Wesley Warren Jr., better known as "The Man With The 132-Lb. Scrotum," has two objectives right now: He wants to make money and speak the truth.
In May of 2008, in a household mishap, the Las Vegas man took a blow to his right testicle. "I woke up the next day, and my scrotum was the size of a honeydew melon," he tells Marc Lamont Hill on HuffPost Live. "My personal hell was just beginning."
With every passing month, Warren's scrotum grew 3 pounds or more. And with no health insurance, he had little opportunity to seek help, until he became internationally known for his freakish bulge.
To cradle his watermelon-sized sex organ, he wore a hooded sweatshirt as pants, using the hood as a makeshift scrotum sling.
"Even when I got offers to help, it was hard," he tells HuffPost. "My scrotum was so large I couldn't get on a plane. I was too big to use an airplane restroom."
TLC's "The Man With the 132-Lb Scrotum" premieres Monday at 9 p.m. ET. It's been five months since Warren has had surgery to remove the excess tissue in his groin. But it's hard, even now, for him to look back.
"The show is frighteningly real to me," the 49-year-old man says, recounting how the simplest tasks, like walking or going to the bathroom, became impossible.
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Warren raised donations any way he could. Radio talk show host Howard Stern got listeners to send Warren to see Dr. Joel Gelman, a California urologist who specializes in scrotal lymphedema, a disorder that causes the scrotum to become "extremely large as lymph fluid and tissue accumulates."
The surgery required 13 hours on the operating table. Warren tipped the scale at 552 pounds when he went in, and left 200 pounds lighter. Gelman found his penis was buried "under a foot of tissue."
"It didn't have to be this way," Warren says.
While Warren is the first to admit he needs to make several lifestyle changes, especially when it comes to his voracious diet, he wishes, like many Americans, he had better access to healthcare.
"Right now, we have one party in this country that can stifle everything," he says. "I actually get where the Republicans are coming from. But we've become what the old Soviet Union used to be -- a country that can't meet the basic needs of its people. That's sad."
To make matters worse, Warren complained the media distorted his story. A report in the Las Vegas Review Journal suggested Warren was so enamored of his newfound celebrity that he was ambivalent to accept free offers for surgery. That article was picked up by HuffPost Weird News and several other sources.
"The story simply wasn't true," Warren says. "And it made it harder for me to receive help."
Warren has had absolutely no qualms about talking to Stern, Comedy Central and other comedy shows. In fact, he says he would love to parlay his media fame into a talk show. He considers it just one way to make the best out of a bad situation. But he maintains he never stopped seeking medical help.
A complete recovery is still a long way off. Warren still requires more surgery. He has no sex drive and "little or no testosterone" as a result of his condition.
But maybe no sex life was a blessing in disguise, he says, given his condition.
"Imagine if I had desires," Warren says. "There isn't anything I could've done about it. That would be a personal kind of hell."
For the TLC premiere, Warren traveled to New York City for a media tour. In a phone interview, Geraldo Rivera advised him to "not wear a Speedo." On The Opie and Anthony Show, one of the hosts suggested that his next TLC project should be entitled, "Scrotum: Buried Alive."
The trip also allowed Warren, a native of Orange, N.J., to reunite with family he hadn't seen in years. "We met at a White Castle. There were 18 of us. You can only imagine there was a lot to talk about."
And Warren plans to keep on talking. He wants a radio show, or at least a podcast. "Talk radio is a longtime love," he says. "And the past few years has given me an awful lot of practice.
"If my life is proof of one thing, it's that anything's possible."