Monday, February 15, 2016

Do You HATE Living with Erectile Dysfunction? If so DO SOMETHING!

One of the most unpleasant and emotionally devastating side effects of treating prostate cancer is the loss of your erectile abilities. In reaction to this loss, most men get highly irritable. They use anger to shut down discussions, They withdraw from their partners emotionally and physically. There is an up tick in marital discord. The relationship with your partner deteriorates. To cope with depression men often resort to mood altering behaviors. Some examples are:
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs, 
  • TV time
  • Computer time
  • Pornography 
  • Flirting
  • Affairs
  • Prostitution
Unfortunately, shame and depression can keep men away from the healthy choices available to them. Erectile Dysfunction is treatable. Finding the right treatment involves discovering the underlying cause. I've heard the same complaints over and over again from the partners of men coping with ED.
  • He refuses to talk about ED
  • He won't go to the doctor
  • Every time I bring up the subject he'll either walk away or get angry
  • He's abandoned me emotionally
  • He's abandoned me sexually
  • He won't even touch me anymore
  • I feel I'm living by myself, all alone this relationship
  • He spends most of his free time zoned out by the TV or Computer
  • He drinks alcohol frequently
If your partner is familiar with any of the issues listed above (ask them don't decide this on your own) it's time you get help. You haven't lost your manhood because you've lost your erectile functioning. You've given up your manhood because you refuse to seek help. I urge all men to  overcome your embarrassment, shame and/or resistance and speak to a physician about their erectile dysfunction. If you hate living with ED anywhere near as much as I did, get over your resistance and make an appointment for a medical exam. For the majority of men, there are treatment options that will restore your erectile abilities. 

I was not in the majority of men. Prostate surgery was the cause of my ED. Both before and after surgery I was told that my erectile functioning would return. To insure that possibility I participated in an aggressive penile rehabilitation effort which included penile injections. When injections stopped working, I experienced occasional success with ED medications. These successes fueled our hope and our expectation  that my nerve bundles would heal.

We maintained our hope for four years until every treatment method available began failing 100% of the time. Then came that fateful day when my Urologist told me the healing period was over. He gave me the awful news that I'd be impotent for the rest of my life. I left that appointment feeling hopeless and depressed.

I knew one thing and one thing only- I did not want to spend the rest of my life impotent. Do you? I did what I do best when I want to learn about something new. I went on-line to research treatment options for impotence.

I came across what I thought was an amazing option. In the medical field its called a "penile prosthesis."  I never liked that term, I don't know why. I prefer the other term used called a "penile implant."

I was amazed with these four facts:
  1. This form of treatment has the highest patient satisfaction rate than any other form of treatment available for ED.
  2. My Urologist NEVER mentioned this option to me
  3. My insurance company would pay for the procedure
  4. There was not a single book I could find from a patient's or couples point of view about living an implant.
As much as I wanted to keep my decision to have a penile implant private it became quite clear to me this wasn't an option. Too many men and couples were struggling like we were.  I decided two things. First, I was getting a penile implant. Second, I was going to write about my experiences in real time and put together a book after I had some time to live with an implant. I was delighted when my wife Brenda, agreed to write two chapters. 

Currently, our new book is in the hands of our editor. My wife and I combined our professional training and four year experience with ED to write a book that deals with the 
emotional, relational, psychological, sexual and spiritual aspects of coping with ED. We also share our journey with penile implant surgery and discuss the ways in which this surgery changed our lives and relationship. 

Our book will be release sometime in the second quarter of this year.  In the meantime, if you are weary of living with ED, talk to your physician. There are treatment options available.

If you'd like to receive a personal notification when our new book will be available, visit my website to send me a private message:
Rick's website  

Rick Redner MSW, Brenda Redner RN, are the authors of an awarding winning book written to help men and couples cope with life without a prostate. You can read the first few pages at no charge here:

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