Be patient. Be patient. Be patient. That’s what I keep telling myself.
Last night–the first without the catheter–was a dry night. That’s good. Although I have to admit that I got up to pee about 4 times last night to help make sure that I didn’t have an accident in bed.
It was great to be able to roll around in bed as I slept, and not have a certain key part of my anatomy tied off to the nightstand!
Today has been an exploration into what happens without the catheter in place. I find myself moving much more slowly and gingerly than when I was catheterized, not knowing what’s going to happen with each step, each seat taken, or each time I stand up. Sometimes things are just fine; sometimes there’s a little squirt into my guard. I certainly don’t wish for the catheter back, but this definitely seems to be slowing my forward progress.
On a positive note, it’s not as though I have no control over my bladder whatsoever. I do. I can sense when it’s getting full and when I have to empty it (although, I will have to admit that that sensation isn’t quite as pronounced as it was before the surgery). The most frequent time that I have a little squirt is when I stand up from a seated position.
Finally, having the catheter posed its own set of personal hygiene challenges; having minor incontinence poses a different set of challenges. I do feel pretty confident, however, that I can get by with using just the guards in my regular underwear instead of having to wear the full-blown diapers based on what’s happened in the last 24 hours. That will make things simpler.
As predicted, now that there’s no tumor pressing against my urethra, my urine flow is much stronger–as if I were 16 again.
Now that the catheter is out, I can resume my Kegel exercises, and I’ve been doing them several times during the day.
I really am doing my best not to get discouraged by the incontinence, recognizing that I’m only a little more than 24 hours into this next chapter. I know it will get better. I just have to keep doing my exercises and be patient. Again, some guys regain control in weeks; others in months or even a year.
I’ve removed the Steri-strips from all of my incisions and it feels great to be free of any adhesive tape stuck to my belly. I’ve also not had a Percocet since last night. There’s some occasional pain depending on how I sit, but it’s tolerable.
A couple of neighbors popped in for a visit this morning, bringing some homemade goodies for me to munch on as I continue my recovery. Thanks!