Day 65 – Freedom!

The catheter is gone!!  Hallelujah!!

So the majority of this post will be pretty descriptive…  Sorry.

Unfortunately, last night was not a good night for sleep for me.  I don’t know if it was the anticipation of getting rid of the catheter or something else that kept me up, but I don’t think I fell asleep until 2 AM.

I was out of the shower by about 8:30 AM and getting ready for the 40 minute drive to the office by changing from my overnight urine collection bad to my leg bag.  That never was a fun process–always the risk for a big mess if I let go of the wrong hose at the wrong time.

A friend drove me to the doctor’s office and we arrived around 11:30 for my 12:00 pm appointment.  I was in the examination room within ten minutes of arrival.  The nurse had me lie down on the table and disconnected the drainage bag from my leg before draining the saline solution from the Foley catheter that inflated the little balloon in my bladder that held the catheter in place.

She then told me to take a deep breath and exhale.  When I exhaled, she would pull the catheter out.  Fun.  I inhaled; exhaled; and she pulled.  “Hello!!”  Yowza and it was out.  And what a good feeling!

The doctor came in and talked with me on how my recovery was doing, examined my incision points, and said that everything was looking good.  He told me to immediately call if I wasn’t urinating, as that would indicate a serious blockage that would have to be taken care of.  He said that I should come back in four weeks for the first post-surgery PSA.

Before leaving, I was given an antibiotic to take today and tomorrow to prevent any urinary tract infection after the catheter came out, and a pack of Cialis.  Taking the Cialis now will help with the redevelopment of sexual function later.

Once the doctor was through I put on my first pair of Depends (funky!) and got dressed.  We were out of the office by noon and headed home.

I had no idea what to expect.  Would I fill my Depends during the trip back?  Would there be any leakage at all?  Not a clue.  (I did bring a towel to put on the passenger’s seat in my friend’s car just in case I sprung a leak.)

The good news: Nothing happened on the way home.  Nadda.

However, when I went to get out of the car, I could feel a small squirt of urine hit the Depends–stress incontinence. 

It’s nearly four hours later and I’ve peed a couple of times and had one other episode of stress incontinence (very small amount of urine).  I suspect that I’ll be able to use the protective pads rather than the full diapers.  The exception might be at night.  I’ll probably try a full Depends for tonight and see what happens.

Before pulling out the catheter, I told the nurse that I was having a slight burning/tingling feeling at the end of my penis, and that when I strain to have a bowel movement, a little urine leaks out outside the catheter.  She said those were both very good signs that my bladder is ready to go back to doing its thing on its own.

So it’s great to be rid of the catheter; I just need to adapt to the latest leg of this journey now.  They reminded me to continue with my Kegel exercises and to be patient as I regained control over my plumbing.  I’ll do my best.

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