Merry Christmas to everyone! It has been 2 years since my vasectomy reversal. So I thought I'd provide an update as to where I am these days.
With regards to the inguinal knifing pain. I only get that pain if I have been sitting too long or have been inactive for days at a time. The pain usually registers at a 2-3 on a 1-10 pain scale (10 being intolerable). This pain is mostly bothersome, but rarely so painful that it prohibits me from doing anything. Tylenol seems to address this pain rather well.
What about the congestive or full feeling on my right side. It is hard to distinguish this pain from the knifing pain, since the knifing pain has dulled in the last year. However, the congestive pain seems more centered in my scrotum and radiates out into my inguinal area. Frequency of ejaculations (e.j.) seems to regulate this pain. It seems that if I have at least 2 e.j.'s per week, the pain doesn't ever bother me. I visualize my epididymis emptying regularly, and therefore, not allowing any build up of pressure, which causes the full sensation.
Interestingly, if my wife and I talk about plans to be intimate during the day only to have those plans fall through, I experience a significant up swell in pain. It doesn't feel like 'blue balls', but it is certainly a similar phenomenon. The knifing inguinal and congestive pain will both be present. It's like the anticipation of excitement does something at the physiologic level, which then creates the pain scenario.
The racking pain on my left side will come and go for the same reasons listed above, sitting and inactivity. Although, jumping (like when playing basketball) and lifting something over 15 pounds will cause this sensation to rear its ugly head. It king of feels like something is pushing into my scrotum, like a hernia maybe? However, I have had this checked and apparently I do not have a hernia. This pain registers the same 2-3 on a pain scale. Tylenol doesn't affect it though, only ibuprofen works.
Random burning sensations. These still come and go at random and are independent of any activity, as far as I can tell. I will get these in all areas of my nether region, from my scrotum, "johnson", inguinal area, etc. These are a little un-nerving, because they feel so weird. They range from sharp pains to burning, to spasm-like sensations to twinges. The pain can be anywhere from a 1-5 and don't really respond to pain medicine with just one exception. The johnson pain does respond to tylenol.
I find that lifestyle really makes a difference. The more active I am, the better. The more my mind is distracted, the better. As long as I remember my coping techniques and try not to behave like a 20-30 year old, I'm okay.
Independent of anything I've listed above, there does seem to be a cycle of pain. When the pain first struck, I remember having a few good days followed by a few bad. Then a week or two of good, followed by the same of bad. This cycle has progressively lengthened itself over the last two years. Most recently, I identified a cycle of good times lasting about 2 months, followed by a single bad week of pain. I am currently nearing the end of a two month good spell, so I should probably plan on something changing here pretty soon.
Lastly, I wanted to talk about what helps me. Sure tylenol and ibuprofen are good for the pain. Not sitting for long periods of time is helpful too. But the thing that helps me the most is my God. I'm sure many non-Christians are rolling their eyes at me right now. I would ask that you just hear me out.
Having this PVPS thing happen to me is something I wouldn't wish on anyone. Yet, I can see how God has used this to grow me. My outlook and perspective on life has all been sharpened as a result of this stupid syndrome. I would not be the man I am today, if it weren't for my PVPS (and I mean that in the best of ways). My faith is far stronger, my expectation that God will work in my life and the lives of others is higher, and I see how he is using this syndrome to allow me to help others; it's truly been a blessing.
Now it wasn't always like this. In fact, I had a night where I basically yelled to God (not at God) about all the bad stuff that was happening to me (PVPS). From that moment on, my pain lessened dramatically, my ability to cope magnified about 100 fold, my attitude immediately changed from victim to contentment. I'd love to say that it was all me; that I some how mustard-ed up the internal fortitude and changed everything overnight. But it wasn't me. I know the Lord worked something miraculous in my life that night. I'm not going to say he "healed me from Heaven". No, no, that would be a huge leap of faith that not even I could make. Rather, he just seemed to change me somehow.
I had been playing the victim role for so long, and that had to change or I would never be any good to God. I could no longer completely focus on myself, which is exactly what was happening. I was ignoring my wife and two young children; not to mention my community and church. I know I'm doing a poor job of explaining how the Lord God worked in my life, but read through my blog and you'll get the idea. Maybe some day I'll be able to clearly state it, but right now, I'm just so overjoyed to be where I am and feeling how I feel. I can't help but to praise my Lord and my God - especially as we celebrate the gift of his only son Jesus, who is the Christ, the one who shall save us from our sins.
So on that note, I'll wish you all a Merry Christmas. I hope you find peace and everlasting joy.