This Monday, August 19 at 9 p.m. TLC will air an hour-long program called ‘The Man with the 132-Pound Scrotum.’ The show follows Wesley Warren, Jr., a 49-year old Las Vegas man, who suffers from scrotal lymphedema.
The TLC teaser fails to explain how Mr. Warren contracted lymphedema of the scrotum, but according to Dr. Reid (inventor of the ReidSleeve), the condition can be brought on by heart failure, liver failure, venous obstruction, lymphatic obstruction, or prior surgery or trauma.
As someone who has struggled to live in dignity with primary lymphedema for 15 years, it makes me cringe to think of all the people who might be sharing a laugh on Facebook at the expense of this poor man or gawking at his agony. And it makes me angry that lymphedema and lymphatic disease – a condition that affects millions of people worldwide – only gets attention when it garners circus-freak headlines.
But as someone who works in public relations, I am also aware of the axiom that there is “no such thing as bad publicity.” And if curiosity about a man’s over-sized reproductive organ is what captures people’s attention long enough to pronounce lim-fi-dee–muh and maybe even learn its meaning, then I suppose it’s worth the offense. I just hope Mr. Warren got a 132-pound paycheck.