By Mad Medic
There are a lot of things recruiters will tell you to get you into the army. There’s also a lot of things they don’t tell you. Shining boots (oh how you young troops out there don’t even know), starching uniforms, Motor-pool Monday, “Mandatory” fun, herpes infected dicks. . . wait what?
Yeah. Fun fact, one thing they never tell you about being a medic is the incredible number of dicks you will see, touch, put things into, and pull things out of. If I had any inkling that there’s be so many horribly wrong dicks in my career I’d have said “Um, I’ll take the MOS without herpes infected dicks thank you.”
Don’t get me wrong I did a lot of cool “Medic Shit” too. I saved lives, gave pills, set bones after my platoon sergeant punched a camel. . . you know the things you’d expect a medic to do. But, I can say honestly, in six years as an army medic I touched, and saw more penises than a gay porn star.
I think the realization that there might be a problem is when, during the Whiskey portion of AIT, we spent an entire day on genital emergencies. Keep in mind, this is a course that tries to jam into 8 weeks everything that a medic might need to know, so an entire day devoted to a subject let you know it was important.
Sure we’d covered pregnancy in the EMT portion, but an entire day devoted to injuries, of the twig and berries, as well as their female counter parts left me pretty uneasy. Look, I’m not squeamish, In my career if it is in the human body it’s sprayed splattered, splashed or spilled on me. But, c’mon, when someone shows you a picture of Herpes Zoster, followed a little later by a picture of a penis sliced almost in half, I challenge you not to squirm.
“But, WAIT!” My younger Medic-in-training self thought to myself, “that’s not something I’ll have to deal with! I’m a Combat Medic! When in combat am I going to rip a guy’s pants off to see if his balls are still there?” (The answer, young troop, is twice) I foolishly laughed at the thought. I went through the rest of AIT secure in the knowledge that I wouldn’t have to deal with that again. Then I got to my first duty station.
About a month after arriving at my first duty station I got pulled to run sick call for the first time. I remember clearly the look of mild panic on the young PFC’s face when he said “there’s something wrong. Uh, down there.” Down. . . there? Oh. Shit.
What followed was a decent into horror. Really. It was a straight up slasher flick on this poor dude’s dick. I, of course, had to touch it (double gloved of course). I had to collect samples with a Q-tip from a sore. I don’t know how he managed, but it was the first and last time I saw Syphilis and Human Papilloma Virus Simplex (Herpes), let alone on the same dick. It made quite the combination.
I can’t say that it got better throughout my career. One poor fool managed to get a piercing stuck in his urethra (pee hole). Yeah. Guess who got to go fishing for that little bit of fun? Well, I didn’t actually put the pliers in his dick, but I. . . um. . . milked it. Yeah. That was after I pulled out his Jacob’s ladder and Prince Albert. You want to see something that will give you the willies? See a dick covered in spiked piercings.
I will say, by far the most disconcerting thing for me was when I became proficient at foley catheters. Its not hard to insert a tube into a pee hole, but you do have to hold and clean said area. The first couple of times you actually think about the fact that you’re holding the shaft and putting a sterilizing agent on the head. Eventually you just don’t think about it.
That is, until the patient makes it weird. One patient, high on everything under the sun and babbling word soup needed to be held down, because he was thrashing all over the place. He came out of his fog long enough to look at me and yell “HEY! YOU’RE HOT!” at me. Well. I kind of threw my hands up and backed right the hell away. No, no, no, no, NO!
Of course my charge nurse thought this was funny, and insisted I do the foley. He actually woke up and looked an me when I stated to use the cleaning swabs. Then, he actually smiled when I inserted the lubed up tube into is urethra. You know what will really weird you out? When someone gives you “bed room” eyes when you get a rubber tube through the sphincter at the base of the bladder!!!
I could go on, and tell you about the times I’ve had to deal with “if your dick is hard longer than 4 hours see a doctor,” (spoiler alert it’s painful and terrifying). I could also tell you about the time I even saw an actual broken penis (you don’t want to know). I’m sure you’d love to see what that looks like. Without a doubt a few of our Marine brethren out there could draw you diagrams. I could show you pictures, but, well I’m not a dick (see what I did there).
Throughout my career, I got to do a lot of cool “Medic Shit.” I stuck my finger through a dude’s heart, saved a few lives, delivered a baby (epic blood bath that puts Freddy Kruger to shame). My recruiter told me being a medic would be a hell of a ride. He was absolutely right about that. He did, however, utterly fail to tell me about all the penises I would have to deal with. I guess you could say, that was a bit of a dick move on his part.