Monday, July 18, 2011

The Day In The Life Of A Prostate Gland

Last night I spent about 2 hours dealing with a Fleet enema.
The enema was needed to clean out the lower part of my bowel so that the chances of infection would be less after my prostate biopsy.
As a result of the enema and because my anxiety level for this procedure was rising quickly, I did not end up getting to sleep until around 11.30PM.
Unfortunately our alarm clock started chirping around 5AM.
Let me tell you...life does not get any better than getting up at 5AM, laying on the cold bathroom floor with a couple of bath towels beneath you and waking up to a nice warm Fleet enema.
I doubt if Jimmy Buffett has it this good.
Because of my concern about getting cleaned out well...I ended up doing the enema about 5 times.
I wonder if they have a word for someone that has a phobia about getting an infection in their bowel or prostate...at least a word other than crazy or lunatic.
I was originally planning on doing the one enema and then getting back in bed for a few additional minutes of sleep.
Obviously that plan went out the window after the 5 fill up.
It was then shower time.
Before I knew it, Veronica was up and in the bathroom getting ready for our 2 hour drive into Virginia Beach.
I asked her what time it was and she said it was around 6:15-6:20. We had planned on leaving around 6:45. Man times flies when you are having several enemas.
Thought #1 guys...give yourself plenty of time for preparation for the biopsy. Those enemas take time and you want to make sure that it all gets out of you before you do any traveling to your doctors office or the procedural location.
Last thing you will want is an accident.
Thought #2..bring a change of clothes anyways. You know that old saying that 'shit happens"...well nothing is worse or more embarrassing than it happening all over yourself while you are in a vehicle and your wife or significant other is driving.
Veronica and I arrived in Virginia Beach just a little early. This allowed us some time to run just a few errands before heading to the hospital where the biopsy was to occur. Thought #3...keep busy and occupied so that your mind will hopefully be on other things besides the upcoming procedure.
We arrived at the hospital with plenty of time to spare. I signed and initialed the usual medical paperwork, got my official medical wristband and had a seat in the small waiting room.
So here I was with Veronica, sitting in the waiting room getting more and more anxious and nervous as the moments went by.
I ended up playing Slingo on Veronica's Ipod.
Here is a 56 year old male with a medical wristband who is awaiting his Prostate Biopsy and he is playing Slingo. Quite the sight to see but like I said in thought #3 guys...keep yourself busy and mentally occupied.
Unfortunately they were running a little behind...no prostate biopsy pun intended.
It was around 10:20 that I got my official call and welcoming in to room number 2, which is where my biopsy took place.
The nurse that took my vital signs was very compassionate and friendly and took my prostate biopsy humor in style.
I was told to remove everything from my waist down but I was told that I could leave my boxers and shorts around my ankles if I wanted. Because that is not really my fashion style, I decided not to go that route and removed those items completely reverting back to my true fashion style...caveman. I did leave my socks on...must have been one of the security blanky things.
I was then told to lay on my left hip with my hiney sticking out just over the side of this procedural table/bed and was given one of those paper gowns just to lightly place over my body.
The nurse then took quite a bit of time going though everything that would be occurring in a step by step fashion. She showed me the wand that would be inserted, the biopsy needle unit that slides into the wand unit, the actual noise that the biopsy needle unit makes when taking a biopsy sample,..a clicking sound the syringe and long thin tube that the lidocaine goes through when giving me the local. The syringe unit also slides into the wand that is inserted into the rectum.
Now for the wand. It is approximately 1 - 1 1/2 inch in diameter and is tapered.
After being lubed up well, this wand was inserted approximately 4 inches into my rectum.
My doctor was great. He kept talking to me and was explaining each and every move that was going on so that I would be more relaxed...which was not really happening during the procedure.
I forgot to mention that I had taken 1/2 of a xanax pill about 1/2 hour prior to the procedure and it seemed to be enough to take my anxiety down a notch or two but didn't know me out not make me so groggy that the doctor might be reluctant in doing the procedure.
Thought #4...drugs react to each person differently so if you are taking something to relax you, be careful not to go overboard. Nothing worse than going through all of the preparation work, along with all of the stress and anxiety involved that leads up to the actual procedure and then have the doctor cancel and re-schedule your procedure because you self medicated too much. Believe me...you don't want that to happen.
I noticed that it was rather cool in the room but I felt really warm...almost to the point of breaking out in a sweat.
After taking the time to explain the whole procedure to me and taking my vitals, first nurse left and then the doctors nursing assistant arrived in the room. She would be the one staying in the room during that actual procedure.
My doctor arrived in the room in short order and he also took the time to explain everything to me.
He also advised me that he would do a countdown from the number 3 each time that he would be taking a biopsy sample and I would hear a click and feel a pressurized type of sticking feeling each time a biopsy sample was being taken.
After inserting the wand into my rectum, he started to move it around a bit which felt like pressure on my prostate. I was equating what he was doing as getting a "lay of the land". He was looking on a ultra sound type of television screen which showed him live images of my prostate and surrounding areas.
The doctor told me that I my prostate was rather large. Actually he stated that it was a "citation" prostate. Anyone in Virginia that catches a fish that is over a specified and official size get what they call a citation...a certificate that honors the person that caught the fish and the large size of said fish that was caught.
