12 months since operation

It’s hard to believe that 12 months ago I was just getting out of hospital after the prostatectomy. Lots of holes in my tummy and tubes hanging out of them.

Since then, life has had some interesting happenings.

The best was the birth of my new grandson, Finn, on the day I got out of hospital. He is a bonny lad and now taking his first steps.

Living in Bali has been great and trying all sorts of remedies to get the nerves working again – none of which have worked. But my PSA remains at zero – so that’s great news.

KJ has just scored a job in Wellington, NZ so we are off there in September for a new part of our life adventure. Mixed feeling about leaving Bali – I do like it here and I’m sure we will be back – we do have 2 villas in Seminyak to look after. Not looking forward to cold weather.

Before NZ we go to Canada for a month holiday – planned ages ago. Doing house swaps in Montreal and Vancouver. Looking for to the Mark Knopfler concert, in particular. Then we have 3 days back in Bali before travelling to NZ.

I will be back in Bali in October to organize what things need to be moved – hopefully by then we will know where we are living.

KJ is busy going through every cupboard, identifying what we must keep and send to NZ, what goes to Seminyak, what stays here (at least for a bit) and what gets thrown out – lots! “If in doubt, throw it out!” is my motto.

I need to get in a few massages before I leave Bali – they are way more expensive in NZ and I doubt if they are as good. So I might just head to my favourite masseuse now. Bye ūüôā

PSA still zero – action below the belt not much more

My 9 month post-op PSA test recorded zero. Obviously great news.

But erections remain a thing of the past, despite, drugs, pumps and needles.

Have been trying acupuncture and acupressure but with no obvious impact. More time and patience required.

There is just so little research on how to get the nerves working again and the doctors are just guessing. I wish I had more positive info to report.

All that aside, life is great. I feel healthy and I’ve just returned first from time with all my family in Perth/Broome and more recently from a leisurely holiday to Pulau Kai in the Malukus. Can’t complain too much, I have friends going through chemo and radiation therapy. For me, life is good.

Tantra

Spent last week on a Tantra retreat for couples. More about relationships and mindfulness, rather than sex, but included a few “tips and tricks.” The retreat was facilitated by a wonderful lady from Australia, Jacqueline Hellyer.

Why Tantra? Well with ED being an issue, why not explore other ways of being intimate.¬† Bali has a few Tantra options, some not appealing to my partner, but this one was informative, practical and “no sleaze.” I would recommend it for all couples.

Had my 5 month PSA test today – results tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Still doing Pilates. But I’ve been a bit slack with my pelvic floor exercises – thought I had the leaking under control – mostly is, but I need to keep up the exercises.

 

Reiki trained and dangerous

I’ve now had my one-day Reiki training.¬† I can administer to myself and others.

To be honest, I’m still skeptical about it. There is so little hard evidence to support the science behind Reiki. Just anecdotal¬†PH.reikistories.

But you do feel better after a Reiki session, even if there is doubt that there are any curative effects.

I will practice.

I was hoping Reiki, over time, may stimulate the nerves that have been traumatised/damaged.

If anyone has experience of Reiki supporting post-protatectomy recovery, I’d be interested to hear them.

Reiki – first time

I had my first Reiki experience yesterday.

Why? well there was an article in a magazine I read that indicated that Reiki could help recovery from prostatectomy.¬† Maybe not a good reason, but I thought I’d try.¬† There are also many Reiki practitioners in Ubud.

The limited information and research there is on the web relates to Reiki and the usual causes of erectile dysfunction, such as getting old, stress, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, alcoholism, and so on. There is virtually nothing on helping to regenerate the nerves that were attached to the prostate, the ones that give a man an erection. If anyone knows of and research related to Reiki and nerve regeneration I’d be interested to read it.

Anyway, I felt great after the Reiki session I had. Not sure if it will help speed up recovery but I will have more sessions.

I did have my best pad-free night after it.  Maybe that was the Reiki.

 

Treatment alternatives

Ubud is the centre of alternative remedies in Bali. Here are just a few that could possibly hasten erectile dysfunction recovery:

  • Massage: You can just about get any sort of massage you want in Bali.¬† The problem is that few masseuses really understand human physiology or anatomy.¬† Most massages follow a set pattern. To find someone who understands and can focus on the nerves that need stimulating is not easy.¬† Esalen massage is one style I think might help. I’m lucky I do have a great masseuse but I am looking for others.
  • Pilates: I have a great pilates teacher right next door. Pilates routines combined with the pelvic floor exercises I now do are sure to help.
  • Traditional healers: there’s a few of them – which ones are the best and can they really assist is open to question.¬† Doesn’t mean I won’t try one when the time is right.
  • Reiki: I have read in magazines that Reiki can help with recovery of erectile functions after prostate surgery.¬† There are a few well regarded Reiki therapists in Ubud.¬† I will try one.¬† She also offered to train me in a one-day workshop so I can administer myself and to others. The cost is only $165 and I get a certificate! Why not give it a go?!
  • Sound healing: so much of this in Ubud and very little evidence to prove any¬†curative impacts.¬† Though listening to beautiful gonging in wonderful surroundings is certainly relaxing.¬† Then again, I have my own gong.¬† Maybe I should gong myself.
  • Hypnosis: I have a friend who thinks this will help – I will give it a try.
  • Ayurveda techniques: I know nothing about it but there are people here who say it will help.
  • Tantra: certainly an alternative to intercourse sex.¬† Worth looking into when we are ready.
  • 1-gong1
    Couldn’t resist a bit of personal sound healing

    Kinesiology: I have been contacted by a neuro-kinesiologist (what the heck is this, anyway) who want to charge me 195 euro a session (more than one session required!) to help me. That’s more that my surgeon charged and it ain’t going to happen.

  • Supplements: no shortage of¬†these: natural and produced by the big vitamin companies – all with limited evidence of efficacy.

I’m not planning to rush into any of these (and there are probably more). It’s early days.¬† But¬†over the next months I’ll try a few, not in any robust research manner, and I’ll blog what hopefully works for me.