Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Rona" from Texas

Botched Circumcision Testimony

Off to a Delayed Start, a Preface, October 2011

I suppose that even before this unusual tale unfolds, I should do a bit of

This blog will be select excerpts from a journal that I have been keeping
for a while.  Some of these entries will be backdated for this reason.

I am rambling already without even the slightest introduction.  Sorry.

I am a young man of 21 years from the rural regions of the Midwestern
United States.  I have completed high school, and have been attending
college for a while now.  For a long time I have known that there was
something different about my body, but I had never really been able to
accurately articulate what it was, up until a few years ago at least.  I
remember looking down at the abnormal scar tissue on my genitals as
a boy and thinking to myself "something seems wrong with me," but
not really knowing what to do about it or even what to say about it to
anyone else.  Thus, my concerns went unvoiced for a long time.

And so I lived quietly for a while with my body, never giving much
thought to what I concluded may have been a birth defect, seeing
how it had been there as long as I could remember.  While the scarred
defect only seemed marginally harder to clean, I never gave it much

Around puberty, my body began growing, but lamentably, the
abnormal scar tissue formation left behind was not so willing to
grow with the rest of my body.  Hence, the flesh on my penis
became progressively tighter and tighter due to the restrictive scar.  
Erections were becoming difficult if not downright painful,
and I voiced my concern with my father about something being
wrong with me at age 16.  I told him about the 
unusual feature on my penis and how tight it was.

He was unphased by my descriptions.  "Oh, the doctors must
have just missed a bit when they circumcised you, and it just
sounds like an extra piece of skin, so I wouldn't worry about it."
In spite of my pain, this was the best advice my own father had
to offer me.  Nothing like “let’s go see the doctor,” or anything
like that.  I would later try broaching the topic again, but once
more had my concerns marginalized.  "Don't worry about it,"
he would say.  “It’s just an extra piece of skin.”  His very 
attitude said to me “I’m happy with my circumcision, why
can’t you be with yours?”

It seemed that I would get no help from him in this matter.

Ironically, I would learn later that the sentiment of anything
on the penis being erroneously thought of as "an extra piece
of skin" is what landed me in my predicament in the first place.

Puberty progressed.  My condition worsened as my body
continued growing.  Any attempt of bringing up this issue
with my father was quickly and briefly curtailed.  Every
single erection hurt me.  I had stopped getting erections
during the day, but I could not stop them from spontaneously
waking me at night from the pain.  Being a desperate young
man seeking answers, I did what many others have done
before me and turned to the internet for answers.

I tried searching for "penis pain."  I found some good
information, but nothing quite like what I had.  I
reformed my thoughts and searches.  Thinking about
how to reform my description of my penile abnormality,
I tried searching for "bridge of skin on penis,"and
clicked on the first link.  There I saw many other photos
of penises that looked like mine, some that looked as
if their conditions were better, and some that looked 
as if their conditions were worse, but I had found the
first resource that I felt could possibly help me.

I looked, I read, and I learned.  I found out that what was
wrong with my body--that the reason that my penis hurt
so much was not a birth defect but rather a surgical
mistake.  What was wrong was caused by a surgery, and
it was called a "skin bridge,” or more specifically, a
trauma-induced balano-preputial adhesion.  I learned that my 
complication was the direct result of my parents needlessly
paying some stranger to royally screw up my genitals with a knife.

A skin-bridge is formed when the raw remnant where the 
foreskin was cut attaches to the raw surface of the glans and 
heals that way. This happens after the doctor has 
lost interest in the case and the mother, who has been told her 
son's circumcised penis is now "low maintenance" and has 
no idea what it is "supposed" to look like, does not notice that 
anything is the matter. (Retrieved from The Intactivism Pages)

In that moment, I went from feeling like a freak with a birth
defect to feeling surgically mutilated.  I had never suspected
that my circumcision performed on me as an infant was to blame
for the pain, or that my scar tissue formation was abnormal for
a circumcised male, but the truth of the matter shocked me.

I read on.  I learned that the surgery that was done to me is
recommended against by almost all major international medical
associations, and that those that did not speak out against it
did not recommend it.  It does not definitively diagnose or
prevent any infection, and this information was available long
before the time of my birth.  What more, no single prominent
media group has ever reported that damages like mine happen, and no 
doctor has ever done a study on the damages as present in adult men. 

Men like me exist in misery, but are marginalized.  Even more
indignation stems from the fact that a few doctors know that
damage like ours happens, but still continue this practice.  
Their willingness to continue to recommend circumcision means
that people like me are treated as “acceptable losses or risks.” 
I am a human being in pain, and not just some unrecorded number.

