I had a radical prostatectomy in May 2013 and it went well with my PSA level dropped to undetectable ever since. Continence was fine and after a couple of months I was back to normal.
Unfortunately despite my surgeon preserving the nerve endings I have had problems with erectile dysfunction ever since.
I was started on a daily dose of Cialis which left me a bit red in the face and gave me a headache - but not much else.
Next I was prescribed a vacuum pump which wasn't easy to use, and caused pain with the rubber ring around the base of my penis. Plus, as my wife described, it was too clinical, and wasn't the ideal start to a night of passion! So I thought that was it. Plus as I had a hernia to deal with too, that was aggravated by me using the pump although I had the hernia repaired with mesh in August 2014.
Finally this year I had my last appointment with my urology consultant when he discharged me from his care, but I mentioned the ongoing problems with erectile dysfunction. At the age of 53, I don't want to give up on sex just yet.
Today I have been to see the nurse practitioner in the clinic at my local hospital and have been trained in how to inject myself with Caverject. I was a bit apprehensive about giving myself an injection paticularly as I'd had a panic attack the first time I self injected Clexane post op. But it was actually very simple - twist the end of the syringe to mix the solution and then set it to dispense 2.5mg, 5mg, 7.5mg or the full 10mg. She decided that I was best to start with 7.5mg so I succeeded in injecting myself under her guidance into one side of my penis.
And that was it. Expecting to have to wait in the hospital whilst the Caverject did its work, I was told I could go home about 15 minutes after I'd had the injection! This was great, except that for the first time in three and a half years, I was having an erection and having to travel home with it! Catching the bus back to the Park and Ride at the hospital wasn't easy and I realised it was too uncomfortable to actually stand upright as I got off the bus. The 30 mile drive home was interesting to say the least and I phoned my wife to say "guess what I've got!". I'd been told that it should last an hour, but if it lasted more than 4 hours I was to go straight to A&E - indeed I was given a handy letter from the nurse to hand in to reception at A&E to say that I'd got priapism so I didn't have the embarrassment of having to say it out loud. These ED nurses think of everything!
I arrived home an hour and a half after the injection, still erect, and unsure what to do. By two and a half hours it still showed no inclination to go away and I began to think I'd have to go to A&E. I rang to cancel a work appointment "due to the clinic at the hospital over running", and while my wife went to collect the children from school, I went to the freezer to find a bag of frozen peas.... This didn't do much other than make my still hard erection very cold!
Fortunately soon afterwards it began to go down of its own accord, but it did last for three and a half hours which is certainly longer than I ever managed in my youth! I have experienced a slight ache in my penis but it feels OK now, some 11 hours post injection. I will ring the nurse to get her advice on whether to reduce the dose to 5mg, but it's certainly been an interesting experience, and I was over the moon to get something that felt like a proper erection for the first time since my op three and a half years ago.
I still haven't told my wife about the peas though, especially as we had some for dinner....