Post Vasectomy Pain Forum

My Debut and Journey with Unspeakable Pain

It was a fairly pleasant December winter day by most standards. The sun was out with just a few clouds peppering the deep azure sky. The temperature outside was cool but tolerable. The early November snow had melted off and it looked like, for all intents and purposes, that we would not be enjoying a white Christmas. Today was a big day. It happened to be the six week anniversary of my vasectomy surgery and it was time I brought my sample into the urologist. As I filled out the one sheet of paperwork to identify myself with the sample, the receptionist asked if I needed her to look up the date of my procedure. “Oh no,” I replied, “That won’t be necessary. That date is now forever etched in my memory.” With a sense of surprise echoing in her voice, she replied, “Oh wow, most people don’t remember that date and have to have me retrieve it for them.” I replied without looking up from my paperwork, “That is a date I will never forget. I have been in the most intolerable pain ever since. How could I ever forget it?” I suppose she may have routinely apologized and empathized with me for a brief moment, but to be honest, I don’t really remember now, and it doesn’t really matter anyway.

In the interest of full disclosure, I never post anything to the internet. I don’t write blogs, nor do I read them. I am not on any social media, nor do I want to be. This is the first time in my life I have ever contributed anything personal to the internet. Why? Because I made an unbreakable promise to God the other day in personal prayer while asking for help through this most terrible trial, that I now understood it to be my personal and civic duty to share my story with anyone who might benefit from hearing it.

I am literally starting to write this post now from the comfort of a hot bath, where I spend two to three hours a day because it is the only place I feel temporary partial relief from what I have now come to understand is chronic, and at times completely unbearable pain. Only last night, after two nights in which I received a combined total of four hours of sleep despite sheer physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion from being continually awoken by pain fairly consistently for the past seven straight weeks, did I finally come to terms with the fact that this pain will likely never go away unless I take corrective action through additional surgeries. That said, after making up my mind to get this surgery reversed, or take some other similar action deemed advisable by a urology specialist, I decided I had probably do a little more research into that procedure than I did the first (which is to say I did no research at all prior to my initial vasectomy). Unlike applying strict analytic rigor to everything I do at work, when I’m on my free time I generally take a mental break and haphazardly make decisions as though shooting from the hip.

My surgery was uneventful. I was perhaps so anxious for the big day that the only real mistake I made was shaving off every ounce of my pubic hair I had because I did not want to take a single chance that they would turn me away and make me come back another day for shaving off too little. The regrowth of that hair proved to feel very painful. Or so I thought for the first three or four weeks that the excruciating, constant pain I was in was a result of the constant prodding, poking sensation of regrowing hair. I now perfectly understand that was never the case, because as I compose this post even now, seven weeks into my recovery, I am still experiencing all the same painful sensations.

You see, the groin area, in my humble opinion, is not an area of the body that the nervous system generally makes you take note of. So, at least for me, when I was first emerging from surgery, I had no life experience on a pain scale with which to measure or comprehend what I was experiencing. I simply could not identify, as some bloggers on this site are able to do, that the pain was emanating from one side or the other, or any specific place for that matter. All I knew then and all I still know now, is that my scrotum, and even penis at times, just downright hurt. Not to the touch. But somewhere inside, something went terribly wrong. And my body has been urgently sending me what have been literally never-ending chronic pain messages ever since. At times these have been in the form of serious SOS messages from my nervous system to my brain stating that something went terribly wrong with this surgery that needs attention. These are my 10 out of 10 pain scale moments, which I have now likely had eight or nine of and which are increasing in frequency and severity, that bring a grown man not just to tears, but to sobbing. I marvel that it took me seven weeks to come to terms with the fact that this was no recovery whatsoever but rather a situation that required immediate medical attention. And not from the jack-of-all-trades urologist who performed the surgery, but instead the careful attention of a skilled specialist who can cut me back open and repair, if at all possible, whatever terrible damage has been done.

Rewinding back to the day of my procedure, other than having several needles inserted into my scrotum to numb the pain whilst being forewarned by the doctor, “This one’s going to sting like a bumble bee,” the surgery went off entirely successfully, or so it seemed. I was so comfortable after the surgery I agreed to go along with my wife to her favorite restaurant as if this would make up for robbing her of the future possibility of ever having more kids.

The pre-op paperwork warned me I would need to take two days off work and abstain from rigorous sports activity for seven days, two sacrifices I was willing to make. As it turns out, I took four days off work and have never dreamed of playing sports, running on the treadmill, or almost even walking for long distances since. I spent almost every one of my two hour lunch breaks sleeping, as this was the only temporary oasis I could find from the pain and discomfort. Now even that luxury has been robbed from me. I now sleep a maximum of three to four hours at a time before being awoken by my new alarm clock called pain. When I suggested to my wife that I felt an obligation to post my story online, she expressed concern that I would not have adequate time to spend with her and the kids. So now I contribute a little each night to this first post when everyone else is sleeping during my long, lonely nights of constant pain that now consistently prevent sleep every single evening.

My first true realization that something must have gone wrong with my surgery occurred the early morning hours of day nine. I was in a hotel away from home when indescribable pain gripped my private area. I cried. The wave of pain lasted a good hour and a half. I awoke my wife and told her that something must have gone wrong with the surgery. None of the pre-op paperwork had warned me to anticipate anything of this sort. How could it warn me not to engage in sports for seven days, when ten days into my recovery I was being riveted with the most excruciating pain I had ever experienced in my life? As this first intense wave of pain subsided, I returned to life as normal as best I could. But my nervous system never, ever stopped sending me feelings of pain, or at least more than mere discomfort, to remind me that I had had this operation.

The day following my first massive wave of pain was a Sunday. I sat through church services in utter agony. I gave my wife, who was sticking around for choir practice, a hug, and told her I had to go home (as we had driven to church separately) to cope with my pain. She pulled me close to her and asked quietly in my ear, did you consult with God in prayer before deciding to get this surgery? Knowing my wife pious character, I took no offense at her question, but replied instead that not only had I not asked God, I hadn’t even asked Google.

On my drive home from Sunday services, I began to panic that something was wrong - that I might even need corrective surgery. I resolved to call the doctor’s office and was patched through to the after hours receptionist. She promised the doctor would call within thirty minutes. The on call doctor, who I will respectfully call Dr. Smith to, for some unknown reason, protect his identity, asked on the other end of the line what was the matter. His tone throughout the call was one of anything but sympathy, empathy, or concern. It was, rather, a tone of complete and utter annoyance that I had disrupted his day off. I described my dire circumstances. He replied that if there was no swelling and I was not running a temperature, then he was not concerned. I was only ten days into my recovery, after all. I referenced the seven day warning against sports activity and told him I couldn’t dream of engaging in sports. He told me that everyone responds differently to the surgery. I asked him what to do for the pain and he recommended continuing the 800 milligrams of ibuprofen every six hours. Regretfully, I took confidence in his counsel and went back to coping as best I could with my pain.

