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Chris' Story

My first symptoms occurred quite suddenly when I was 34 with a pain in my testicles like mumps. The doctor diagnosed it as a urinary infection and treated it with antibiotics. Over the next 10 years bouts of infection kept returning. Always the samples of urine I provided for analysis proved negative but I had all manner of symptoms from fever, pain, urgency, poor flow, difficulty in starting, pain and stones on ejaculation, blood and pus in the urine. Treatment ranged from prolonged courses of Septrin ( now banned) and Urispas to reduce urine production, prostatic massage and widening the neck of the bladder. I remember being in hospital on one occasion when they tried to force fluid back up through the penis into the bladder so that they could X-ray its passage.It was a total waste of time because I couldn't relax. In those days analysis depended on IVP X-rays. Fluid dyed with Iodine was injected into veins in the arm and filmed as it was processed by the kidneys and urethra.
I get getting bouts every 2 or 3 mounths through the 80's and although the symptoms seemed less severe they took longer to clear up. I had another cystoscopy and rebore and a period of relief but again the symptoms returned in one way or another. In the 90's another examination and the TURP procedure to remove most of the prostrate and in consequence render me impotent!
Last year I had a return of testicular pain which was traced to an infection and treated with a prolonged course of Doxcycline. It eventually cleared but left me dispairing that I would ever be free. That's when I found the Prostatitis Support Group and read about Saw Palmetto and Zinc. One tablet each per day has given me relief of practically all the symptoms for approx 7 months for the first time in nearly 30 years.
In June and July of this year I started getting problems with flow again, difficulty in getting started especially first time in the morning, variation in flow and urgency if I drink any reasonable quantity. Beer and wine seem to exacerbate the symptoms and I don't know whether other suffers find this but immediately after ejaculation my flow rate is normal so perhaps the infection affects muscles around the prostate.
I'm now starting a course of Flowmax which is an Alpha blocker and designed to relax the muscle surrounding the urethra as it travels from the bladder to the penis. I guess you could call it a 'designer drug'. Its specifically designed for men with BPH or I suppose untreatable prostate cancer. I see that Nelson Mandella has prostate cancer even though the organ was 90% removed 10 years ago which I suppose illustrates why even extreme measures like surgery don't always affect a cure.
Naturally I'm disappointed that the natural remedies didn't effect a permanent cure but I strongly suspect that once the antibiotic has killed off most of the offending bugs, the Zinc and Saw Palmetto (not forgetting liberal helping of Cranberry juice), serve to keep the tract healthy. Over the years I would say problems occur more often in the summer. Perhaps because then we pass less fluid through the urinary tract and therefore bugs breed more easily. I have resolved to drink more water during the day. I also believe there is a genetic susceptibly, in my case my mother suffered frequent bouts of cystitis but lived to 92.
For long term sufferers like myself, this affliction is particularly deliberating as it effects everything one does away from the home. It spoils relationships, holidays, career prospects and family life. We must thank and support organisations like this support group for raising awareness in the medical profession and for promoting more research into a lasting cure.

 

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