My surgeon, at the end of my prostate surgery, installed the 22# French Foley Catheter. Post surgery instructions were that I was to wear the catheter for six to seven days. Moreover, I was to call the doctors’ office for an appointment to remove the catheter.
Wearing a catheter is uncomfortable and irritating. One has a sensation of always having to “go”. It is like having a bladder spasm 24/7. One should take the medication that is prescribed by the physician. I was prescribed Detrol to treat an overactive bladder; Levaquin to treat a variety of bacterial infections; and Phenazopyridine [also called Pyridium] to relieve pain, burning and discomfort of the urinary tract. I must say that I did not take the medication on a consistent basis and I suffered for not following my medical directions. Take the medication and save yourself a great deal of pain. Call your physician if you have a negative reaction to the medication.
I called the doctors’ office for my longed for appointment to have the catheter removed. I arrived at the office with great anticipation. My internal plumbing would be restored and I would be able to urinate on my own, so I thought. The nurse finally called my name. This was the moment of my relief from the 22# French Foley catheter.
The nurse asked me to disrobe and sit on the table as she prepared to remove the catheter. My wife was with me so I had to be brave. Finally, the nurse cut the tube and deflated the balloon in my bladder. She pulled the tube out of my urethra- the pain was bearable, but very uncomfortable. At last the feeling of relief felt better than I had expected. But it was not over. I was asked to drink several glasses of water to test my internal plumbing. One has to urinate and have the volume of urine checked by the nurse. No urine then it is back to the catheter. One additional recommendation is to make sure that you actually talk to your doctor before leaving the office for any concerns about post catheter effects like bladder neck scarring.
I considered myself lucky as I walked to my car without the 22# French Foley Catheter strapped to my leg. It was a great day.
Next issue-Another Laser Prostate Surgery