While I admit this post is unintentionally turning into a more lengthy diatribe than I initially intended, I must choose to spare you some parts of my journey in the interest of brevity and to ensure that I actually follow through with completing this post as I swore an oath I would do. And so, I will fast forward to day 35. Suffice it to say, I began resuming life as best I could. I hesitated to snow blow the driveway for fear I would be lifting heavy things, I worked from home for five and a half hours a day due to my participation in a Russian language course sponsored through my employer that fortunately could not be accessed through strict firewalls on my employer’s computer network. This meant I only had to sit upright at work for 2.5 hours a day, which was doable. But by day 35 the pain was wearing me down and I conceded to go to the doctor’s office for an urgent checkup. As luck would have it, my performing surgeon had the day off. So I had to settle randomly on a visit with one of the other eight or ten physicians in the clinic. As luck would have it, I was reunited with the annoyed on-call doctor from my day-ten weekend phone call plea for help. Dr. Smith had me describe my pain to him. Knowing my $30 copay would only buy me 15 minutes of this important man’s time, I hurriedly described my symptoms.

I think the topic of describing my pain deserves special attention here. I have come to appreciate others on this site who take the time to be specific about what they experienced. I have yet to find anyone who experienced pain in precisely the way I did, but perhaps I have not looked hard or long enough yet. That said, I have found great value in reading the stories of your suffering and can only empathize with you in your experience with pain. I must admit, since going through this experience I have grown to be an empathetic person, something I could not pretend to have been previous to this tragedy. When I hear of a friend experiencing pain after a surgery of any kind, I am the first one on the phone text messaging them to get updates on their status, to have them describe their pain in detail, to pity them in their suffering, or to extend an invitation to just converse to help overcome the boredom of a hospital bed.

My pain is localized to the scrotum and occasionally but more rarely sends pricking sensations of pain up the shaft to the top of my penis. I do not have pain in my legs, abdomen, or anywhere but my privates. My pain is not on one side or the other. When Dr. Smith asked me to show him where the pain was primarily emanating from I simply cupped my entire scrotum from below in the palm of my hand. The exam with the doctor feeling around down there, squeezing on things, pinching things, produced literally zero additional pain. My pain is internal, not external. I cannot identify where it is coming from. I can’t say for instance, oh my pinky finger hurts, or no sorry, it must be my thumb. It just hurts.

My pain levels range from a 1 to 10 on a 10 point scale. As I said previously, a 10 drops me to my knees in desperate prayer and brings me to sobbing tears of pain. I lose all hope of recovery. I reach out to family members helplessly via text, hoping I’ll find someone who is randomly awake at 3:00 am to commiserate with me, but never do. Instead my text messages reach my intended recipients only hours later when I am through the pain and exhausted, asleep. But I have come to appreciate and value these text messages and save them to my journal. They are like rusted out shipwrecks, collecting barnacles on the depths of the ocean floor. They stand as helpful reminders of just how bad my pain gets at times. At times, I almost feel tempted to reach out into the ether and retract them from their recipients because once I am through the pain I can almost no longer relate to them. I seem to doubt their authenticity just hours after composing them and feel embarrassed for exposing myself to friends and family in such a vulnerable moment.

My pain comes in many shapes and sizes. But these shapes and sizes are limited to about five varieties that repeat themselves over and over again throughout each passing hour, day, and week. In no particular order of frequency or severity, my pain feels as follows: 1) someone is pricking me all over from below with small needles in the scrotum and less frequently up the shaft of my penis 2) someone has applied metal clips to the vas deferens, if indeed those are located just above each testicle, that create an unnerving pinching sensation 3) waves of pain reverberate across my testicles in the night time like one point twenty one gigawatt bolts of lighting striking my scrotum - this sensation is the most alarming and guaranteed to wake me from even the most exhausted night’s sleep 4) constant but dull blunt pain continually emanating from within the scrotum 5) there must be a few others but they are escaping my memory at the moment.

Long periods of time spent at level three or above eventually result in a mental and emotional break down. I’m not sobbing from pain like at a 10 but instead weep meekly in solitude or in the presence of others, family and coworkers alike, as I lose hope and fear the need for a corrective surgery. So, after explaining everything I just described above to Dr. Smith on day thirty-five, you are naturally wondering if I received the medical attention I deserved, right? No, I did not. Dr. Smith advised after all this that the surgery was likely a success, that he felt nothing in my tetisticular sack that concerned him. “Keep taking ibuprofen,” he advised. He explained there was a 1 in 10,000 chance I would be the one unlikely patient who would live with chronic pain. He disclosed he had done 4,000 of these procedures and not a single one of his patients had ever failed to fully recover. Regretfully, I trusted him and took hope in his words. You see, everyone on this planet wants to believe that good things are going to happen to them. That’s why gambling sometimes becomes an addiction. People know they have a better chance of getting struck by lighting seven times, and yet they’ll still spend an extra buck on their two dollar lotto ticket to “power up” their winnings in the ludicrously unlikely chance they will be the winner. It’s the same reason old folks fall victim to a myriad of mass marketing schemes such as ones that inform you are the winner of a Jamaican lottery you never even purchased a ticket to enter. Just send two thousand dollars via Western Union to some random guy named Fitzroy to cover international taxes and the pot of gold on the other side of the rainbow is all yours! And yet gullible people fall victim to such scams every day. Why? For the same reason I was gullible enough to believe Dr. Smith when he said everything was in order: I believed - like gambling addicts and mass marketing fraud victims - that good things were going to happen in my life. And so I went home that day with an entirely spurious, renewed sense of relief. I was going to recover after all. Surely I must be one of the 9,999 lucky winners.

Well, my false sense of security lasted about two days after my doctor’s office visit. My mind over matter mental exercises crashed and burned and smoldered in the smoking wreckage as soon as the next major wave of pain came on. I suppose it was about this time that my suspicions that I was never going to get better really started creeping out of the subconscious of the recesses of my mind and into its forefront. I had previously kept shorthand notes every few days in the notes section of my iPhone, but I now determined to put my 11th grade creative writing class skills to work in extensively verbose text messages to my mom around 3:00 am every morning after being awoken by pain. These text messages served two purposes. First, I memorialized them to my journal app on my iPhone for safekeeping. Second, they acted as a barometer of my progress, or lack of progress for that matter.

Referring back to my text messages to my mom, I began more earnestly analyzing in greater detail the patterns of pain I was experiencing. As it turns out I had gone through three operations in my adult life prior to this one that went off relatively smoothly: 1) a hernia surgery, 2) a shoulder surgery (left labrum tear), and 3) a tonsillectomy. I have always recovered quickly from surgeries, weening myself off potentially addictive narcotics and opioids as fast as possible. My pain levels typically start high but are artificially cured by the taking of pain killers. While I might suffer small setbacks from time to and experience previous higher levels of pain, these setbacks are temporary and short lived. If I were to chart my typical recovery it would look something like a nearly straight line drawn from the top corner of a pain chart with a steady, diagonal decline toward a zero pain level. This process typically occurs over a matter of weeks. The high end pain in the beginning is medicated away by Vicodin or oxycodone or some other prescription pain medication. The fact that my urologist offered me zero pain killers and recommended eight hundred milligrams of ibuprofen only indicated to me the perceived simplicity of this operation.

Unfortunately, my pain chart in connection with this procedure was anything but a straight, steadily diminishing line. My pain never left me, ever. It still hasn’t as of today, day 53, as I initiate this thread. My chart would look more like the waves of incoming and outgoing tides of stormy, turbulent ocean waters. My chart was and is a never ending wavy line of unpredictable chaos and agony. Pain levels varied from level one discomfort to unbearable, almost indescribable level ten spasms.

