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8 weeks ago my husband had surgery to remove prostate cancer. Everything went well and he was given the all clear at the follow up meeting.
The problem is that he refuses to leave the house because he is a little incontinent. Its not much and can be managed by using pads, but he will not venture out. When I talk to him he just says its early days and things will improve. He will not agree to us discussing this with his nurse/doctor as he does not accept it is a problem. Is he right? Any advice on how I might handle this would be much appreciated.
I can well understand both you and your husband's perspective on the matter at hand. Suffice to say I think that there is merit in both of your positions. Yes he really should be out and about and no he should not have to go if he is lacking in confidence re a continence issue. For the most part continence issues are resolved over time. Needless to say your husband should be doing excerises to strengthen his pelvis floor muscles (kegels). Is he? Plus by now he should be starting to see an improvement in continence. Is that the case?
Hi John, thanks for your reply. To answer your question, yes he is doing pelvic floor exercises. Just yesterday he saw the nurse who confirmed he was doing them correctly. Re improvement. No there hasn't been much improvement, although from the outset it has never been very bad. He is getting through 3/4 pads a day. He finds that he dribbles a bit when moving around.
There is no logical reason preventing him from going out and socializing. Its clearly a head thing. On the rare occasion that he was willing to discuss it he said its degrading.
I've decided on a plan. Clearly he has to move at his own pace, but I cannot allow him to become a recluse. So I have put a time limit on it. If by christmas he still refuses to leave the house (other than for hospital appointments) then I am going to seek help from my doctor. Not sure how that will go down, or even what help the doctor can offer if he is unwilling to accept it, but I will have to give it a try.
Its strange I think. My worry when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer was all to do with how well he would recover physically. In reality the psychological is what's causing the problem.
As you well know us guys are extremely sensitive about our bladder control and let's say masculinity (which of course are inter-related).
If and when he begins to gain control, your husband may begin to regain his confidence.
In the meantime you might consider contacting his PCa caretakers (his surgeon and nurse?)to discuss your concerns. These specialists are more likely to be more knowledgeable about these issues rzGE39than your personal physician.
Best wishes Don O.
Anne methinks you are in a difficult situation. I suspect the problem is either one of avoiding possible personal embarrassment or the more involved one of "why have I come to this". The former is relatively easy to deal with. In Australia we have RN's that specialise in contingency management and they have a variety of measures to promote continence. If the problem is the latter then perhaps counselling may be warranted. But I agree that your plan to discuss you concerns with the Doctor is a good starting point.