It’s pretty amazing how much emotion can be wrapped up in a (maybe not so) little piece of skin.
Despite knowing what kind of an issue I had with my foreskin, I couldn’t do anything about it until I was sixteen years old. I was just too embarrassed to do so. I wasn’t even really worried about the condition–I was sure that the doctor had seen worse. No, I was more concerned with the judgement I’d encounter over not having had any sexual contact at the age of sixteen. Seems dumb, right? I hadn’t had any partners because of my foreskin and that made me too nervous to do something to fix my foreskin problem. It was this weird circular reasoning thing that just kept building and building inside my head until I couldn’t take it anymore and I got my mom to make me a doctor’s appointment for “guy stuff”.
When I went to the appointment, I was surprisingly comfortable discussing the issue. The doc took a look at my junk, which was an awful experience, and told me that I’d have to see a urologist. The appointment was booked and I went along my merry way. In Canada, you’ll have to get a referral from your GP or a nurse practitioner to see a urologist and appointments are often made months in advance. Well, in between when the appointment was made and when it was scheduled to be, my family situation drastically changed and I could no longer get to it.
And then I did nothing about the problem. I finished high school without having let anyone touch (or even really see) my dick. I turned down every opportunity that presented itself because I thought myself a freak and I couldn’t bear to let anyone see why for themselves. I couldn’t even talk about the problem with my parents. I didn’t let my university experience go that way, but I certainly didn’t attempt to fix the problem. I had sexual partners and even tried to have penetrative sex. It didn’t work and I was very unsatisfied with my sex life the whole time.
And yet still I waited. I was so ashamed of my genitalia that I couldn’t even talk about it with a medical professional. It was pretty awful and was only getting worse. Finally, I couldn’t take the sexual frustration anymore, so I made an appointment with my nurse practitioner at my university.
When I went to the appointment, I was incredibly stressed out. I don’t like seeing the doctor as it is, but this was even worse because it involved talking about my defective junk. When the triage nurse took my blood pressure, it was off the charts. She asked me if I was nervous and I told her that I don’t like seeing the doctor. When she asked me what my problem was, I just told her that it was personal.
When I got in to see the NP, I was too nervous to even tell him what the issue was. He must’ve put two and two together and assured me that it would be alright and that they’d just test for everything to be sure. I realized then that, because of my blood pressure and my inability to discuss my problem, he had assumed that I had had risky sex and was now in need of testing.
In that moment it hit me that my problem was nothing to be ashamed of. I hadn’t partaken in risky behaviour, but was born with a physical defect that needed correcting. The only thing that was my fault about the whole thing was that I waited for so long to do something about it. So I came out and told him that, in fact, I didn’t need testing, but that I did need to see a urologist for my tight foreskin. He asked me some questions, prescribed a cream and scheduled a urologist appointment for me. And that was that.
It wasn’t even a big deal! I had been ruminating on this challenge for what felt like a hundred years, but it obviously was nothing in the grand scheme if my NP could be so cavalier about it. I decided that I’d be cavalier about it, too.
Moral of the story: DON’T WAIT. This is such a man thing to do and it isn’t healthy. If your standard of living is affected by a medical issue, then fix it!