I imagine it would have been much worse had I needed to use a clutch. While driving I sat on a very soft, folded blanket and it wasn’t too bad. I actually had more discomfort while walking around the store than I did while sitting at dinner or driving.

By evening I was pretty achy but I didn’t have any sharp pain other than a few moderate twinges. My scrotum was definitely sore from moving and rubbing.

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