This summer I had one of the more humiliating experiences of my life. From the first time that I realized that my penis was smaller than nearly anyone else’s, I have gone to great length to avoid situations where anyone else would see. I’ve always been a rather muscular guy, but I quit playing football after Junior High so that I wouldn’t have to go to the doctor for physicals or change with the other players in the locker room. Even now, I go to the gym fully dressed for my workout so that I don’t have to change in front of the other men. I still avoid the doctor whenever I can.
This summer I couldn’t avoid the doctor any longer. A swollen prostate had block my urinary track and my bladder was ready to explode. My family doctor sent me straight to the ER, where the humiliation began almost immediately.
The local ER had outstanding service. Within minutes of arriving, I was in an ER room and being seen by a doctor. The doctor ordered a catheter to relieve the pressure and the nurse came in a few minutes later to start the procedure. What happened next could have all been coincidence, but it seems unlikely.
The nurse came into the room with the catheter kit and sat down next to my bed. She carefully lowered the sheet and raised my gown. I thought that I heard a soft snicker when she uncovered my small penis, but maybe I was imagining things. She placed the sterile shield around my privates and wiped me thoroughly with an antiseptic wipe. My little dick swelled at the attention, which was even more embarrassing as I’m not a “grower”. My tiny limp penis became a tiny erect penis.
“I’m sorry, I need to step out and ask the head nurse whether I have the right size catheter for you. I would cover you with a sheet, but I can’t risk contaminating the sterile zone.”
My nurse promptly left and closed the curtain behind her. She hadn’t been out the door for more than 2 minutes when the admission clerk burst into the room. When she saw my exposed penis, she paused.
“I’m sorry. Since your nurse left, I thought it would be OK to step in and ask you a couple of questions.”
From the time she walked in the door it seemed like she was staring at my tiny penis.
“I could come back if you would prefer.”
“Yes, please do. My nurse should be back in any second now.”
Instead of my nurse there was a parade of women from other functions. Billing, pastoral care, and even a person sent in to draw my blood.
After what seemed like an eternity, my nurse returned with another nurse. They discussed me like I wasn’t even there.
“As you can see, his penis is smaller than usual.”
“So I was worried that the sterile field might not be protective enough.”
“I agree, it would be much safer to shave him completely and sterilize the skin before you put a new shield on him.”
My nurse spoke on the intercom, “Kim, would you please bring me a shave kit and a new catheter kit.”
It turns out that Kim had been a student in my Sunday School class a few years ago. Now she was a nurse’s aide at the hospital. She recognized me almost as quickly as I recognized her.
“Hi Mr. B. Sorry to see you in here. I hope everything is going to be OK.”
“Good to see you Kim. The doctor assures me that I should be fine.”
“Tom, would you be more comfortable with someone you didn’t know helping with this procedure?”