I haven’t posted on here for a couple of months. I’ve been dealing with a serious health issue and just haven’t felt like I had the energy to spare. But things are changing for me now and I want to share some of my story. It’s a bit sensitive so bear with me. I’m talking about something that happened to me over the last few months and has devastated my life in ways I never dreamed possible. I’m talking about the ED, or as it’s also known, Impotence, that has resulted from my Prostate Cancer surgery. It’s happened to a lot of men and we don’t tend to talk about it much so I will.
I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 2009 but was told I didn’t have to deal with it for 10 years or more and that I’d be fine. A year later I had another checkup and was told that it had progressed really rapidly and that it was imperative that I undergo some treatment for it immediately. So I scheduled myself for surgery. I did the radiation treatment called Brachytherapy, where they implant radioactive “Seeds’ in your prostate. It’s supposed to be the least invasive and the one that causes fewest repercussions, such as ED.
It’s not true. Maybe it’s better than a radical prostatectomy as far as ED goes but it still gets you in time. Over the next couple of years I tried the pills, the vacuum pumps and finally injections to try to have a normal sex life. After some time all these efforts have failed. I was left with one or two options. I could either go the rest of my very sexual life without having intercourse or I could have what is called an Implantable Penile Prosthesis. A Penile Implant in other words.
I opted to go for the Implant. It’s a day time surgery that I have now scheduled for May 9th , just 3 weeks away from now and I’m both nervous and excited about it. It will replace the inside of my penis with a set of cylinders that will fill with a saline solution from a reservoir in my abdomen and allow me to get erections again and have a normal sex life. I can’t tell you haw much this means to me. It’s like having a new chance at happiness.
ED is really hard on the psyche, causes severe depression and it really challenges the normal identities of manhood. And tho I don’t consider myself a typical male there are some things where I certainly am, and sex is one of them. I don’t want to do without it for the rest of my life. After all I’m only a young 62. I have years of good sex ahead of me I believe. I had to think about this a lot because I’m what’s called a “versatile” person with sex. I like to do all sorts of things and as a gay person I could have gone on with my life as a total “bottom” and only been receptive to sex and not initiated it. I decided I didn’t want to live like that.
So I’m getting the implant and I’m hoping that it works as well as I’ve heard it does. Over 300,000 men have had the procedure over the last 40 years and it’s a very effective technique for having erections. It always works no matter what. Kind of enticing I think. It makes me feel good about myself and like I can be a good partner to my own partner and provide what he’s come to expect from me. I will no longer feel like an alien at a party I am at but where there’s no seat at the table for me. Kind of a mixed metaphor I guess but you get the picture I suspect.
I’m feeling much better about myself since I decided to do this surgery. I feel like a normal human again even tho it hasn’t happened yet. It will and it will be wonderful I know. There are complications that can happen that are serious but then surgery always has risks and I’m working to deal with it all to improve my well being. My mental state has taken a big hit with the ED as it does for every man who suffers from this illness that is so under discussed and so often taken lightly when it is. It really is Invisible.
But there are places you can talk about it. I found a wonderful resource online called FrankTalk.org which is a site for all men with ED and has all sorts of resources and advice and community available for the interested person. If you’re suffering from ED yourself or know of a friend or partner who is please do tell them about this site. It’s been a tremendous help to me and is very open with men talking about something that is often pretty taboo to discuss.
I tend to talk about my life as you’ve seen here in my posts so I’m not embarrassed to discuss this part either. It’s a natural inclination for us to want to have a good sex life as it’s a gift from the universe that we shouldn’t waste if possible. I urge men with ED to look into FrankTalk and see if they can find some help for themselves.
I hope this isn’t too much for you all. I know I tend to post some heavy topics and this is a heavy one for me to post about. It’s taken me months of working thru my grief to feel OK enough about myself with it so that I can write about it. And even now it’s a bit hard. But I figure I’m not the only one dealing with this issue and if I can help just one man with his problems I’ll be happy. I want to help and this is the best way I can do it I think, for now anyway.
I’m open to talking to other men and their partners about this issue if you want to email me at email@example.com or write me here and I’ll get back to you. It’s a scary issue and one that causes such anguish in a marriage and relationship. It needs to be addressed better. Talking about it is the first step and I’ve taken mine. I hope you’ll take yours too.
In solidarity with other men with ED and their partners,