In my last article, I described how I was about to have prostate (TERP) surgery. It’s been a month since the procedure and it actually didn’t go too well. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to write about this because most of it is pretty gross, but more came out of the experience than just blood and gore. First let me address the gore so you know where I’ve been for a month.

The surgery was to be a simple outpatient procedure. The doctor told me beforehand that I had a 50/50 chance of leaving the hospital catheterized with a leg bag for a few days. When I woke up, I was happy to find that there wasn't any catheter in me thank God. I thought I was in the clear. When the doctor saw me in the recovery room post-surgery, he said it looked like it was a success and wanted to see me in a week. I felt confident leaving the hospital. I didn't have any pain to speak of and I could go back to work right away. Right off the bat, I was urinating much better. Before I went in, I was taking Flomax twice a day and could barely pee, but now I sounded like a fire hose hitting the water. There wasn't any blood in my urine for the first two days, but on days three and four, I started to see some, though that was totally expected. By day five post-op, my balls were killing me and were slightly swollen. Also, now the blood was much worse and even coming out somewhat clumpy. (Sorry for that visual.)

Day six is when things went south. My wife had just left the house for work and I was alone. All of a sudden, I felt a strong urge to go. I tried, but something was wrong. I was totally blocked, and fuuuuck man, the pain was intense. This went on for a while. I finally gave in and had no alternative but to drive myself to the emergency room. By the time I arrived there, I was doubled over in cramps and in an all out panic. They rushed me into a room, and the nurses all scrambled around.

I didn't have any idea what they were going to do for me and couldn’t even focus because I was in so much pain. They came in with a big plunger syringe, filled it with saline, and rammed the fluid into my pee hole! It gets worse. They then started drawing this huge syringe real hard trying to suck the obstruction out. The nurse began plunging in and out over and over while I thrashed around and grunted. This went on for close to fifteen minutes until finally I felt a huge gush and I was free of the pressure. That was by far the most satisfying pissing I've ever felt. I felt almost as bad for the nurse. This chick worked on me like she was reeling in an eight hundred pound marlin. She was huffing and puffing after it was over.

Foley Bag

I stayed in the hospital most of the day to see if I was urinating alright. Everything seemed fine, so I went home. My wife and I both arrived home at just about the same time, and as soon as I got there—fuck! I was blocked up and in pain again! We jumped in the truck and she rushed me back. I endured the same procedure all over again—plunging in and out, in and out, over and over. They unblocked me once again and decided that I needed a catheter. There still wasn't any word on giving me pain meds and I was too stupid to ask for some as I watched them try to catheterize me three times and fail. By the way, look at the photo—a catheter isn't the size of your pee hole. It’s like six times the size of your pee hole. It’s crazy to fathom how it even gets in there.

After the third failed effort, they called my urologist and had him come down to place the catheter. Somehow, he got it in me in only two seconds. Then he suggested that I stay the night there to make sure everything was going to function properly—which it didn’t! For the next forty-eight hours, I endured those painful blockages every couple hours and had to get flushed out manually by the nurses.

After a couple days of this, my doctor decided that he needed to go back into surgery to see what was going on and do some cleaning up internally. When I came out of that surgery, I had a different catheter in me. This one allowed a huge bag of saline to be sent in through my bladder and back out of another hose. So for four days, I had to lay there until the outgoing liquid stopped looking bloody. I had never been in a hospital anywhere near this long before. It really sucked.

When the urine looked clear enough, they released me to go home...with the damn catheter in place for one more week. So I sat on my ass for a week, but at least I was home and somewhat mobile. After a couple days, something started happening. I started getting intermittent cramping, but I wasn’t blocked up. It felt like I had to urinate really bad but couldn’t. Urine was flowing just fine through the catheter. A nurse friend of mine said that the bulb in the catheter was touching the inside of my bladder and aggravating it enough to give that cramping feeling. The only problem was that as the days went on, it was almost constant and unbearable. I was popping Percocet two at a time for three days just to try to get through it.

Finally, the day came for me to see my doctor and have the catheter taken out. I couldn’t wait. This thing was killing me, and I was becoming a pain killer junkie. The nurse slid it out, and I had instant relief. Finally, I was going to be me again...or so I thought. The doctor said that I should be good to go and may bleed for a couple days but that was normal. He also said that I couldn't have any pressure on my abdomen for another month, so that meant absolutely zero lifting weights of any kind. At the time of writing this article, it’s been two weeks since leaving his office, and I’m still urinating blood fairly heavily. I haven’t trained in a month and still can’t for a few weeks. I'm not allowed to have sex either. And that's where it stands right now.


But that isn't the story that I came here to tell. The story I want to tell is what I'm really learning from this experience. I've never taken more than a week off training in my entire life. No exaggeration. When I was first admitted to the hospital, a friend came to see me. She is a very sweet and very spiritual young lady. She knows me well and knew that I would be in a shitty place mentally, so she gave me that old cliché bible talk and said, “God would never throw a challenge at you that he knew you couldn’t handle.”

Now, I’m not the godliest person in the world. At the time, I kind of dismissed her words at first (like I always do), but when you have a lot of time to lay around on pain killers, you start to think a lot. I started to think to myself, “She is right.” Injuries, professional setbacks, family tragedies—whatever may be happening in your life that you think is impossible to overcome isn't a string of bad luck to be pitied. It's a challenge to be faced and ultimately conquered. Instead of my usual reaction, which is always to put my head down and keep driving forward while driving myself further and further into dark places in my mind, I made a conscious decision to make a change. The challenge I chose to conquer may not sound like much to most people, but it was simply to not to be able to train and actually be at peace with myself. For those of you out there who really know me well, that is actually a huge task because I can be a nasty son of a bitch and super negative when I’m on the disabled list.

I’ve taught myself to not only draw all my energy from my training but to draw it from other areas of my life like my business, family, and friends. I'm trying to write more again and take on new business ventures, and I’m even getting a new puppy that I’m looking forward to training. Like I said, it may not sound like a lot for most of you, but for me, these are huge steps. Usually when I can’t train, I’m a complete mess and hate the world. Lately, my training has gone from lifting for my sport or a goal that I was trying to accomplish to retreating from life via the weights. But not in a good way like most people do. The more and more life heaped things on me that I just didn’t want to deal with, the more I would retreat and drive them out of my mind until it finally started becoming like booze to an alcoholic. I was no longer socially drinking to enjoy it. I was drinking because I had to. I was still training hard, but it really started lacking something. It lacked meaning. I wasn’t happy doing it. It became detrimental to me, and in turn, I wasn’t getting as much out of it. I was starting to become so negative and unhappy when I wasn’t training, and I’ll admit that my life was turning to a negative pile of shit. I knew that I needed a big change, but I didn’t know what it was.

It’s been going very well so far. I've had maybe eight to twelve weeks of total down time, but I’m honestly not too worried about it. Part of my day is now dedicated to envisioning things that I’m going to change in my training when I come back and the swole that will follow. The other parts of my day are taken up with thinking of ways to crush the chain gyms that are all being thrown up against me and see them driven before me!

A winner is a winner by choice. It doesn’t just happen by accident. Choose to be fearless.