“Treatment for prostatitis changed my life.” BPC patient describes his experience of this debilitating condition

Michael Manning Treatment Prostatitis

“I remember even during my school days, I needed the toilet more often than my friends. There must always have been a sensitivity there. Over the years, I found I needed to visit the toilet soon after having a drink. But it wasn’t a big problem; it was gradual and quite manageable.

Six years ago, things got a lot worse. It became painful when I sat down because it felt like I had a hard lump like a ball bearing in my prostate area. It was difficult finding a comfortable way to sit. Pain in the prostate area would trigger the whole chain of nerves in the pelvic area. Going to the toilet became an ordeal. I would have an overwhelming urge to go, but then would stand there for 20 or 30 minutes, trying as hard as possible to relax in the hope that would ease the flow.

It affected my whole life. I didn’t want to go anywhere unless I knew a toilet would be very close. Motorway driving was a nightmare because the prospect of being stuck in traffic and being unable to get to a toilet was dreadful. It happened once and I really suffered. I run my own business in property and investment and lead a very active life, so this was extremely difficult to deal with.

I saw my GP numerous times and he did all the usual tests. I also saw a consultant urologist but didn’t feel very confident in him. A family member recommended Mr Doherty so I went to see him. Mr Doherty immediately established that my prostate was not enlarged, but there was extensive inflammation and the diagnosis was prostatitis.

I tried so many different types of medication but my prostate would react to everything I took, making things worse rather than better. I cut out alcohol and all spicy food. I tried acupuncture.

Three years after I had my first appointment with Mr Doherty, we started to consider the option of surgery: having a radical prostatectomy with nerve-sparing as a treatment for chronic prostatitis. Clearly it was a big decision and not to be taken lightly. I was concerned about recovery from surgery, particularly in terms of continence. But in the end the decision was straightforward: nothing was working, and I couldn’t carry on with the symptoms of prostatitis, which was really getting me down. Surgery was the only way to resolve it.

My operation took place at the end of March 2017. When I came around from surgery, even though I was very groggy from the anaesthetic, I could immediately tell that the pain from prostatitis had gone. Of course, I was weak and sore from the operation, but I knew things would be better. When the catheter was removed and I went to the toilet, it was marvellous to pass water in an instant. I felt better physically and mentally; it was as if a cloud had been lifted.

I wore pads for the first few weeks, but after that I started wearing a sheath, which is a device that fits over the penis, with a small pipe and bag. It felt a lot better than walking around wearing pads and I find it helps me to train my bladder: I wait for the sensation of my bladder being full and needing to be emptied, then go to the toilet as normal. I continue to work in my business and in developing our land and property: on a daily basis, I’m climbing into diggers and dumpers. I can do this wearing the sheath knowing it is in place and will prevent any unexpected wetness.

Now, five months after my operation, I have very good control but tend to wear the sheath as back-up when I’m working, because it involves so much lifting, twisting and turning and also because I am always with other people when I’m working.

Has it been worthwhile? I’ve never had a moment’s doubt. I have a new lease of life and am 100 per cent happy with my surgery. There must be so many men suffering with prostatitis for years and years. It is a miserable condition and often not understood as well as having an enlarged prostate or cancer. I would say – do see a good doctor. I was so grateful to be under the care of Mr Doherty who has a great understanding of the problem and was willing to consider all the options to find a solution. It honestly has changed my life.”