This post hits very close to home for me, because like you, I am a wife who trolls this website often, to get ideas for my husband who has suffered from chronic pain for the last 4 years, 3 months. Just to give you a synopsis of our hell, we decided to try and have a baby but my husband needed a vasectomy reversal after getting his vasectomy over 20 years earlier. After a ton of research, we went with Dr. Sheldon Marks in Arizona. We figured it was better to pay more, and travel from California to Arizona, banking on the fact that he would be awesome. From the minute he woke up from surgery, he has had major testicle/abdominal pain, mainly radiating from his left testicle. My husband is pretty determined and proactive, so we have traveled from California to the PUR clinic, Dr. P, 12 times (YES 12), then twice to Baltimore for a surgery with Dr. Dellon the first time, and Dr. Williams the second time. 14 procedures in all.
He has had everything from denervation (the worst pain), to a left testicle removal, to Botox, to Amnio fix, to homeopathic medicine, Chryo, ultrasound, pain management, hernia removal, blocks, and nerve removal. He also has a vasectomy, to try and repair what might have happened during the reversal. In the beginning, the pain was terrible. He was living with constant 9-10 pain. Dr. Marks completely abandoned him-after prescribing him numerous antibiotics/steroids, etc. He dislikes pain medication but has tried them all, including weed. Gabapentin/Lyrica make him totally spacey so he won’t take that as a rule although he has tried them all. He is now on a seizure medication called, (Baclofen) which seems to be helping slightly. He takes tramadol and tries to avoid Oxy. He hasn't needed it recently and sees it as a last resort. The last surgery with Dr. Williams was 3 months ago. He removed more of the genitofemoral (Dellon started the process), and the ilioinguinal. It has resulted in some improvement-he is now at a 3-4 most days when he used to be a 7-8 even after all the surgeries at the PUR clinic. This is typically the story. He spends a couple of months recovering from a major surgery, he lays in bed to work (thank goodness he works from home), and we ask each other what might be old pain, or new surgical pain. It gets better for a bit, then he typically relapses as soon as he starts moving around too much.
As for his area of pain, the testicle is gone, but most pain radiates from his “stump,” or the area where his vas was cut. You can feel a lump. This pain radiates up through his abdomen. Before this last procedure, he had what he would describe as a “background” pain, like the electric pulse you get before a major leg cramp. After his surgery with Williams, that is now gone. We were warned that the nerve removal/exploration might result in some thigh pain/numbness which it has-but it doesn’t bother him too much. As of right now, he has good days and bad days and we have agreed with his doc that we will give him more time to heal-at least through the summer before thinking about another nerve removal surgery.
The idea is that this was the result of a stitch through a nerve when he had his vasectomy reversal. The bummer is that we never got pregnant. So, as the wife of someone going through this-it is VERY real. He is an incredible husband/father but this has changed our lives in so many ways. We take it all one day at a time, and our agreement with each other is that I won’t quit on him, as long as he never believes that this is our new reality-and is always proactive as to ideas/research/surgeries. Surgery sucks, and we have spent more time dealing with surgeries, recoveries, and pain than anything else. But he is WORTH it. Husbands-if your wives aren’t a part of your “journey,” please have them read this. My husband gets down, and so do I, but if the roles were reversed, he would have my back.
You are a good partner, we should all be looking for ways to help those we love! If I can be of any help to you, even for moral support, please let me know. I GET it.
Good luck everyone!