Re: Am I Crazy? Or is this the Smoking Gun?
I suppose it's time to be really open with all of you. I didn't want to discuss this, but when you read this, I can guess what your reaction is going to be. However, what I'm about to tell you is the truth and nothing but the truth.
It's been a sex-less marriage for about the past 3-4 years. Not her fault -- mine. Not totally my fault, but medical issues beyond my control.
Since most of the people I'm speaking to are guys -- I'm sure -- at some point -- most of you have seen the film Black Hawk Down, about American involvement in Somalia. There's a scene during a particularly ferocious battle, where a soldier essentially bleeds out and dies. It's because the artery in his leg has ruptured, and the field tech trying to save the soldier's live can't reach it to stem the bleeding. End result, the soldier dies. This was a true story. This really happened. This artery that runs through the leg is also real. I know, because surgeons have opened mine up three times since I turned 39 (I'm 52 now). This was the original procedure to insert a stent into an artery near the heart that had become blocked. The surgeon would make a small incision in the leg near the groin, open up the artery, stick a tube in to open up the artery and then stick another tube inside the first one. The second tube contains a camera. The surgeon pushes this tube up through the artery to the heart muscle, shoots in a bunch of green dye, and takes a bunch of vacation photos. When and if they find a blockage, another tube is inserted into the artery. This tube contains a mesh metal stent. The surgeon guides it to the blocked artery, inserts the stent and springs a trap to open it up. The first procedure, to take pictures of the heart, is called an angiogram. The followup procedure, to insert a stent, is called angioplasty.
I know this sounds harsh, especially if you haven't been through it. But it's a far better option than cracking open the chest for open heart surgery and a double, triple or quadruple bypass. That's serious (as serious as a heart attack).
That procedure, which took place when I was 39, went well. I felt great. The leg healed in a day or two. I went on a weight loss routine and life was even better. The sex was great. But the real problem developed when I had to go in for another procedure about five years ago. My blood pressure had suddenly gone through the roof. I have great health insurance, and since I had this problem with a blocked artery before, the physicians though (rightly so), that another one might be blocked. That would explain the increase in blood pressure. Again -- I was admitted to the cardiac unit for an angiogram. This is where things went horribly, terribly wrong. I knew something wasn't right when the attending nurse began the process of removing the tubes from the artery once the procedure was finished. It hurt. It's not supposed to hurt. It's not comfortable, but it's not supposed to hurt. This one did. Bad. As the pain began to increase, I asked the nurse to stop. She responded that she had to get the tube out of the artery right away, or I could bleed to death. She continued to tug and pull until the point where it got so painful that I started screaming bloody murder. That got the attention of a nearby cardiologist, who figured out pretty quickly that the tube in the artery had somehow got stuck. Worse yet -- the nurse had ripped it WIDE OPEN. I was gushing blood. The rip, I was told, was about six inches.
I was rushed into surgery where a series of injections were made into the area where the rip had taken place. The idea was to thicken the blood, make it congeal, and let the artery heal on its own. The procedure did work. They kept me awake the whole time. And, after about 30 minutes of shot after shot, the bleeding had pretty much stopped.
But that was just the start of an even larger problem. About a quart of blood had leaked out of the wound and into the leg. Because the blood in the artery congealed, the blood in the leg near the groin did the same. Imagine a water balloon in your groin. And there was nothing the doctors could do to get it out. It was simply too dangerous to go digging around near that artery again. I was told the blood bubble would eventually go away on its own. It did -- it took months -- but sex was never the same after that. It was INCREDIBLY painful, especially when the wife was on top. You can imagine her grinding down on that blood bubble. Sex still felt good, but man it was painful.
But, slowly, through the years, I began to lose my ability to get an erection of any type. The doctor prescribed Viagra, but that just made me feel like I was having a heart attack. Plus -- the resulting experience was anything but satisfying. I would satisfy my wife -- but I got absolutely nothing out of it. There was just no feeling there.
So -- sex today is whatever I can do for her with my fingers, mouth or toys. But I feel embarrassed -- less than a man. I mean -- if you cannot get or sustain an erection -- what kind of life is that? Pretty soon, it started to affect my self-confidence. I just didn't want to go through the motions anymore.
My wife is as sexy as she's ever been. I continue to be attracted to her. But, at the same time, I don't act on that attraction anymore. Worse yet, when some surgeries on my back and achilles tendons from "exercise injuries, it brought and end to working out and losing weight. I still eat healthy. I still walk around the neighborhood for daily exercise. But the days of hitting the weight room hard are pretty much over for me. I just can't go through the pain of another back surgery for spinal stenosis again.
So -- that's it guys. That's the whole story. Funny that I would reveal this to you, when it is a deep, dark secret that I am terribly embarrassed and depressed by. This lack of being able to please her (she is six years younger) is probably the reason why I'm losing her.