Those of you who know Roger probably know about his prostate issues. They have kept him from hiking with the "Take a Hike" group for many months. But, he now has the opportunity to get the necessary surgery in the week of February 17.
Following is Roger's own description of the situation and the associated problems:
The surgery I'll be having (which I had in 2009) is called Prostate Resection. When the prostate swells it closes or restricts the urethra so it's difficult or impossible to urinate. It swells in all directions including up into the bladder, causing added pressure when the bladder can't be emptied. It also displaces the bowel, eventually making it impossible to poop. And it disrupts the digestive tract.
When it enlarges enough and it's impossible to pass waste the kidneys start shutting down and the pain and pressure of the bowel becomes extreme. It's necessary to get up every 5-15 minutes during the night, completely disrupting or eliminating sleep. It's very frustrating and painful, for as hard as you try nothing or very little passes.
When the pain becomes too bad and I feel my kidneys shutting down I must go to the emergency room at the hospital. All they can do is insert a catheter to drain the bladder and relieve the pressure on everything else. I've been wearing a catheter continuously since last April - almost a year. It's necessary to get it changed every month to avoid infection and uric acid crystal buildup. This is a very painful procedure - the removal and the insertion of a new catheter.
In addition there's periodic bleeding from the bladder, the blood clots often blocking the entrance to the catheter - starting the whole scenario over - or blocking the urine bag from being able to empty.
The operation lasts about 10 years, after which it must be repeated. The Urologist said once enlarged the prostate can't be shrunk. Therefore the cause of the swelling can't be treated currently, only the operation to relieve the symptoms. So far I've been lucky - my kidneys haven't been permanently damaged.
Please help us help Roger get this much-needed surgery. Let's get him back on the hiking trails with the rest of the group.