Monday, December 27, 2004

You're Gonna Do WHAT?

So there I was, just minding my own business, when I noticed one of "the boys" (specifically, the left one) was pretty swollen and tender. I had fallen back from my diet somewhat, and the new jeans I bought were getting a little snug, so I decided to try a more roomy pair and switch back to boxers to see if that would help.

It did help, but something still didn't feel right down there, so I made an appointment with the urologist who was first available. The appointment was set for Monday, December 27, in the afternoon. In the back of my mind, I thought it might be cancer, but after doing a load of reading (gotta love the internet), I had convinced myself that I probably had epididymitis (an infection) and could get some meds to clear it right up.

The first thing I noticed in the waiting room was that I was conspicuously out of place. It reminded me of the clergy gatherings Sarah & I used to attend in northeast Missouri, where we would bring the average age of the crowd down to 60 or so. Oh well. At least there were magazines to read besides Modern Maturity. We had been dealing with fertility issues, so I picked up one of the baby-related pamphlets and we waited.

When the doctor came in, he asked what he could do for us. I told him to make my ball stop hurting. He says, "Well, I can take it out." Gotta love those urologist icebreaker jokes.

After listening to symptoms, he drew a delightful sketch of the testicles and their component parts on the paper that covered the patient table. But a picture is worth a thousand words, so he asked to feel and see what was going on. Just a quick touch and his opening joke became a serious dose of reality. He was going to take it out. He could do it the next day if we liked.

Whoa. Talk about change of plans. Every other concern at that point, including fertility issues, had to go directly to the back burner at that point. Still, with a planned trip to Atlanta to see family, I didn't relish the thought of gimping around with a big scar on my bikini line. We decided to delay the surgery until we returned from the trip. Surgery was scheduled, and off we went to a hastily arranged ultrasound.

Sarah went to fill a scrip for pain meds and I took off all my clothes for two female techs. The experienced one did her thing for quite awhile, then turned over the wand to the second tech, who was probably an intern. I lost track of time and was quite aware of the ultrasound goo that I imagined was dripping down into places I couldn't reach. Cleanup was not the most fun thing in the world.

We picked up the films and went back to the urologist's office and asked to see him again. When he came in, he was a little nonplussed ("What are you doing back here?" were his exact words, I believe). We asked to see the ultrasound results, and there they were, clear as they could be. Something was definitely up with Lefty. I need to get hold of the films again and take some pics with the digital camera for posterity.

Well, nothing to do at this point except wait.