I asked the doctor that because my prostate was rather large, if the results turned out negative for prostate cancer, would it be wise to get some medication that would shrink my prostate. He told me that unless I was having difficulty urinating or that I was urinating very frequently during the night, shrinking my prostate would not be all that necessary.
I do have problems urinating at times...not a constant thing and I do get up usually once and sometimes twice a night to urinate. The night time urination is most likely due to the amount of liquids that I drink right up until my time top go to sleep.
After getting a good look around via the inserted wand, it was time for my local to get administered.
I was given 2 "shots" of lidocaine which was delivered via the syringe and long thin tubular device that had been inserted into the wand.
I was given the official countdown from the number 3 and felt a pin prick type of brief sting as the lidocaine was administered. The doctor the moved the wand around to another location of the prostate and another countdown was given for the next shot of lidocaine.
It was at this time that something happened that gave me a bit of a scare.
After giving me the 2 locals, I got this flush feeling coming over me and all of a sudden my face and especially my mouth area started getting numb. I verbalized what was going on to the doctor and I am sure that he could read the concern in my facial expressions.
I actually thought that I was going to black out for a minute there.
It was a feeling that I have never felt before. I have felt flush before but this was a lot different and that why I got somewhat concerned.
My doctor told me that this type of reaction occurs with a few patients.
As time passed this feeling slowly subsided.
It also should be noted that once the wand is initially inserted into the rectum, it stays there until the procedure is completed, which was probably around 10-12 minutes for the whole procedure from start to finish.
Prior to getting this procedure done, I had thought that they would take 6 biopsy samples all at one time...with one click of the biopsy needle until and then another click for the other 6 biopsy samples.
As it turns out, each sample gets taken on its own and comes with the countdown and accompanying clicking sound coming from the biopsy sample unit.
After taking a biopsy sample, the doctor moved the wand around to another on the prostate for the next sample to be taken.
After several minutes, which seemed a lot longer, my doctor stated that this would be the last sample taken and with that final click coming from the biopsy sample unit, my prostate biopsy procedure was completed.
The doctor left the wand inserted and was putting pressure on various areas on my prostate, where the samples were taken. He kept the pressure on my prostate for several minutes. This was done to stop or slow any internal bleeding that might be occurring because of trauma to the prostate.
I was allowed to sit up on the table after a few minutes of relaxing, then allowed to stand up and get dressed.
Before leaving the area my doctor told me that we would have the biopsy results in about a week or so but if I did not hear back from him in 2 weeks, that I should give his office a phone call.
My doctor also told me that if the results were good and nothing bad noted, that I could go back and see him in about 6 months but if something bad showed up in the samples, then he would give me a referral to see one of his compatriots that deal with those that have prostate cancer.
I was also given details as far as what to expect after having this procedure done.
It is possible that I could have some rectal bleeding and that there could be some blood in my urine.
If this bleeding continued for several days and/or is really heavy, I should get back with my doctor or if I get a fever/chills and other signs of an infection, I might be told to go to the hospital if needed.
I am to continue taking my Cipro to fight off the chance of infection but only take it for another day or so.
The aforementioned issues, along with any pain or discomfort that I might feel, should go away in a matter of days...3-5 with 7 being the most...at least usually. I have read that these issues usually only last a couple of days.
I will let everyone know how these issues are going as the days go by.
Another issue that would most likely occur would be some blood in my semen/ejaculate. I was told that it would start off being red in color and as time goes on, the color could turn to brown.
The doctor told me that this was not harmful to neither myself nor my partner should I be sexually active.
Thought #5...out of thoughtfulness and caring for your sexual partners emotional well being, I would strongly advise that you get a package of condoms to use when you become sexually active again after this procedure and continue using them until everything in this issue returns to a normal color. Last thing you need is to put your significant other in an emotional state where the discoloration is something that is embedded in their memory banks especially if you want to have future sexual interactions with this person.
After I returned home, I stayed up for a little bit and then went to bed and slept for a while.
Tomorrow I will be taking it easy too.
On Wed, depending on how I am feeling, I might try to take a walk. I might have to build up the number of miles I can do depending on how I am feeling.
I definitely do not want to push things to far to fast. The sooner I heal up, the sooner I can get back to my "normal' life routine.
Right now the pain level is not too bad but I am taking some pain medication and will over the next few days until everything settles down a bit.
After I get through the healing process on this, I will need to find a local spine doctor to help me out with my back issues.
I have noticed that after I had that bout of extreme leg pain while Veronica and I were in Orlando, the inside of my upper right leg from the inside groin/thigh area down to almost my knee, is about 65% numb. the numbness runs in an area about 3-4 inches wide. Not sure what is going on but seems logical that there was some type of nerve damage done during that really painful event while we were at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando.
More info will follow over the next couple of days.
Guys...got a question about an upcoming Prostate Biopsy...drop me an email and I will give you honest and straight forward answers.

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