My seventeen year old cousin Candy* is visiting us for March Break. I’ve done quite a bit to try and amuse her; we’ve grocery shopped, gone to four different pharmacies in search of my favourite blister band-aids, sat on the couch and drank four pots of tea. A regular laugh riot.
However I decided to be kind and invite another person her age over for dinner last night. My second youngest cousin Sophie** has the misfortune of living in the same city as me. This means that on occasion she’s forced to come over to my house, listen to my boring, old person stories and eat my food.
So there we were, my husband Roscoe, Candy, Sophie and I, sitting around the dinner table attempting to enjoy a meal. I say attempting because invariably the talk turned to medicine and although I can still enjoy schnitzel while going through the intimate details of a gunshot wound, for Sophie and Candy this was not a daily event.
The conversation meandered around from rabies to Ebola and finally ended up on the half life of erectile dysfunction drugs. Roscoe and I both studied biochemistry at university hence we started by discussing the chemical properties of Cialis versus Viagara. An important difference between the two drugs is that the half life of Cialis is over four times that of Viagara. The half life of a drug is the amount of time it takes for half of it to degrade in your body. Erectile dysfunction drugs work to direct blood flow to the man’s fun pole.
Now the thing about erections is you want blood there, because that’s what makes an erection, but the flip side is that blood shouldn’t stay there too long. Your tissues need oxygen, if you have blood pooling somewhere, eventually the oxygen runs out and the cells could start to die. This is why it says on both Cialis and Viagara, “If your erection persists more than four hours, seek medical attention”. The only thing worse than a flaccid joystick is a dead one.
So because Roscoe and I can never appreciate normal television shows like The Bachelor, or Two and a Half Men, choosing instead to watch such delights as Hopkins, Boston Med or other televised surgery shows, we’ve actually watched the treatment for a never ending erection. Not the actual act itself, but mostly the reaction of the man with the member that was permanently at attention. If purple colour of the patient’s face was any indication it’s an excruciating procedure.
Roscoe when he’s not being an ottoman, is working towards becoming a doctor, and so he was able to describe the treatment for said malady. “It’s very easy, you simply lance it.”
Sophie’s reaction was priceless, her eyebrows flew up in horror as she exclaimed “You lance the peen?!”
Chicken noodle soup with leeks nearly came out my nose. Poor Sophie kept sputtering “That hurts so much! I had to have the back of my leg lanced and it was unbearable. I feel like there should be a public service announcement about this.”
Having laughed myself out at this point and no longer in danger of having a relative of the onion family and chicken broth come out my nostrils I added “Well it’s better than having it come off.”
“You mean like if your hand slips?” Sophie asked looking at Roscoe, like this sort of thing must happen occasionally in medicine.
Roscoe of course was still able to happily eat his soup, swallowed then calmly replied “No, the penis is like any other part of your body, if a piece dies, the dead tissue has to come off otherwise the area around it will become infected and cause more issues.”
“Oh my god.” Sophie having given up on eating, sat back in her chair still wide eyed and stunned.
Completely unperturbed by the conversation in the way that only a future physician could be, Roscoe tried to smooth things over “You’d get a prosthetic. They’re not very good, but you’d have one.”
As surprising and admittedly kind of funny as the idea of a false trouser snake was to me, nothing could top Sophie’s shocked exclamation “You lance the peen?”
It was like I’d been provided with a new way of judging catastrophe. As though I could stand outside a burning house, next to a shivering, abruptly homeless family and comfort them with “At least you didn’t have to lance the peen.”
Or the next time I have to clean both the fridge and the toilet in one day “Well, I’m not lancing the peen.” Following being turned down for a job I’d buoy myself up by saying “No one’s peen was lanced.”
I spent the rest of the night giggling to myself. Cleaning the dishes was punctuated with my outbursts of “You lance the peen?”
Hilarious, mostly because I feel the majority of people would react in the same manner. Thus by writing this post, I’m performing a community service by getting this message out there. Hopefully that will excuse the fact that I wrote nearly a thousand words about problems you can have with your Johnson. So before the next time you or your loved one pops a little blue pill take a moment to ponder “Is it worth potentially lancing the peen?”†
*Names have been changed to protect the identities of young people who spent the rest of their March Break listening to me do impressions of Sophie’s exclamation.
**Fake names have been used to protect certain stylish young people who do not wish to be associated with their cousin who writes about willies.
† Just before posting this article I had Roscoe use his doctor knowledge to check the frequency of this side effect. He said there were less than ten reported cases ever but that a whole host of other medications can also cause permanent pant tenting. However then he started using his doctor voice rather than the nice husband voice that tells me my hair looks pretty, so I didn’t pay close attention. Regardless, as per Sophie’s suggestion I have now put this information out to the greater electronic world. Although I would say as a rule of thumb, if it’s big, red and painful, go to Emerg sooner rather than later.