Probed In All the Wrong Places

One of the drawbacks a man faces during aging is a body part called the prostate gland. My prostate was referred to as a basketball by my latest urologist (U2). Latest because I out lived my first one (U1). The prostate encircles the urethra and as it grows it squeezes the urethra to narrow. The narrowing then makes urine flow slow down, and sometimes can be slow enough to become non-existent. Luckily, my Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) has not reached the point of a completely blocked flow. When that happens a man is brought to his knees with kidney and bladder pain that only catheterization and morphine can relieve.

Over the past fifteen years I have been able to control the need to pee by taking a drug called Flomax. U1 informed me that after about seven years Flomax can stop working. He recommended surgery which at the time was a ream job under sedation. I chose to tell my regular MD about the problem and he doubled my dose of medication. It has been working, but in recent months I have noticed the symptoms reappearing. U2 recommended two options: 1. Surgery, or 2. An in-office procedure called UroLift.

Before he asked for a decision, U2 told me he had to rule out any other conditions which might cause a problem. He had to do an internal bladder inspection, and then take a volumetric measurement of my prostate. Evidently, the UroLift is only recommended for men whose prostate has reached a specific size, and there is no sense in talking about a UroLift if the bladder is found to be cancerous and needs to be removed surgically.

Friday was the day I was scheduled for these two tests. If you have ever been told to drop your drawers to the floor by a woman in preparation for the almighty U2 you know how humiliating an experience it is. Even though I have had the bladder test twice by U1 it remains humiliating to me. Although I don’t remember it being painful when U1 did this test. U2 however has the finesse of a Yeti and seemed to be in a hurry, because his moves were rapid and I felt every twitch and every squirt of water he made. “Everything is okay,” he mumbled, you’ll have pain for a couple of days (He was absolutely correct on that matter). “Get your pants on and wait.” I sat waiting and had a super tremendous urge to relieve myself. I opened the door and asked for a toilet. A nurse showed me to the door. It was locked, someone was using it. I danced while I waited for the room to clear. The first pee after this inspection was really painful as was the second, third, fourth, etc. When I finished I opened the door to find a nurse waiting for me she pointed at another room. “You mean I have to go through this again,”?

“Yes” she said. “Take you pants off and lay on the table on your left side facing the cabinet.”

I did as she ordered, and waited for U2 to reappear. It took a few minutes for him to come in. “I’m going to take a picture of your prostate to measure it’s volume.”

“Is this an ultrasound?’ I asked.

“Yes”, and with that he shoved a dildo up my ass and waved it around all the time talking to himself. It felt like two hours, but it probably was only two minutes to complete. He showed me a photo of a very gray something, He said, “there is your prostate”, pointing at a darker grey image in a gray field. You are at 82%, and then mumbled something about my choices with a suggestion that I might want the UroLift option. Actually, he was right, I do want the UroLift, as I had already been researching the procedure and the system since U1 had told me about it three years ago. Finally, he told me to get dressed and to stop by the front desk to make an appointment before I leave.

The next day, I had a sharp pain in my lower back which I haven’t had in a very long time. I wondered if it was related to the probing of the day before.

I survived the humiliation of the testing and have forgotten about it, but now I look forward to the procedure with anxiety. I only have six weeks to be nervous before it happens.