Erectile Dysfunction; Disease State or Communication Disorder

When discussions of Erectile Dysfunction come up (no pun intended), we all have a general idea of what this means.  For one reason or another, such as medications, injury, age or perhaps something else, a gentleman is unable to achieve or maintain an erection.  Fortunately, for those who suffer from this disease state, this topic has made it into the normalcy of everyday life, accompanied with various medication treatment options. 

Here's the twist, some folks have a little easier time discussing the issue than others.  I recently had the opportunity to have this discussion with two different men at different times on the same day.  Two completely different stories with exceptionally different levels of communication.  One of the men achieves excellent results with ED medication treatment while the other has absolutely no result at all. 

The first gentleman, in his early 50's, comes into the store and asks if his prescription is ready.  This is not one of our regular customers; we haven't seen him in over two years.  We have a short discussion and realize that the physician has not called the prescription in, or perhaps sent it electronically to his regular pharmacy.  I offer to call the doctor or his other pharmacy; however, he quickly says no, that he will go to the doctor and have them write another prescription.

He returns about 30 minutes later with a prescription for a large quantity of a particular erectile dysfunction medication.  He asks us to not bill his insurance, but rather just fill the prescription for cash.  After the prescription has been entered into the computer and a label has printed, I see that the price is quite large so I decide I better have a short discussion with him before I actually fill the prescription.

The store is quiet so I step out to the front and have a seat in the waiting room next to the patient.  I show him the price on the receipt and without blinking an eye he asks me to go ahead and fill it.  He then continues, quietly, that he normally uses this other pharmacy; however, he doesn't anyone to know that he is taking this type of medication.  Once every couple years he takes a drive across town to use our pharmacy to purchase a stock supply.

Here's where the story gets interesting; he then quietly goes on to explain to me that if his wife knew he needed to use this type of medication she would think that he is no longer attracted to her.  I felt like this was an opening line for a therapy session; however, he wasn't asking for my input on this matter, he was just confidentially explain to me why he was willing to pay the price for the pills.

Later in the day, I stepped over to the counseling area to have a discussion with an 82 year old gentleman who has prostate cancer.  He has been on a testosterone blocker, along with blood pressure medication, and after a short discussion, he asks me if there are any new treatments for, you know, the bed room.  After a few questions and answers we come to the conclusion that he has tried samples of all the available oral medication alternatives.  For him, they are not effective at helping to achieve or maintain an erection.

Interestingly enough, he then pulls out a picture of his elderly wife and describes to me how pretty she is.  He goes on to tell me that they are still able to have a wonderful time in the bed room and that they have come up with other ways of…you know. 

So, is this a blog about erectile dysfunction, communication, marriage, secrets, trust, or alternative ways of being present for your partner?  I think the real questions lies in whether you believe erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve an erection or the inability to talk about it with your partner.

To listen to the Medication Specific Counseling Sessions on the medications used to treat Erectile Dysfunction, please visit this page.


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