I commit my story to this forum with the hope that it will motivate others who similarly suffer from ED to seek the best professional help and exhaust ALL avenues in their search for a solution. There is hope in this fight.
My name is Robert, I am 35 years old, and I was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2004. I struggled with the symptoms of schizophrenia before I finally found a medication (Respirdal) that alleviated its symptoms in 2006. At about the same time, I found that I was unable to achieve an erection sufficient for penetration during sexual intercourse. I quickly surmised that the Respirdal caused my ED. Despondent, I stopped taking the Respirdal and hoped that this would restore my ability to achieve an erection. Unfortunately, my ED persists to this day. Now, however, I have an answer to the origin of my ED and a renewed hope for a lasting cure.
Single, I remember waking up each morning without an erection and thinking that life as a married man with a family would prove enormously difficult to obtain. I quickly sought professional help and visited both the Chief of Urology at a well-known southern California university hospital and a urologist in the same area involved with the initial trials for Viagra. Both doctors drew blood to check my testosterone levels and found them within the appropriate range. Furthermore and inasmuch as I do not suffer from diabetes, each doctor independently concluded that the cause of my ED was psychological and offered Cialis as a solution. The Cialis proved marginally effective and hardly allowed for a cure. I was perplexed and strongly felt that my ED was a function of something other than my psychological state. My feelings regarding a physical origin to my ED lost out to the professional opinions of two urologists whom I then presumed knew of all the available tests and cures to ED and had contemplated these tests as they might apply to my case.
For five years I thus reluctantly espoused the belief that my ED was psychological in origin and that I would be relegated to such a life. My beliefs changed, however, as earlier this year, my brother, also a doctor, told me about Dr. Irwin Goldstein (“Dr. G”) – a pioneer in the field of sexual medicine. He encouraged me to seek his opinion. I was initially reluctant thinking that I’d already seen the Chief of Urology at a university hospital and another doctor to whom Pfizer had indirectly given its imprimatur. In short, I had covered my bases. What could this Dr. G tell me that would be different? He’d conduct the same tests and prescribe the same remedy. I was resigned to a life with ED. End of story – give up hope. My brother fortunately prevailed upon me and I set up a phone appointment with Dr. G. During the phone consultation, I told Dr. G of my history and the diagnoses of the other doctors. Feeling that I had nothing to lose and confident that Dr. G had an earnest desire to help, I set up an in-person appointment with Dr. G.
My in-person appointment started with a brief lecture about ED as Dr. G logically outlined its causes. “Robert,” he said, “Tell me what you want in life?” I replied that it was my hope to one day marry and have a family. “I give you my word that you will have that,” Dr. G answered back. Dr. G was not immediately satisfied with the notion that my ED was psychological in origin and we proceeded to another room in his office where he performed an ultrasound. Dr. G instructed me to look at the television monitor he had in the room while he searched for the arterial flow in my penis. “See the red on the screen that’s barely visible? That’s blood and you barely have any to allow for an erection.” He then told me that he wanted to perform a DICC test (a test that examines the blood pressure in the penile arteries and compares the same to the blood pressure in the arm) to confirm his finding that my penile arteries were not providing blood sufficient for an erection. After the DICC test, Dr. G, with no equivocation, stated that my problem was due to an arterial blockage. My issue, although perhaps on some level psychological, was indeed physical in origin. Finally an answer.
Why hadn’t the other doctors performed the ultrasound and the DICC tests? I do not know. I do know, however, what causes my ED and the options available to me. I have renewed my fight and since my initial office visit with Dr. G, and per his instruction, I had a penile arteriogram performed. The findings of the arteriogram indicated that I am a candidate for penile revascularization. Dr. G mentioned that penile revascularization proves successful on two of every three men that have the procedure.
It is now June of 2011 and I now have a plan of action where before I had none. It is what I needed to maintain my motivation to search for a cure. I am scheduled to have the penile revascularization procedure performed by Dr. G in the fall of this year. At 5’10, 235 pounds, however, Dr. G will not perform the procedure until I get my weight to below 190 pounds – which is necessary to optimize the results of the operation. This is my story and where I now stand. I now have an answer and a measure of hope for a cure. I will provide updates in the weeks leading up to and the months following my revascularization procedure with the intent that I inform men contemplating a similar course of action.
All the best and don’t give up your search for an answer or the resolve to find a solution to the problem.