The pain of night-time erections gradually got better during the week, taking some slow-release ibuprofen along with paracetamol before going to bed helped.
The bladder spasms were better once I was rid of the urethral catheter. I started working from home although I was very tired due to poor sleep and avoiding caffeine. I slowly started drinking coffee again as the week went on.
When I was pooping I kept getting some very odd sensations in my prostate, maybe because it was still sensitive from the catheter. On one occasion I had what I’m pretty sure was a prostate orgasm, which was very intense.
I started off going to the nurse at my GP surgery to get the suprapubic catheter dressings changed every few days. I usually got wet when I showered but the wound didn’t seem to be seeping at all. The nurse changed my leg bag on Monday and I got supplies so that I could do that and replace the suprapubic catheter dressings myself.
For a couple of days I was getting pretty severe pain on the left side of my jaw and apparently grinding my teeth during the night. That went away by itself, probably just a side-effect of my mouth being wedged open during the surgery. Otherwise the wound in my cheek was healing up pretty nicely, still a little bit irregular and sensitive but not causing any problems.
Before the infection I’d had a couple of days of enjoying peeing normally, with a really strong flow. After the infection I assumed that the flow was being restricted by my swollen prostate. Once my prostate was back to normal it was obvious that the stricture had recurred within a month of the urethrotomy.
Reading the research on urethral strictures it seems that urethrotomy is often unsuccessful with strictures of the penile urethra, especially if they’re quite long. In some places they’re recommending doing urethrography to check the size and location before performing urethrotomy and in some cases going directly to urethroplasty instead.
At my next visit to urology, three months after the urethrotomy, the doctor was determined that the standard treatment was to repeat the urethrotomy. Fortunately I’d prepared and was able to insist that all current research indicated that the first one had been pretty much doomed to failure and any successive urethrotomy had almost no chance of success (due to the location and speed of recurrence). After trying to scare me with warnings of the dangers of urethroplasty he finally gave in and agreed to refer me to a more senior urologist.
So a week after the surgery I had the usual problems that guys seem to have with catheters but that nobody bothers to tell you about.
Being woken up during the night when erections meant that my penis simultaneously tried to pull out the catheter and scraped it over the inside of my urethra was a new experience, and one I could have happily done without. After a couple of days I learned to tape the catheter into a position that minimised the unpleasantness.
I think that night-time erections were a particular problem for me because my penis changes a lot in size between flaccid and erect. So an erection meant pulling an extra 10 cm or so of catheter over my wounded urethra. It was also a latex catheter and they seem to be stickier than the other types.
During the week with the catheter I worked from home and tried to avoid walking around too much. I never did find a position for the tubing that didn’t become uncomfortable while walking.
Having the catheter removed was very easy, although slightly delayed by a massive failure of the county’s healthcare IT system that morning. The nurse deflated the balloon and pulled it out smoothly, all I felt was a slightly odd sensation and it was done.
I went straight back to work afterwards and discovered that the catheter had left my prostate a bit tender, so I needed to use a soft cushion on my office chair.
A few days later I started feeling like I had flu or something. Several colds and flus were going around the office at the time but my husband insisted I go to the emergency room and it turned out I had a fairly severe urinary tract infection. By the time I was admitted to the urology ward, around midnight, I was sweating profusely and feeling pretty grim.
They kept me in the hospital for three days while the antibiotics started to take effect. When I was discharged I had a meeting with the doctor who’d done the urethrotomy. I was a bit concerned that I hadn’t had any night-time erections for a few days (which was probably just due to being really ill) but he just casually said that it could be a complication of the surgery and made a weird comment about the next step being anastomosis and that that would likely cause shortening of the penis. It was an odd thing to say both because anastomosis isn’t at all a suitable surgery for strictures in the penile urethra and because it had nothing to do with the question I’d asked.
After a week of recovery I could concentrate for long enough to go back to work, although the infection had settled in my prostate and needed another couple of weeks of antibiotics to be completely rid of it.