I feel the urge to break away at this point from the current tempo and style of this post and share with you some of the more vulnerable moments of my recovery in the form of selected text messages, many directed to my sleeping mother around 3:00 am central standard time on various difficult mornings. These text messages I share with you in their raw, unedited form. I have only replaced the names of my family members with terms like “my wife” or “my son.” These text messages, I think, capture the desperation I experienced, along with the utter confusion I was in about my condition and prospects for a full recovery. After all, I kept ignoring the obvious criticality of my desperate circumstances, continually reassuring myself that surely I could not be that 1 in 10,000 guy. As I look back on it in hindsight I am ashamed at my gullibility and sheer stupidity. But, as they say, hindsight is 20/20, and so I’ll just have to give myself a pass this time around.

I think I’ve reached my word limit, so I’ll have to post my journal entries in a follow on post…

This is a continuation from my initial post -

And so, my personal texts or journal entries:

Monday morning 12/9/19 - Mom, I am really worried about my health. It is 2:30 in the morning and I am waking up in pain. I would give my pain at this moment an 8.5 to 9 out of 10. A 10 out of 10 is when I am crying, which has happened at least twice since the operation. I was making progress for one week only just one week ago but since my trip with my son to Chicago it has been nothing but downhill. The doctor won’t give me pain meds due to side effects and yet I wonder how any side effect could be worse than the constant pain i am suffering. My pain levels now never drop below anything less than a 4 out of 10 and I only get to experience a 4 for five or ten minutes every now and then and then it elevates back up to a 7. I don’t see how it is possible that after five weeks of recovery, I feel as though I had surgery just five days ago. He said my exam checked out and that everything is fine but I am feeling like I am the 1 out of 10,000 guy who will have chronic pain for life and I cannot imagine living the rest of my life like this. Two Tylenol and eight ibuprofen every six hours literally does nothing to stem my pain or discomfort. It’s 4 am now and I think the worst of that wave of pain is over. Man, this is rough. Back to bed.

Tuesday 12/10/19 - Rough day yesterday. Was almost brought to tears in pain yesterday during Russian class. While on a date with my wife to Panera Bread my pain levels started rising to a 7 or 8. Spent a long time in the bath after fasting and praying all day. Either the fasting or the bath seemed to help last night. I had a great night’s sleep. Woke up at 4:20 well rested with almost no pain at night. Took another bath for an hour and a half this morning. We’ll see if baths could be an answer to prayer.

Thursday, 12/13/19 - Pain levels yesterday and today hover between a two and three but mostly a three. So mostly this is just a feeling of discomfort. A consciousness that that area of my body exists - an area of the body the mind does not normally make a point to note the existence of. Pinching and itching feelings. Feelings of pressure down there. When will these feelings, if ever, be erased?

Friday 12/13/19 - Pain levels mostly at a 2 or 3 today and for ten or fifteen minutes at a time was at a low of 1. Pressure and pain started to build during date night and I had to come home and take an hour plus long bath.

Saturday, 12/14/19 - I can only hope my following suspicions are dead wrong… but based on my limited experience with recovery from surgeries, I feel as though I know what recovery feels like, and what I am experiencing is more than likely not that. My need for an alarm clock has been mostly replaced by what I fear are only the beginnings of what could be lifetime chronic post surgical pain. My new alarm clock is set for around three to four o’clock each morning. Enough pain to wake me up, masquerading as “discomfort” that one day just might resolve itself. My pain levels over the past week hovered mostly between a two and thee, which is good. But let’s be honest, I can’t spend the rest of my life in the bath tub. I take baths that last over an hour each at least two, if not three times a day. Three hours a day in the bath tub six weeks after surgery - if that is called progress, then I am not sure progress is necessarily a good thing. Taking a bath is the only time I experience a relatively pain free, temporary reprieve. I had to cut our date night short last night because I felt the pressure and pain building and gravely fear ever returning to my precious week’s levels of debilitating pain. I can survive about three hours of sitting upright at work but now face the prospect of returning to work full time the week after next as my Russian class comes to a close. I sleep for two hours a day on my lunch break to experience a brief but short-lived oasis from the pain and discomfort. I wonder if I will ever get to run on the treadmill during my lunch break again. I don’t even have to let my three and five year old win as we race from the kitchen wall to the gray couch in the living room and back because my pain levels prevent me from moving deftly enough to keep up. I experienced five or ten minutes the other day of pain at what I might call a level one, but knew it would be short lived. Last night as I walked around the kitchen before bed time it felt as though someone was applying pressure with pinching metal clips above my testicles. I get to experience that sensation off and on throughout each and every passing day. Sometimes I feel as though someone is poking and prodding me with a hundred small needles in the scrotum. At first I misperceived this as prickly hair growing back in. But I now understand that never was the cause. I no longer sleep on my stomach but rather on my side to avoid an uncomfortable pinching sensation. All of this seems anything but normal to me. I regretfully suspect that I may never really fully heal from this surgery.

Saturday 12/14/19 - Daytime journal. Had a rough time at the church breakfast this morning. Came home and cried tears of being emotionally overwhelmed. Called my younger sister and cried. Did my Russian homework on the laptop in front of the fireplace and hovered between a 3 and 4. Dropped to a 2 while taking my son to McDonald’s and maybe even experienced a one for a while. Had reprieve for about two hours. During these moments, my confidence builds and I believe I might one day recover. I feel in these moments that I need pain medication to put me in a better place for the next three or four weeks and then perhaps I can make it. Talk to me when I am a level four or above and that reasoning will fly out the window and I’ll be talking reversals once again. I need to talk to the doctor about pain medications again. What is available? What are the side effects? How long would my pain have to go on for the doctor to be convinced that something went wrong and that I may have chronic pain? I am going to bump up my ibuprofen to 4 pills every four hours and not every six to see if that might make a difference.

Sunday, 12/15/19 - Well, it is 5:40 am my time and I just woke up. Not to pain, but to use the bathroom. I used the heating pad all throughout the night. I must have woken up somewhat subconsciously throughout the night and clicked the heating pad off and then back on again to avoid the two hour automated shut off mechanism from triggering because I don’t remember being without heat at any point last night. It may only be a coincidence - because I do get a good night’s sleep about one in every three or four nights - but last night felt better than I can remember for some time now. I am hoping the heat made a real difference. The heating pad might just be simulating the feeling of being in the tub, because it’s almost as though my pain levels were at a level 1 or 1.5 throughout the night. I could still feel a tingling sensation throughout the night reminding me that I have had surgery, but it was not necessarily a feeling of pain. So, the jury is still out on the heating pad, but I have high hopes that you were inspired to have me get it. If it turns out to work as consistently well as taking a bath, then applying a heating pad in bed for an hour here and there throughout the day will be far more convenient than drawing a bath two or three times a day. Not too mention it is far less risky to watch my movies or read my scriptures or read some Russian press on my mobile phone while laying in bed, rather than having to hold the phone out over the edge of the bathtub to avoid any chance of making a seven hundred dollar mistake by dropping my iPhone in the water. Pray that we just made a major breakthrough with the heating pad idea. Time will tell.

