Movember is about Men’s Health issues, I hadn’t really thought too much about it, but last year it really hit home.
I’d just returned from CPFC16, and was still thinking of all the great new ideas I had been inspired to write, when my health suddenly went very wrong. I’d been having some issues with my bladder, that I had been hoping would go away. As you can guess, that was not the brightest thing and things got worse.
To be blunt, I couldn’t urinate and it was starting to really hurt, and like a numb-skull, I picked up my car pool mate. Four times driving in I pulled the car over and attempted to urinate to no avail. Finally after being at work for 2 hours, I decided to go home and call my wife. She yelled at me, “Go to the HOSPITAL!”, and I took her advice. I continued to spasm and feel like I was about to explode the whole way driving there (screaming in pain every few minutes).
The emergency room at the Queensway Carleton Hospital was quite busy, but I was eventually triaged and found to have a heart rate through the roof and a blood pressure to match, and I was shouting in pain. Evidently if you show up at Emerg with these symptoms, you get to go straight in. I continued to groan and yell in pain until I was diagnosed to be in a state of complete retention and my bladder was in spasm.
The QCH Emerg team did a fantastic job, put in a catheter, gave me a pain relieving shot and that crisis was finally over (although I continued to spasm for a while longer). I was holding over 1.5 liters in me, and was in danger of causing permanent damage had I not come in. I was given a tutorial on how to deal with my new catheter, and told to contact my doctor. Luckily I was already seeing a urologist and was due to see him a week later.
I learned to live with my catheter, but when I saw my urologist he wasn’t sure what might have caused this specific problem. He knew I had a larger prostate but wasn’t sure that was the case, so he took the catheter out, to see what might happen. What happened was 4 days later I was at the QCH emergency room, (luckily with already filled in forms from my Doctor), and they put back in the Catheter.
We tried this one more time, and I was scheduled for a “scope”. You can guess where the scope might go, and sure enough my prostate had grown and was now obstructing my urethra. Drug treatment wasn’t going to help, so I got scheduled for a Trans Urethra Resection of the Prostate (TURP).
The procedure went OK, a few hiccups in my recovery, but nothing too serious. I am now somewhat back to normal, with a few side-effects that I am dealing with. Why this happened is still not clear, but it is not thought to be Cancer (all tests have shown clean for Cancer, but I also know that Prostate Cancer can be elusive in tests).
Why Are You Writing This?
Why am I writing this story in a Finance blog? First, November is Men’s Health Awareness month, so let me help with a simple checklist that could have made this incident less stressing for me (and my Loving Wife who was an angel throughout this thing).
- I had a “scare” 10 years ago, when my blood test suggested cancer of the prostate. I had a biopsy, which came back clean, but that (in hindsight) was a warning. Catching cancer early is essential for men.
- If you have issues pee’ing, you need to tell your Doctor. Don’t think it is an isolated incident, tell the Doctor. Remember to see your Doctor more than once every 10 years too.
- If things feel like they are “getting worse” (restricted stream, getting up 3 times a night to pee, etc., ) go and see your Doctor and get referred to a Urologist.
- If you can’t actually pee for more than a 6 hour period (and you think you should), it is time to go to the Emergency Room
- Prostates are finicky things, as your Urologist will tell you, but things can go wrong quickly, so don’t “piss around” (pardon the pun).
Better to be Lucky?
I was very lucky, that the Queensway Carleton Hospital staff acted quickly and professionally (even though I was shouting and starting to get quite agitated). I also had my TURP at the QCH and they treated me very well. My Urologist did a great job, as did my GP, but they have also been very frank with me about things. I am most likely going to have to have another TURP some time in the future. The good news, I know the warning signs, and will not ignore them.
Don’t wait, don’t be squeamish, don’t be afraid, and you will be fine. If you do nothing, things will not get better.
Another classic, do as I say, not as I do article by me!