My journey began more than six years ago when I was diagnosed with chronic prostatitis. The road to where I am today took many twists and turns along the way. I am 46 years old, married with three teenagers and have a job that requires a lot of physical labor. Up to six years ago I was hardly ever sick or missed work and rarely took any type of medicine. But since being diagnosed with prostatitis, I have struggled with constant, if not debilitating, pain in my testicles, rectum, groin and hips.
Not long after first visiting my doctor with testicle and rectal pain and being diagnosed with chronic prostatitis, I was hospitalized and given antibiotics and pain medicineintravenously. After numerous rounds of antibiotics and other medications, visits to several urologists, and ER visits, my symptoms did not improve. Therefore, my doctor started looking at other alternatives for the pain.
That is when the twists and turns began. To summarize, over the last six years I have seen at least:
4 pain doctors
3 orthopedic surgeons
1 vascular surgeon
1 orthopedic oncologist.
1 general surgeon who told me that “everyone has pain”
I also had pelvic floor physical therapy, which included home exercise, stretching, myofascial release, relaxation, and 50-60 hours of trans-anal, intrapelvic trigger point release based on the Stanford Protocol. These were done by specially trained physical therapists at two different centers. They not only hurt but they basically did nothing to relieve my symptoms.
As my pain increased and spread into my groin, hips and down my legs, I got so desperate that I had a spinal cord stimulator implanted. This is typically done in two steps that include a reversible surgical procedure that allows you to experience the benefits by utilizing a temporary, non-implanted (external) system for about one week. After which, if it works, a surgical procedure is conducted to place the implant.
Unfortunately, they decided to go ahead with the surgical implant first and when it didn’t work, they had to surgically remove the implant. I was fully awake during the procedure, with very little pain medication, as they needed me awake to allow for proper placement.
I have also tried a pain pump, as well as numerous medications.
Nothing seemed to work and we really didn’t know where to turn. In 2008 they wanted to try to insert the spinal cord stimulator implant again, but before doing that we saw a urologist at the Cleveland Clinic and another pain doctor. The urologist suggested a prostate medicine and basically sent us to the pain clinic. We then spent 6 months driving once a month to the clinic for me to receive more epidural steroid injections That just didn’t seem to work. No-one had an answer to what was causing the pain, let alone any type of cure.
All along, I felt the pain was coming from my prostate. Knowing prostate cancer runs in my family and the fact that I was told that it was just a matter of “when” not “if” I got prostate cancer, we tried to discuss prostate removal with several of the urologists. Unfortunately, all of them just said “you can’t do that,” but none of them could explain why they wouldn’t discuss this option unless there were signs of cancer.
Chronic prostatitis is not only debilitating to the patient, but it affects all aspects of his life – I had no quality of life, my wife and kids tiptoed around me, my kids struggled in school and didn’t understand why this was happening to their dad, and why no one could figure out what was wrong.
I struggled to get up and go to work, to attend my kids sporting events, and just got to a point where I just didn’t care anymore. I had no hope of the doctors finding out what was causing the pain (other than chronic prostatitis), let alone correcting it. In the beginning, with every new doctors visit, test or procedure, you have a little hope that someone might figure something out and give you some hope, but after a while you have no hope and you just go through the motions.
Surgery changed all that. I could tell right away that things had changed. While still in the hospital I felt that my main symptoms -- rectal pain, testicular pain, perineal pain -- had disappeared. It was like David Radford said on his video.
Today, 4 months after surgery, I have very little, if any, perineal pain. I do have some minor leg pain, but no pain in my rectum, testicles, or groin area. Although it may still be too early to say if it is or will be 100% successful, Dr. Krongrad has given me and my family HOPE that I can live a pain free life!
Those closest to us have said I am back to my old self and tell me I am acting younger than I was acting before the surgery; I have more energy than prior to surgery and feel more like I did before all this began.
My family and I can’t express our thanks enough to Dr. Krongrad and the staff at the Krongrad Institute for not only being there prior to surgery in answering all our questions and helping with travel arrangements but after as well – assisting, answering, and following my recovery on a regular basis.