Monday, 12/16/19 - 3:00 am - If am to monitor my recovery from Sunday to Sunday, then yesterday was hands down the most pain free Sunday I have experienced yet. My pain levels were generally at a 2 to 1.5 while at church. I was far more social with people because I was happy and not just focused on pain radiating in my groin. I came home from church and was probably at a 2.5 or 3 and so I took a nap for three hours with the heating pad. After my nap (still wearing the jock strap any time I am up and about), I felt pretty good for the most part. I experienced minor pricking and prodding sensations from time to time but nothing debilitating enough to pull my spirits down and make me lose hope. At times during the evening I experienced what must have been a 1 and for longer than just five or ten minutes at a time as in the past. I cleaned the bathroom upstairs and down with my son and felt about 85 to 90% of myself. I sat down after and watched thirty minutes of a Hallmark movie and felt very comfortable. It is now 3 am and I have not slept yet, mostly because I am simply not very tired after taking such a long nap. That said, my pain levels are between a 2 and a 3 tonight, so a little less comfortable than I would prefer, but certainly manageable. The good news is I have not had to take a single bath since investing in the heating pad. I am still taking two Tylenol and four ibuprofen every four hours or so and definitely not waiting more than six hours in between any two doses. Today is a big day. I’ll find out if this surgery was “successful “ or not when the doctor’s office calls back with the results of my semen sample test. If they give me anything but positive results I will probably shrink into oblivion and mourn my fate seeing that I have just endured the most excruciating six weeks of pain ever in my life for nothing. I still have fears throughout the day that my pain will be chronic and that my body is only allowing me to enjoy one day of temporary relief. It’s hard to believe some patients likely feel better than I do right now after just one week of recovery. After all, I wasn’t supposed to play sports for at least one week after surgery according to the highly misleading pre-op paperwork. I’m guessing playing sports is at least not going to happen for me for at least another six weeks, if not more…if not ever. It is now 6:04 am and I am waking up to some pretty strange sensations down there. Hard to describe what they feel like but they scare me. I worry that I suffered some kind of nerve damage during this surgery. The heating pad had turned off after two hours automatically so the heat no longer masks the various feelings I get down there. This morning at 3:00 am I described to my wife that I get these tingling, poking needles kind of feeling that runs up the shaft of my penis sometimes. Early on I always attributed the feeling to pain stemming from hair growing back in but by now, of course, I realize we’ve moved way past that realm of possibility. When it happens it is not necessarily painful, but just a bit uncomfortable, and mostly just alarming and befuddling. Yesterday was, after all, just one good day in 45. So let’s not get to hung-ho about my chances at a fair recovery. Based on what I am feeling right now, I think I need to call a second urologist and get another opinion. What could it hurt? And I need to go see my urologist again. Regardless of how the semen sample turns out today, I need additional answers. I told my wife this morning that the only thing keeping me going sometimes is Dr. Smith’s reassurances that what I am undergoing is not alarming to him, that he has done 4,000 of these procedures and everyone has eventually recovered and that none of his patients have been the 1 in 10,000 who had to live with chronic pain, that I cannot compare myself to others and their recovery times, etc, etc. But when I start feeling like my one good day out of 45 might have been a hoax and I am reverting back to standard levels of pain, I almost instantly lose all hope and start scheming again about getting second opinions, a reversal, pain killers, anything but the status quo. I am 46 days into my recovery and spend countless hours with a heating pad applied to my groin. I spend so much time in bed and now face the prospect of returning to work full time in just one week, which I simply know will not be possible. It would crush my “recovery” to sit upright at a desk for eight straight hours, five days a week, for the next…forever. I have to tell my doctor that I don’t have enough sick leave to sustain this kind of recovery for long. My guess is I can handle maybe four to five hours a day at work max. I either need pain meds to push me through the pain that a full time work schedule will induce, or something, but dangerous amounts of Tylenol and ibuprofen will no longer cut it.

Tuesday, 12/17/19 - I received a call yesterday morning that my surgery was a “success.” In other words, no sperm were found in my semen sample. This news was extremely anti-climatic because I was in pain the whole night before and received just three hours of sleep. I told the nurse that at this current six week mark I was still in considerable pain. I asked to see Dr. Jones, who performed the surgery. As it turned out, I was in luck and he was in the office that Monday out of turn because he was performing an operation. He agreed to meet with me at 10 am. I cut my Russian language short by an hour and decided I must go. My wife went along with me. I told the doctor of my symptoms and that I was on my way back to work full time a week from that Monday and that I could not survive eight hour days at work sitting upright in a chair. I told him that fighting my pain with Tylenol and ibuprofen was like a firefighter trying to extinguish a forrest fire with a squirt gun. He prescribed me Celecobix 400 mg and the second being a narcotic or opioid hopefully capable of easing or eliminating the pain (oxycodone 5 mg tablets). He also recommended that I go to physical therapy. I must admit I was particularly skeptical of PT and what that might look or feel like around that sensitive area of the body, but at this point I pretty much consider myself a captive audience when it comes to any advice from any doctor that might lead to relief from pain. I posed a hypothetical situation to the doctor asking him how many patients out of 100 getting a vasectomy have pain like mine at the six week mark. His answer: “0.2” Jaw probably dropping to the floor, “two in a thousand?” I asked dubiously, fully comprehending my typical lack of mental math skills. He affirmed my calculations. I told him I was losing hope. He assured me not to lose hope and said that none of his vasectomy patients are still coming to him in pain a year or two after surgery and that I would recover with time.

Well, I ended up lucking out and getting into the physical therapist that same afternoon. She was extremely professional and knowledgeable about the muscle groups in my groin. She recommended some breathing exercises, cautioned me against what appeared to be a pattern of pain stemming from too much sitting (particularly in the car) but soon to be at work as well when I return full time next week, and completely took me by surprise with her counsel to begin taking brisk walks and to take up jogging again as soon as possible. Conventional wisdom had told me completely otherwise as I had relegated myself almost entirely to bed on my free time. She advised me to only work up to the pain but not through the pain.

That very night I took her up on her advice and went on a one hour walk with my wife. My pain levels were at a one to two and I felt pretty confident. That night at around 10:30 pm I took my first oxycodone. Within thirty minutes I felt drugged with sleep and was out like a light bulb. I slept through the night and woke up a few times here and there to miraculously feel a pain level of zero for the first time since before my surgery. Needless to say I was thrilled beyond measure. My pain levels during Russian class were at an all time low, perhaps at a .5 or 1 for most of class. I lay on the carpet as usual on my stomach and experienced virtually no pain or pinching discomfort. I went to work for three and a half hours that afternoon and decided to completely avoid sitting on my chair. Instead I stood doing stretches, conducting occasional breathing exercises, and flexing my muscle in the groin area by feigning as though I was holding back urination and by pushing slightly as though I wanted to induce a bowel movement. Maybe those flexing exercises were just me misunderstanding some of the physical therapist’s advice, but whatever, I felt more confidence in my circumstances than ever before. I returned home after work in the highest of spirits, despite feeling my pain levels steadily rising to a two again. My wife and I went for our one hour walk and returned home around 9:00 pm. My pain levels remained at a two up until about midnight when I went to bed. But I regretfully confessed to my wife that after an hour from swallowing the oxycodone I felt no relief from the minor discomfort like I had the night before. At midnight I lay down to sleep.

Wednesday, 12/18/19 - Well, keep the prayers coming. I may have spoken too soon. My pain is back up to a 3 at 2:48 am. I kept waiting for the medicine to knock me out last night and kill the pain down to a zero like it supposedly did the night before and it just never happened. Now my pain is creeping back up to a 3, enough to wake me up, even with the heavier medicine. My wife and I went on another one hour walk last night and my pain levels were at a 2 or below, so this is a little surprising to me. Definitely a let down. Onward and upward!

