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Just part of getting older. . . .

May 28, 2021
The paper my doctor gave me prior to the “procedure.”


Do you know what kind of surgery is a TURP?  I thought you did.  I got one done to me Tuesday and it was a trip.  Far, far easier than I imagined.  Should I go into detail?  No.

Instead, I’d like to proclaim the beauty of Spring here in Billings, Montana.  I was feeling affectionate.

“Do you want to go with me to the landfill?” I asked my spouse.

“You say the sweetest things.”

The Billings Solid Waste Division is impressive.  You see, we retired our mattress, opting to use an extra from upstairs to use as our primary.  What do I do with the unwanted mattress?  I thought about this for — a week — I suppose.  Then it came to me: Call a place that sells mattresses and ask them what they do with theirs.

Mattress King at 17th and Grand solicited questions by text on their website, so I asked that way.  Was I disappointed when the anonymous texter suggested the landfill?  Yes.  I didn’t want to believe it.  Meanwhile, we loaded the mattress into the back of our van.

The city-county landfill has never looked better to me.  The hills look terraced and light green with sprouting life.  When we reached the office for instructions, an intense woman asked what we had. “A mattress,” I replied.  She directed us to a steel building about the size of a football field.  Once inside we saw a mostly empty building with a bobcat tractor in a far corner.  I drove to a pile of mattresses and added ours.  A man came over to us, said the pile is only for mattresses.

Who would have thunk they have a building for discarded mattresses?  I did see what looked to be part of a sofa in amongst the mattresses.

Okay, morbidly curious.  Now I’ll tell of my TURP.  Trans Uretheral Resection of Prostate.  My urologist said I had a large prostate, about the size of guacamole.  I was having a dickens of a time peeing because urine must pass through the urethra that is constricted by the “avocado” sized prostate surrounding the urethra.  God!  Why?

Good reason.  The prostate normally provides the adequate seminal fluid for sperm cells to be ejaculated from the penis during sexual intercourse.  For some reason the prostate continues to grow outward for greater diameter and inward to prevent easy urination.

My urologist explained he would take a loop-shaped tool into my penis and carve right through the urethra and prostate from the inside until nothing but the rind of the prostate remained. Kind of like when you remove the green part from inside an avacado. Only imagine removing the meat through a tiny hole on one end.

For my part Tuesday at same day surgery, I laid my head in a sort of operating room pillow, a yellow styrofoam ring.  Then I arranged my body on the narrow table so that it was in line with my head.  A male nurse from Oklahoma held an oxygen mask over my face. I wondered if I’d smell ether or some other gas.

Then my anesthesiologist, a woman whose name I cannot remember, nor pronounce, injected a cold fluid into my vein.  She was explaining how I’d feel the fluid in my arm, spreading throughout. . . .  I think I had pleasant dreams.

I was all done!  I stretched my legs.  Surgery was finished and I was in a recovery area, magically, about an hour-and-a-half later.  I tried to sit up and it hurt!  A nurse gave me a pill.

A couple hours later they sent me home with a rubber hose—a catheter—sticking out of my penis.  We got careful instructions in what to do if the system failed and urine stopped flowing.  Well, blood clots can occur, she said.

Three days later and no blood clots occurred.  This morning I removed the catheter myself, as per instructions.  Worried about possible bleeding, I pulled on an adult diaper, but I need not have worried.  Just a spot of blood.

I’m almost ashamed at how easy the TURP was.  The urologist gave me a half-dozen strong pain tablets, but I could have done fine with only three or four.  More importantly, he gave me some anti-spasm pills for my bladder.  These cause dry mouth, but relieve the thrill of bladder spasms, which feel intense like orgasm, only unpleasant.

So what have I got to show for myself?  I no longer have to take my old man pills for my prostate.  That means in time I’ll be able to donate blood. (Finasteride is proscribed for those wishing to donate.)

I told my grandson, Josiah, about my urologist, how he had performed the TURP on several thousand men.

“That’s SICK!” he said.  “What kind of person does that?”

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