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Trust me, you do not want to be me

by Ron Holdraker
September 10, 2022

Anyone who is a regular reader knows I am not at the top of the health meter. So far I have survived some 43 operations affecting just about every part of my body.

Some of the operations were easy peasy, some had me laid up for months. I even boast two different operations by two different doctors in the same surgery moments apart.

Some resulted in little pain while others knocked me for a loop. I tell people I have more titanium in my body than a fighter jet.

This includes both feet, both knees, a neck bridge and various scars and organ removals.

I have had serious pneumonia twice,  suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, had  three carpel tunnel operations and myriad broken “this and that”. This medical history comes with numerous pills taken at various times throughout the day.

Nine years ago I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. The easy battle was won, but I must check every three to six months for something called a Cysto.

To those in the know, a cystoscopy is a required procedure where cute nurses and assistants prepare for the physician assistants to invade your body in an unnatural way. I always remind the crew that there is undoubtedly shrinkage involved. A 1/4 inch camera is inserted into the male penis and up to the bladder for examination. A sample of an odd spot, or growth may be taken for examination to ensure the cancer has not returned.

The procedure is quick and  discomfort is tolerable. Some people going through this reoccurring test must be fully put out in a surgery room, by not me.

Okay, you’re probably wondering why I have built the story up to this point. Let me explain, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate, which is non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate that occurs as men age. 

The condition affects over 40 million men in the United States alone, with more than 40 percent of men over 50 and 80 percent of men over 70 having BPH.

Basically in my case, the prostate enlarges causing a disruption of urine to the bladder. Some find the urine flow slower and more often.

In my case it got so bad that every hour, day and night, I was trying to pee, taking 10 to 15 minutes per trip.

Obviously this cuts into sleep and living, and makes for an ornery Ronnie.

The solution?

Last Tuesday I finally was scheduled for a procedure where a metal tube with securing metal, was attached to the prostate. This allows for a bigger opening between the prostate and bladder. It comes at a cost. I had to be on a colostomy bag, strapped to my leg for a day, for urine to flow, with some blood. Trust me, this is not pleasant. I had to attempt to sleep in a recliner, still wakening on the hour to empty the bag and attempt to poop. Meanwhile the swollen prostate is pushing on other nearby organs, preventing #2 movement. The result is severe constipation, that, in my case, also means severe hemorrhoids. Yes, I those too.

The pain will subside and everything will flow naturally in the weeks to come. I will be normal. (?)

I talk about this not to gross anybody out, but so you understand what many, many thousands of men (and women),  go through with bladder cancer and urination conditions.

Plus I like grossing people out.

Me, I got it lucky, some not so. Please consult a specialist. There is no embarrassment in living longer and with a better life.

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