Wednesday, 12/18/19 - 1:56 pm. Still not over last night’s illness. Pain in my scrotum has been around a two mostly with occasional threes. The feeling today is that pinching feeling within my scrotum. The medicine did nothing last night because I had terrible diarrhea and threw up whatever medicine I took. I just took one of each of my meds after finally eating again thirty minutes ago. I need to make sure the meds are powerful enough to get me to a zero like they did two nights ago. If they can’t achieve that, I am going to be very depressed. I at least need some relief each night so I can keep my chin up during the daytime pain. 11:18 pm, just came up to bed after falling asleep by the fireplace. Pinching pain in my scrotum at level 3 waking me up. Headed up to bed and took 5mg of oxycodone. This stuff is only enough to bring my pain levels down to a 2. I don’t think I’ll ever recover from this surgery.

Thursday, 12/19/19 - 4:57 am. Took my oxycodone at 11:15 last night. Slept virtually pain free all night. Did not wake up because of pain. I hope one day I can enjoy a pain free life like the one I experienced last night. 8:24 am, the medicine is probably wearing off. Starting to get some feeling back down there again, unfortunately. It is such a miraculous feeling to be pain free.

Friday, 12/20/19 - 4:35 am. I took my oxycodone at 11:15 pm and went to bed. I’m not sure if I slept much tonight. I had waves of pain sweeping across my scrotum for short intervals here and there, sort of comparable to a gust of wind passing through in just a few seconds or perhaps even just a fraction of a second. I was pretty exhausted at one point but one particularly intense wave of pain was enough to instantly wake me. This is somewhat unexpected (which I’m not sure why I would ever choose that word at this point because what is unexpected has certainly come to be expected) but I had an extremely positive, upbeat outlook yesterday. My pain levels were relatively low throughout the morning and inched up predictably and tolerably throughout the day, but not to any unbearable level. I look forward to evenings on oxycodone when I can get some much needed rest and experience a level one or even zero pain level which refreshes my energies to take on a new tomorrow. But tonight I was not so fortunate. For instance, when I lay down in bed last night, rather than experiencing relief, I felt as though my sensations of pain were amplified rather than sequesters for the evening. That feeling never wore off. Apparently I am meant to tackle my new tomorrow on 1.5 hours of sleep. I’m not even going to try to get into any kind of analysis of what this set back means, because frankly, at this point, I don’t have a stinking clue…I cried pretty uncontrollably during Russian class today. I am mentally exhausted from this ordeal. I cannot go on. The pain plowed through that oxycodone like it was candy. I want my life back. I want a good night’s sleep. I want to appear professional at work. I want to live pain free once again in my life.

Saturday, 12/21/19 - 2:30 am. Although I should be, and actually am exhausted due to one hour of sleep last night, I only received about three hours of sleep tonight before being awoken by pain. This has become a regular pattern in my life. But that is okay, because today, everything has come to a head. The path before me is becoming clearer. It has taken seven weeks exactly to arrive at these conclusions, but I am now ready to accept the fact that I have a permanent condition called Post Vasectomy Pain Syndrome. I will never get better unless I take a chance on a vasectomy reversal. My wife has been trying to gently tell me this all along. As it turns out, once again, she has probably been right. She knew the doctors were way out of their league with respect to my recovery. They have literally never dealt with a patient like me who will never recover. I now need a specialist who can reverse the operation. My brother called me tonight after I told him that I was in dire straights, that my plea for help to the doctor’s office this afternoon was answered by them with a referral to a pain clinic. My wife warned me not to go there. She said I will formulate an addiction to drugs like her friend in South Carolina did after her neck surgery. She and her husband basically had to take out a second mortgage to get her admitted into a detox facility to help her overcome her addiction to prescription pain killers. My brother called me quite convincingly tonight and said he had been doing internet research since we ended our call. He told me that I needed to call this doctor in a Los Angeles who specializes in vasectomy reversals. He said the problem was an organic reaction in the scrotum that would not be solved by pain management. My mom had already referred me to this doctor’s website weeks ago. I had already stumbled on the site days before her. I guess I had to hear it three times to start listening. At that time, I was not ready to accept the fact that I might have to undergo a reversal surgery. I was holding out hope that things could improve. Not any more. All hope has been lost. My call with my brother was interrupted by a phone call from a 319 Iowa area code phone number. I took the call thinking it was the pain clinic but was to surprised to hear someone say, ”Jeremy, it’s Jones.” This late night call from my operating surgeon surprised me. He listened to my story of how the pain medicine had originally helped but that last night it had been plowed over by the Mack truck of my pain. He essentially told me that my circumstances were outside the realm of his specialty. He had never witnessed a patient not recover from a vasectomy. He told me that he could refer me to a Doctor Wald at the University of Iowa, who he believed might specialize in vasectomy reversals to cure pain. He said that he had done reversals in the past himself, but never as a pain management technique. He said he would be willing to do an ultrasound of my scrotum and a cat scan of my stomach to see if anything obvious had gone wrong. I told him I was willing to take any and all steps necessary to restore my life back to normal. I told him the prospect of being fertile once again was the very least of my concerns. I just wanted my life back. My new objective is not to determine whether to get a reversal, but which doctor I should go to to have the reversal done. Should I stay here Iowa if this doctor truly does specialize in such procedures? Or should I fly to California and see a doctor whose website advertised this specialty? How much will a reversal cost? Will insurance cover a reversal in the event of medical necessity? How soon after the original vasectomy can I conceivably begin entertaining the idea of getting a reversal completed? How soon can I get in for the reversal? It is now 3:04 am. My three year old son was having trouble getting to sleep about an hour ago because everyone else in the house was asleep. He was crying for his mom. I went in his bedroom and read him several books and enjoyed his company for a time. It’s not often I have someone to keep me company during these long, painful, sleepless nights. He is a cute little boy. I showed him a picture of a brown bear and asked, “Is that a brown bear, black bear, or polar bear?” It was dark in the room and we had been reading books by the light of two battery powered lanterns, so he was having trouble seeing the colors on the page. After I posed the question to him, he answered nothing, calmly turned and took hold of one of the two lanterns off the head of the bed, held it out over the book to cast light on the page, examined the picture inquisitively in silence for five or ten seconds, and then turned to me and smiled, admitting, “I don’t know.” I smiled back as I realized he doesn’t quite know all his colors yet. After reading him three or four books he was showing no signs of fatigue. He asked me to read another. I told him daddy was in a lot of pain and asked if he might say a prayer for me. He asked if I would say it instead. So I said a short prayer then told him I didn’t think I could keep reading because I was in too much pain. He pointed to a pillow and blanket on his bedroom floor and said, “You can lay on my floor.” So I did just that, and within two or three minutes I checked on him in his bed, which he currently sleeps at the foot of because he shares his bed with his older brother and sister, and was pleased to find he was already fast asleep. As I complete this journal entry, I marvel at the idea that I ever thought such unbearable pain could have been caused by prickly hair growing back in, or solved by wearing a jock strap, or solved by taking three hours of hot baths a day, or solved by applying a heating pad all night long to that area of pain. I have essentially collected a small arsenal of useless things like jock straps, heating pads, and jumbo quantities of ibuprofen and Tylenol that might never be used again in a desperate effort to fix my problems and find relief from almost indescribable, unspeakable pain. Problems I now realize that likely cannot be solved without the serious step of a follow up on reversal surgery. I can only hope I am right in my assessment this time around. Part of me wants to be cautious about coming to any hasty conclusions, but then I am reminded that I have been praying daily and others have been praying for me for answers to my dilemma for seven painful weeks. So that doesn’t exactly feel like rushing into things when you put it in that perspective.

