Oh there’s one thing I want to mention, which was something that actually I wasn’t entirely prepared for, so this maybe goes against what I was saying earlier. During the surgery, this is the low anterior resection, they did warn me in advance that they’d be poking around near the prostate and other bit’s and bobs and you know there were some risks of nerve damage which weren’t you know, well you had to just cross your fingers and hope. And hopefully, thankfully for me I didn’t experience any serious problems. But short term there was obviously some sort of bruising and some inflammation and some swelling in that part of the world, which meant that I was, I had a urinary catheter in for the entire time that I was in hospital. They tried removing that, well they did remove it twice during my six day admission, and I wasn’t able to pee either time, and actually that was probably the most unpleasant experience during that six days.
The first time I was rather naive and thought if I drank a lot I, it would actually help me to pee. I think it had the, exactly the opposite effect, so I had taken on too much liquid and it took them a while to find a doctor who was competent to re-catheterise me, so I had an extremely large bladder for a while, waiting for that. And that was uncomfortable and unpleasant.
We tried it a second time, basically managed slightly better, but I, sorry the, sort of managed from the point of view of having the right people available at the right time, I had to be re-catheterised because again I couldn’t pee. But because everything else was fine, and you can be sent home with a urinary catheter, I was sent home.
I was pleased to get home, but that was quite an encumbrance. And I actually had that for about three weeks, at home, they just said, you know, “Go home, just you know, deal with this just give everything time to just kind of calm down,” and then they called me into something they called a “Twoc” clinic, “Trial without catheter,” where myself and a couple of other glum looking chaps were sat in a room, sipping water and taking it in turns to sort of try and, try and pee and also we had ultrasound scans done to see kind of what was in our bladders, sort of...
I was able just about to pee on my own then, and went home without the catheter. But slightly anxious because it wasn’t a normal pee at all, it was certainly squeezed out to some degree, but I was so determined to get home that’s what I did. Having got home, things improved gradually over the period of the next week. And I think there was probably about another week after the catheter had been removed before I would say that things were back to normal. And that was a, that was a huge relief actually because that, you know, that really restricted my mobility, and all the rest of it.
What did you do? Did you strap the catheter and the bag to you, under your trousers to your leg?
Yes, yes I had baggy tracksuit trousers and I strapped it to my calf I think from memory. And then at night I was able to connect it to a sort of something else which kind of had a larger sort of collection, bag or whatever. But that was unexpected, from my point of view, and actually yes, the quality of life or whatever post surgery, that was, that was the worst bit for me.