A Woman's View of Balanitis
Understanding the outward symptoms of Balanitis is of course the first step but there are many spin off dis-eases that effect everyone that we the sufferers are in contact with. That includes our loved ones, family, friends, co-workers and anyone that we interact with.
When you are in pain and suffering in silence,
how are you really treating those around you?
The intent for this section is to aid the partners, family and friends of Balanitis sufferer alike. While I was becoming more and more aware of how others where being effected by my suffering in silence. I realized that my partner was suffering right along with me, in her own way. I am honored that she has taken the time to write to you from her experiences in hopes to help you the reader understand how this affliction effects not only the one living with it.
I would like to introduce to you; my ex-wife & friend - JLM. Her story will shed a different light on this dis-ease from the place of what she had gone though with me.
This story is not only for your partner to read but for you the sufferer as well. To help you understand what your partner maybe going through as they too are most likely suffering in their own silence, right along with you.
Peace begins with me
A Note from JLM...
Just as Richard has journeyed through this trying time of ‘what is wrong with my member’ it had been equally taxing on me and our relationship together.
From the very start we were inseparable, we did everything together, our love was our bond that kept us together through some very taxing times (outside of the bedroom). In the bedroom we were very active and made sure cleanliness was adhered to without exception. There was never a question of infidelity on either of our parts; so therefore, there shouldn’t be a problem, RIGHT? WRONG!
At first, Richard started to show signs of erectile dysfunction – was it me? I asked myself, maybe if I dress up more often. What if I try to be more attentive? I will try and learn more about what makes him tick - I told myself. All these things were fully appreciated by him but ultimately gained no penile approval.
Richard started to get concerned when it was happening more often. It got to the point of every time we would attempt to make love. Quickies were no longer part of our weekly routine and it became a chore to find ways to arouse him. He would tell me that he wants to make love but his member just was not responding like it should. How confusing! And it would work he could not maintain his erection to the end. How frustrating!
Richard was seen by many doctors over the course of this and was sent for so many tests that yielded very little hope if anything at all. As I recall being with him for one of his appointments, the doctor wrote him a prescription for a drug that he would have to inject himself with if he wanted to make love to me. My god, I was in shock that he had to go this far. The doctor sat there trying to reassure me that Richards' problem had nothing to do with me and it was a function of his body that albeit that mind and heart is willing his member in not. All throughout the doctor telling me this... he is show Richard (with me sitting right) how to give himself the injection (in real time...right in front me). So Richard painfully injected himself with Prostaglandin. This had to be injected into the side of the penis itself (15-20 minutes) before we would make love.
All these things were unnatural and humiliating to him but he wanted to keep trying as he truly wanted to be the man I fell in love with again.
It just got to be too much after three months or so of this, Richard was now feeling that this really wasn't working and stopped the injections. He said that he was having some sort of side effect form the injection, I never did know it was really. I just knew there was more behind why he stopped but never pushed him as to why. I started into the silence a long side my husband.
I didn't know what to feel, say or do as nothing seemed to help and I watch him try time after time with both of us knowing that it would end up with him losing his erection and him feeling sorry that he couldn't be with me to the end. Or he would try what he knew would give him side effects from days after (the injection) that really looked uncomfortable. He tried to explain what it felt like built I could not even come close to understanding. He did love me as he would do just about anything to be with me, to let me know that he loved and cared for me, that he wanted me sexually and passionately.
Over the next few years we just grew to accept his condition and did the best we could with altering our expectations of love making and believing it will resolve itself in due time as it was not ‘medically’ a concern. None of the doctor really putting any weight to what was happening, just "here is a prescription" and try that.
Then the blisters started, rips and tears of the foreskin, the almost constant open wounds from erection or intercourse, the ever tightening ring around his shaft from his foreskin as it pulls back erect or not. It was not a pretty sight. It looked painful. Fears crept in and of course the thoughts of infidelity came to the forefront again or something from our past that may be paying us a visit. So more testing and nothing showing up for either of us. What is going on?
Searching online produced some fearful awareness’s of what it could be and Cancer was top of the list. Based on pictures and statements of patients we found. It was very unsettling. Off to the doctors and counsellors again, more tests for STD’s were performed along with the tests for cancer this time. The STD test all came back negative, again, and the Cancer was also negative. I am at my wits end. I don't get it. What is going on?
Over the next few years Richards symptoms got worse, increased blistering, continuous shrinking of the inner foreskin, (making it harder and harder to retract the foreskin) and the list goes on. It finally got to the point where I felt he was avoiding me so that he could either heal from the last time being together or just didn’t want to suffer with the after affects of making love for a while and was unable to talk with me about.
In the meantime, our relationship had by this time dwindled to discussions of making love like we used to. Our communication became sparse as even the thought of having to perform any sexual act would lead to an emotional spiral of a less than satisfying encounter for either of us.
Essentially, why start something that will only create more pain physically and emotionally. I had by this point emotionally detached myself from our relationship and hoped the answer would come to Richard as it was his issue to resolve. After all, I didn’t have any on going yeast infections, STD’s or vaginal issues so why should I be suffering as well?
I got to the point where I felt Richard didn’t really want this issue resolved. Maybe this was his body’s way of saying he no longer wanted to be married to me and it had become allergic to my body’s natural fluids. And we drifted further and further apart.
I had gone away for 3 weeks during the first March 2008. When Richard discovered a possible remedy, he told me via email that he had started a herbal program that seemed to be working. I was sceptical, here we go again. For his sake I tried to be enthusiastic and supportive for him.
All I have to say is that when I came home – the man I married was waiting for me.
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