End of Journal Entries

Well, my story obviously continues but I suspect most my readers will never make it to this point in my 10 billion word post. So, I’ll just end it here and perhaps continue my story another day. Or perhaps I won’t. Perhaps I have fulfilled my oath to God that I would share my story with the world to warn those who are considering this “routine” procedure that there are palpable risks associated with what they are about to do. If you move forward despite my story, you are a braver, or perhaps stupider man than me. If you already had the procedure done and are experiencing similar symptoms to mine, I will happily open up a correspondence with you to commiserate on our unlikely coincidence. After all, we’re 1 in 10,000, right?

Rest assured, I finally got my hands on the right pain medications yesterday morning. My pain is now being partially masked by prescription drugs I should have had on day ten of my recovery. I meet with the urology specialist on January 14th, 2020. We’ll see what he recommends from here.

P.S. Although unintended, I typed ever last word of this with my thumbs on my iPhone. And I even sort of enjoyed it.

I’ll start by saying that I’ve found myself using the “hindsight is 20/20” and “onward and upward”. I have to keep a positive mental outlook or it’s unbearable. Sorry you’re having this pain. You do, fortunately, have time on your side. You may see vast improvement, in the upcoming months. Prayers for you, my friend.

Thank you for your prayers, brother. Other people’s prayers in my behalf have been absolutely critical to me over the past seven and a half weeks. I used to somewhat freely pass out promises to people that I would pray for them upon hearing of one certain trial or another in their personal life. Back then my prayers sounded something like this: “Please help so and so with such and such. Amen.” Having passed through this terrible trial, my promises to pray for others have now taken on a deeper meaning. Not only do I promise to pray for them, I now ask: “I promised to pray for you. But I don’t know the details of your circumstances. So, I don’t really know what I should be praying for specially. Could you recommend anything specific that I could be praying about in your behalf?” My friends’ responses both surprise me and please me. For instance, just the other day I experimented with this very line of questioning with a distant friend, whom I had heard was hospitalized and suffering in pain due to a very recent non-invasive heart surgery. The detailed response he provided shocked me.

He texted me the following: “The heart valve and surrounding tissue will heal as intended by the physician, the valve repair will be durable, my body will fight off infections while I heal (especially cardio thoracic and vascular infection), my body will be able to be resistant to narcotic addiction while I heal. Of course according to the will of the Father. How’s that for a list? Thank you, my friend. I believe in praying specifically. Means a lot to me.” Needless to say I now extract my iPhone from my pocket during my prayers throughout the day so I can sincerely recite, verbatim, my friend’s super specific, highly technical list. I have been a religious, church going individual all my life, and yet I only learned this incredible lesson about improving the quality of my personal prayers just the other day from a good friend of another faith who overwhelmed me with that very line of questioning. He said something to the effect, “My wife and I are praying for you as we promised we would. Can you give me any specifics on what precisely we should be praying for?”

I was blown away by his question. In 42 years of attending Sunday services, I had never had anyone pose that question to me or teach me that principle of prayer. I had listened to thousands of sermons over various church pulpits from lay members of the church to high ranking church officials, and yet had never heard anyone couch a remarkable question like that to me. It has revolutionized the way I pray now. And the real beauty of it is that although I am in the throes of the most intense trial of my life, my prayers are finally, perhaps for the first time in my life, turning outward to others rather than constantly inward toward my own never-ending list of wants and needs.

Thanks again for your prayers. I appreciate it.

It’s interesting that your friend had the exact same heart valve replacement surgery that my brother-in-law had earlier this year and for the same reason. He had a valve collapse after a bacteria vegetated on the mitral valve and he went into multi-organ failure. It’s good that he’s already had the surgery, the scariest part is in the rear view mirror. The rest is recovery.
Maybe one of the reasons I like praying for guys on this board is that I know their pain and I know how to pray about it. In my case, I am primarily concerned with fertility, after 2 reversals, I certainly am hopeful to have children. The pain is something I’d certainly like to be rid of, but having had 2 “no sperm” analysis in the past, God has already performed miracles for us to even be fertile, so I try not to overlook that blessing.

I am sorry for your trial. I have been blessed with seven beautiful children, and I would promise God to bring ten more into this word if I could just somehow turn back time and erase this entire experience from my memory.

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Some, myself included at one point, think that pain meds simply mask pain. There is a role in breaking the feedback loop where pain begets pain.

I finished up my 3rd bout of PVP about a year ago. In fact, my last treatment was on 12/31/18 and it was a steroid/anesthetic nerve block to the GF nerve.

Your symptoms sound like classic nerve/neuropathic pain. The next step up the ladder will likely be non-opiate pain meds that work on the central nervous system. Elavil, Neurontin, Lyrica, and Cymbalta seem to be the most common options. I got through my 2nd bout with a combo of Neurontin and Celebrex back in 2008-09.

After that, injections to the II/IH, GF, or entire spermatic cord. Generally, uros do cord blocks and pain management docs and radiologists do specific nerve blocks higher up. If an II/IH or GF nerve block works, they may offer pulsed RF ablation to the nerve.

Some have developed complications like hematomas or worse pain from injections. I’ve had 10-12, I’ve lost count, and each one initially raised my pain level day 1 to as many as 4-5 days until the steroid kicked in.

Dr. Parekatill in Orlando also offers botox in his cocktail of spermatic cord injections. After 2 years of pain 2016-18, I had back to back “mega blocks” with Dr. P. spaced by 4 months followed by a GF block at home 2 months later. That “overdose” of anesthetic, botox, and steroid knocked my pain level down so that most days are pain-free or mild sensitivity that’s totally tolerable.

Some jump right to another surgery (spermatic cord denervation, vasectomy reversal). For nerve pain, I posit that a needle is safer than a scalpel, so I generally suggest injections before surgery.

Best wishes to you. If your uro isn’t aware of these treatments for PVPS, run for the hills and schedule an appointment or consult call with one who does.

If the urological community can’t help, don’t give up hope. I saw two periperal nerve specialists who offered neurectomy surgery like the one hernia mesh patients go through.

Speaking of that, I noticed you had hernia surgery. So did I, though it was as a child 30-35 years before my vasectomy. My reversal surgeon felt that men who had previous surgeries to the spermatic cord were not good candidates for vasectomy. Wish we both had found him before listening to the vasectomists and feminists who tell us vasectomy is safe.