I learned that when I was born, my mother decided to have me
circumcised (for no religious reasons, and for no legitimate medical reasons). 
I learned that what happened to my penis was bloody and painful, and
that one of my parents was directly responsible for choosing to cut off a
piece of my penis for no good reason, and permanently scarring me in
such a deeply intimate, personal, and disfiguring way.

As I later learned, the foreskin comprises more than half of the
mobile skin of the penis, and that the surgery reduced my capacity
for sensual stimulation to around 30% of what it could have been if
I had been left intact due to the loss of quite a bit of 
neurological tissues down there.

I thought about all of this for a while, and the pain I had at night. 
I started crying.  Someone took a knife to my genitals when I
was a baby, and I was in pain for it due to excessive surgical
complications.  I didn't know what to do, and had nobody I knew 
that I could talk to who could understand my pain and anguish on
this, as everyone I had tried broaching the topic with about my
pain seemed to feel the need to defend the genital surgical practice
that had hurt me in lieu of comforting me as an individual.  
I would mention bodily pain as a result from circumcision, and
almost as if programmed, a myth response would come out in defense
of a procedure that was done to many without consent of the patient in
question.  Perhaps they did this because defending it is emotionally
much easier than admitting that what was done to you was wrong, but 
I can never know this.

None of this would have ever happened if my parents simply 
knew better, and left me intact.

Fast forward to my third year of college, today.  I had mastered the
art of never getting erections during the day, but nighttime was a
different story.  Unfortunately for me, the human male experiences
4-7 spontaneous nocturnal erections.  I wake up for every single 
one of them, and have been doing so for the past 5 years. The
sensation of the flesh of your penis straining to rip itself apart is
an unforgettable one and is not easily ignored.  The pain and lack
of restful sleep at night was making me into a darker person on the inside.

The pain was enough to make me silently sob to myself at times,
my sides heaving, my sweaty hands digging into the sheets and mattress,
hoping--praying, even, that my roommate would not wake up to hear
me. He would later voice concerns that I was suffering from sleep apnea,
as he heard my stifled and heaving breaths from time to time at night.

The bitterest moments in that late-night pain made me think back. 
I began questioning "what was wrong with me as a baby the way
I was?  Did my parents not love me enough to think that I was good
enough for them the way I was born?  What right did they honestly 
have to cut off a part of my body based only on the reason that they
wanted to?"

These thoughts destroyed me, and I spiraled downward into the
 recesses of my depression and insomnia.  I felt trapped, and
wondered if there was anything that I could even do to escape
my situation.  I couldn't focus anymore in class.  Everything I
did seemed like a hollow gesture.

I took the initiative, and scheduled an appointment at the
university clinic.  I went in, my body shaking uncontrollably
without my really knowing why.  My heart rate and blood
pressure were both elevated from stress.  Neither the doctor 
nor the nurse had ever seen anything like what was wrong
with my penis before.  My voice was quavering when I asked
if there was anything that could be done to end my pain. 
The doctor later would write a letter of referral to a urologist,
not really knowing herself.  I left that office, unsure.

It was time for me to again find my own answers.  I went
searching the internet once more, this time for
“skin bridge surgery.”  The first few medical documents 
presented in-office electrocautery as a solution, but with
poor prognosis for cosmology and residual nerve damage
and pain.  To say the least, this was not reassuring.  
A few listings later, I found one mentioning reasonably
successful damage revisions done by plastic surgeons who
would have experience in avoiding nerve and vascular 
damage, and reducing scarring.

My appointment with the urologist is coming soon.

I don't know if she will recommend me to a plastic
surgeon or not.  At either rate, I really don't want electrocautery. 

"Denis" from west Virginia

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Circumcision Videos

"I wish I had done more research"

"Spent most of the day yesterday at the ER with our 3 day old baby boy waiting for a

surgeon to fix his messed up circumcision. I don't understand how such a simple and

routine procedure could go wrong. Thank God the dr thinks he should heal up just fine and

not have any permanent damage. I'm trying to decide if we should go talk to the

original surgeon, who was a complete jerk to me before the surgery, and demand 

an explanation or just be grateful that everything is okay now and move on.

I wish I had done more research, I didn't even know there was more than one type. When

we got to the hospital for L&D, they said when the time came we could talk to the 

surgeon about the different types and make a decision based on that. So when the surgeon

got there Saturday he just sent the nurse to get H, and I asked to speak with him first. He

 was a complete jerk to me and just said that's the type he does. When I asked him what I

 need to know, what to look for, and how to take care of it he answered with pure

 annoyance in his voice ”nothing.” I asked the on call pediatrician and the nurses the same

 questions and they all said we didn't need to do or know anything" -Anon

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Retired Nurse: "I think you're just plain bitches. Very mean."

Rehovot newborn saved after botched circumcision

Rehovot newborn saved after botched circumcision