Thanks for the feedback. This is all very new to me so any advice could be good advice. I’ll take your hypotheses into careful consideration. I am currently taking 5 milligrams of oxycodone every six hours. I was taking 400 milligrams of Celecobix once a day but my mouth broke out in canker sores and I started dropping weight fast because it was too painful to eat. I called my urologist on Sunday morning because I was just being destroyed by the pain. The on-call doctor prescribed me Gabapentin (common brand Neurontin) in 300 milligram tablets. I am ramping up on those one extra pill at a time. Today is day three, so one pill three times a day at different times during the day. I’m almost anxious for each new day so that I “get” to take an additional dose. With these two drugs in my system I have been doing much better. My pain levels are at a 1 to a 3 and the threes don’t last long because they only come when my six hours are up and it is time to take another oxycodone. I am actually feeling well enough that my wife made me stay unplugged from my cell phone for about four hours this afternoon so I could clean three or four rooms in the house. The good news is I was able to do it and I’m feeling pretty good. Three days ago I had zero pain meds in my system and literally wondered if I could now empathize with women in labor. The difference being, my spasms of severe level 10 pain that brought me to tears were “only” happening about every three or four days. Women in labor only get a break for ten minutes before the next contraction. Hopefully I don’t offend any women with that comparison by being too presumptuous that, as a man, I actually experienced something akin to the travails of childbirth. Fortunately, I sort of doubt there are many women reading threads on this website anyway.

Those of you who think you might know what I am up against, please keep the ideas and suggestions flowing. I remain a captive audience.

Sorry you’re here mate, totally sucks and we all can relate to your story. I had a reversal 16 months ago, and was progressing fine, but had a turn for worse around a month ago. Had pains in the spermatic cord and shooting pains to my abdomen. I went to my local GP and he was adamant I had some form of UTI, prescribed me with a cocktail of antibiotics, gabapentin nerve pain pills and also naproxen. I’m on 2nd day, but reduction in pain is dramatic, went from 6 towards the end of the day, to barely there, maybe 1 or not even. GP did mention that he seen a lot of guys who had vasectomies, and have a lot of reoccurring UTIs as all the germs and bacteria has nowhere to go, does not get flushed and festers in the vas tract and epidydimis.

Maybe as a thought, ask your GP for a round of antibiotics?

Thanks so much for your feedback. I’ll keep putting together a list of your guys’ suggestions and ideas and consider them all carefully. Are you in the United States? If so, did your health insurance company cover the costs of the reversal under medical necessity? If not, how much did the procedure cost you if you are comfortable disclosing that?

No worries mate, remember that although situation might be hopeless at the moment, you still have options and chances for a successful recovery. I’m in UK, had to pay around £3000 for reversal out of my own pocket as it’s not covered by insurance, but have no regrets and would pay again in a heartbeat if it was necessary. My advice would be to find the best surgeon possible, there are some things not worth saving on, your health being one of those.

Merry Christmas!

Since passing through a most critical juncture in my exacting journey toward healing on Saturday afternoon, when I was crippled over in pain for an hour or two in excruciating agony and despair; when I was reaching out desperately over the phone to my mom and My wife, sobbing uncontrollably in a panic that I was not actually going to die, but might as well in order to evade and elude what seemed to be sudden destruction stemming from a disquieting paroxysm of pain; when I learned that group texts are limited to twenty recipients only as I urgently composed and dispatched a clamorous and perhaps alarming memorandum to as many family and friends as the twenty-recipient limit allowed with a desperate request they hold a family fast; life has largely taken a turn for the better…mostly.

Since my oldest son came home for the holidays, we have admittedly been keeping late hours in our home. By late hours, I mean that yesterday evening I lay down to sleep at 12:30 am after a late family scripture study, only to awake on the living room couch at 4:00 am - probably due to experiencing minor levels of pain - only to find that my wife and oldest son were just then heading off to bed. Last night we even further abused the scriptural imperative “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy and wealthy and wise” by getting ourselves off to bed at 4:30 am! But here I am awake, fashioning yet another journal entry at 7:30 am on just three hours of sleep, when I should be soundly dreaming as I catch up on numerous consecutive evenings in which I averaged no more than three to four hours of sleep. Why? Because, simply, despite powerful pain meds, I am still in pain. Fortunately, my current levels of pain have reached no higher than a 4 or a 5, and even then, only for twenty or thirty seconds at a time. Nevertheless, these mild outbursts are just enough to wake a man who should be otherwise bleary and exhausted.

These ongoing, vexatious wake up calls are a healthy reminder that I still require urgent attention from a medical specialist. But I am, nonetheless obliged to give thanks to God that my predicament has ratcheted down in its seriousness and gravity to so very much more tolerable levels of suffering. After all, I must have been feeling and even looking in good enough spirits yesterday morning and afternoon that my wife laid down an ultimatum and sequestered me from any and all use of my iPhone, which I just yesterday I affectionately named “Buddy,” because he has, after all, been through this trial with me in both thick and thin. Yes, Buddy has never let me down during these late, lonely nights of pain. He has been by my side an entirely devoted and faithful friend and confidant. Through him, I have shared the most intimate details of my life in journal entry after journal entry after journal entry. With his help, I have effortlessly networked with friends and family alike via text messages that have transformed from reliance on lame-o short hand acronyms like LOL and NVM, to almost poetic maydays and signals of distress. Indeed, in a former cell phone era, I would not have endured this trial well.

And so my wife deftly observed my health had improved on the new pain medications and speedily seized the moment. She compellingly committed me to be entirely unplugged from my cell phone until I had accomplished a specific list of objectives, which were really mostly just chores around a household or fort that she had been holding down almost single handedly since the date of my surgery 55 long days ago. I readily conceded and relinquished my cell phone to a charging station under the living room couch, outside the reach of my curious 19 month old daughter, who not only seizes every opportunity to fiddle with touch screen mobile phones, but even routinely swipes her index finger at the rudimentary plastic screen of my thirty-four dollar Timex watch (an identical watch purchased at Wal-Mart in three year intervals when the old one breaks down), perceiving that indeed anything that has a screen must invariably be a touch screen.

Life without Buddy yesterday afternoon for five hours proved to be both difficult, but liberating. The first major hurdle on my wife’s honey-do list was to clean three rooms in the home. I picked the bathroom, kitchen, and dining rooms. But truth be told, by the time I finished the dining room, so much time had passed that I veritably forgot that I had cleaned the bathroom and went about tidying up the living room. And so my wife lucked out and actually extracted four clean rooms out of me. I must admit that by room number three I was growing frustrated and petitioned my wife, expressing my annoyance that I felt like I was the only one cleaning the home. She pretty much put me in my place, reminding me she had been a one-man show for seven and a half weeks since my surgery and it was her turn to relax. With this fair reminder, I readily conceded and even encouraged her to wantonly abandon me to my chores and abscond to the mall to finish her Christmas shopping, post haste.

Another of the action items on my wife’s list was that I devote ten minutes of time to each of my children. I experimented first with my youngest daughter. As I creatively came up with repetitious games and gimmicks that toddlers her age love, it donned on me that this was perchance the first time ever in my youngest daughter’s short life span that I had take the time to actually “play” with her. Sad, I know, but lamentably true. Needless to say, I won’t be waiting around for my wife to prompt me, or even commit me, to play with my daughter again for a specified number of minutes. I’ll be taking that initiative on my own. I can only hope the somber realization that I have fallen entirely short in raising my 19 month old daughter has something to do with the fact that she is number seven of seven children. Indubitably, I must have assumed her six older siblings were meeting her needs. Not so! I’ll be playing with her a lot more often from here on out.

My next experiment was to engage in ten minutes of conversation with my 15 year old teenage daughter without having her detect that anything was awry (moments before approaching her in the kitchen, I actually set my watch timer for ten minutes and slyly activated the countdown with an audible beep of my Timex). After all, she and I jaunt along to early morning seminary at six a.m. every single weekday of the school year in almost complete and utter silence for the entire 13 minute commute. This is the same teenage daughter that refuses to allow me to put my arm around her, hug her, or really pretty much even touch her. This is the same teenage daughter that habitually chastises me for embarrassing her in front of her peers for showing my wife any and all public displays of affection, or PDAs in my daughter’s lexicon. So, I gingerly approached her in the kitchen yesterday afternoon and shrewdly began bombarding her with questions I should have known the answers to long ago: 1) “So, (nervously running my fingers through my thinning hair) what classes are you taking this semester? (The term ends in two weeks). 2) Who would you consider to be your best friend? 3) What are your grades like these days? Dolefully for me, she eagerly and willingly obliged my ridiculously shallow inquisition with sincere responses that reflected how much more often I should be having quality conversations with my daughter, let alone to expose what a downright crappy dad I have been. I regret to inform you that I somehow became distracted in my endeavor, and by what I simply cannot remember, but suffice it to say I stopped my watch with six minutes and thirty six seconds still remaining. I suppose I’ll have to resume our conversation tomorrow to fulfill my commitment to my wife, or better yet, just to be a better, more altruistic dad.

Well, what can I say? Being a bad husband and father for the past 55 days since my surgery can at least partly be blamed on my elevated pain levels and constant relegation to my bed. But as I conclude this journal entry this Christmas morning, I am forced to reflect on the morose reality of my circumstances - becoming a better father and husband unmistakably need to be escalated to the top of my 2020 New Year’s resolution list. After all, I only spent a grand total of 13 minutes 24 seconds with my two daughters yesterday before conceding. Only now do I realize that I retrieved Buddy prematurely from his charging station under the living room couch. After all, I have seven kids, not two.

Medical Status on Thursday Morning 12/26/19

Text message to my parents - Just checking in with you real quick before I head to work. You’ll be pleased to know I slept from 11:30 or midnight or so until 7:30. This was the most sleep I have received in a row in the past three or four days. I was exhausted and thankfully was not awoken by pain. I will have to take a few hours of sick leave but that is no big deal. I needed the rest. I’ll go into work now and work as long as my pain levels will allow. Please pray for me that the doctors office will willingly refill my oxycodone medication and provide me with enough pills to last through January 14th which is when I have my appointment with the specialist. I am finding that I need 5 milligrams of oxycodone every six to eight hours to mask most of the pain. On the these current medications I seem to be keeping my pain levels mostly in check. I still have spikes of pain that are severe enough to wake me from an exhausted sleep, but at least my pain levels are maintaining tolerable levels in the one to three range 95% of the time.

image Very sorry to hear about what you’re going through. I can relate as I spent 2-years going through the darkest time in my life due to PVP… but have been nearly pain free for over 5-years now. The guys on this forum can give you the best advice as to the necessary steps you should take in moving forward.
As I was reading through your posts I thought of sharing something that PVP brought about in my life changing me for the better. I know its hard imaging how PVP can bring about any good when you’re in it deep… But after going through my life changing trial, I am a much more sympathetic, caring, humble and less selfish person. I am more of a man and a better husband and father because of it. There’s something that breaks the soul when you’re keeled over in the middle of the night in the worst pain you can imagine months on end… My trial also brought me into a real relationship with God in a way that nothing else could have.
My thoughts and prayers truly go out to you…

Thanks for that @bbalk, it’s true, and I’m hoping God is also helping me learn these important life lessons. You report being nearly pain free for 5 years, it’s also great to hear a success story, for those of us currently in the struggle. Anything you did/have been doing that seems to help?
On my journey, which I hope is going toward recovery, I feel like God has guided me to many different avenues that have all helped a little, if I was willing to commit and trust that they would help. At first I was desperate to find “the answer” to “fix this…quickly”, after about 10 months, I’ve certainly learned some patience and I focus a lot more on “what seems to help long-term, even if it takes a while?”

Thanks for your kind words @bbalk. I already know what you said in your post is true. I have already witnessed how I now take a keen interest in anyone who begins telling me if their journey with chronic pain. The old me just would not have known how to empathize with such individuals. I’m only eight weeks into this and already my wife feels that I am a more caring husband and person. And I sense it too. I feel like I am on an accelerated learning path with God. He is teaching me new things daily to help me overcome this trying situation.

I had a rough day at work today. I experienced lots of shooting pains that brought me to tears several times. I called the urology office that performed the surgery to tell them I was out of oxycodone and needed it filled urgently. By 11:30 am they still had not called me. I rang them back and relayed the absolute urgency of my circumstances. They promised to call me back soon. Within minutes, the nurse called me back. She advised she had spoken with the doctor and he recommended I take 800 milligrams of ibuprofen every six hours. Hmmm. Change of plans. That medical practice is now fired.

There is a hospital two minutes from my house, but I felt impressed to drive instead to a hospital thirty minutes south of our house where the specialist that I need to see is on call tonight. I am hopeful they call him in to see me. My condition is declining fast. I just can’t bear through the pain any longer.

Hi. I experienced many of what you had. I had a pelvic floor specialist who focus on nerve regeneration/ mobilization and myofascia release fix much if not all of the nerve issues you describe. It’s not cheap and it’s not linear but it worked for me. Each PT can be very different at not all on here had the same results of me.

Note, 6 post snip and 3 months post Pt work my nerves were all calmed down but my epi’s were unhappy with be capped so I had the reversal. I am now working through nerve issues once again but healing faster 3 months post reversal

Thanks for the perspective @Chronic-Pain. Having the long view in mind is so hard, but I know you are making a valid point to think long term. I just want out of this current struggle so bad but then I read people’s posts on this site and am freaked out by the super long time frames that some people struggle. I’ve gone through trials before in my life but never perhaps through one in which I have felt so powerless over my circumstances. When I was unemployed in my early twenties, I could at least attempt to extricate myself from my unemployed status by searching for jobs, networking with other, or whatever. When I’ve experienced marital difficulties, my wife and I could at least discuss our challenges and choose to make necessary adjustments or changes to ourselves to improve the relationship. But with this trial, I feel very helpless at times. So far I have relied on the advice of some pretty pathetic doctors who seem to think 800 milligrams of the wonder drug ibuprofen is capable of curbing blasting, debilitating, crushing waves of pain.

I have always been a pretty religious person. I go to church every week and serve faithfully in volunteer positions within the church. But this trial has been so intense that I have felt the need to humble myself before God and seek out his will like never before. Fortunately, God is hearing my prayers and seems to be accelerating my spiritual learning. I don’t want to sound sac religious or anything, but I sort of feel like I can better identify with Jesus Christ when he calls out to God in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, “why hast thou forsaken me?” When I have experienced major bouts of pain that cripple me and bring me to tears, I am tempted to think that perhaps God has forsaken me too. But once the big waves of pain pass, he has really been swooping in and imbuing me with spiritual knowledge on how to proceed through this trial, on how to say more meaningful prayers, on how to show more empathy to others who are suffering in pain and so on and so on.

Thanks so much for your comment @Sbnick. Any details you can provide on how you came to the conclusion to get the reversal, how long after your original surgery you got it, what the cost were, whether insurance covered it, and so on. I’m super interested in every detail you can offer.

Check out “my reversal recovery journal”. I just posted a short update there so it should be at the top. I covered much if not all of your questions.