This past Sunday morning I had a freak out moment when I was in the shower. Like I do every shower I lathered up my hands and washed my balls. However, this time was different as I noticed what seemed to be a lump on my testicle. My balls had actually been a bit tender recently as well but I figured it was nothing as I tend to have sensitive gonads (more so than the usual person). Let me tell you, there's nothing like a good dose of fear and anxiety to make a depression cycle even worse. Being that it was the weekend I couldn't get an appointment right away to have them checked out so I began to brood and imagine the worst.
Rationally, I knew that if it was cancer that my chances of survival were pretty good (well over 90% according to wikipedia) , but the notion that I would likely have a ballectomy didn't sit too well with me. I spent most the day worrying and wondered about what it would like to have one ball. Would they put in a prosthetic ball? Since it was my right testicle and my penis leans towards the left, would it shift and start leaning towards the right if I didn't have a prosthetic? Would I be less aggressive and have less testosterone? Would I turn into an even bigger wuss? Would my orgasms have less intensity? Would chemo be a good way to lose weight? Would I feel a phantom ball like amputees feel a phantom leg?
I called the doctor Monday morning and made an appointment for Tuesday afternoon. The medical assistant then asked on the phone why I wanted an appointment. Despite my ability to say all sorts of inappropriate things to my friends, I found it difficult to muster up a conversational voice and tell her that I had a lump on my testicle. I think I sounded like Peter Brady during the "Time to Change" song as my weak voice cracked several times describing my condition. I started to dread going to the doctor. Not because I was afraid of bad news (which I was), but being that I was so tender in my nether regions, I wasn't looking forward to the unpleasant exam he would have to give me.
30 hours of worrying later, I eventually made it into the doc's office. It was an unually hot day for April (90 degrees) and despite all of my real fears, I actually started to be concerned that the doctor would be grossed out by my sweaty balls. What joke, right? I could be headed to a biopsy of my nuts or looking at chemotherapy and the thing I suddenly get most concerned about is if a man who sees nasty infectious growths and smelly fungal diseases on a daily basis would be offended by my slightly moist and salty scrotum. I really wish I could understand why my brain goes haywire like that when I stress out. I actually went into the men's room at the doctor's office and gave my balls a quick once over with a handful of paper towels!
In the office my usual nervous jokey self emerged. As previously blogged, when I visit the doctor I tend to use my humor as a self defense mechanism. So, once again, for your enjoyment is the paraphrased conversation that took place (after a brief description of why I was there.)
Doc: Okay then, please stand up and remove your shorts and underwear.
Me: No dinner and a movie first?
Doc: Oh, and you'd better lock that door, the aides always seem to come in while someone has their pants down.
Me: If it's the blonde then I don't mind so much. (I lock the door, walk back over to the doctor and pull down my shorts.)
Doc: Which one was it?
Me: The right one.
Doc: (grabs the left one) Just let me know if you feel tender.
Me: eeeep! there!
Doc: (grabs the right one) where was the lump?
Me: On top and towards the back-ah-ah-ah-ah ckkkkkk!!
Doc: Really sore there, huh?
Me: (still feeling pain) Nuuuhhhoo, I'm just developing a stutter.
Doc: (snaps off glove) Okay, you can put your shorts back on.
Me: Thanks, got a smoke?
Doc: Well, I have good news, you have epididymitis.
Me: Epic Diddy Midas? Sounds awful, I thought you said it was good news.
Doc: Well, good news since I am sure you were worried it was cancer. Epididymitis, It's an infection that could last 30 days or longer and is pretty tough to get rid of it.
Me: So the lump I felt is my eppah doo dad swelling?
Doc: Yes, it where your body stores your sperm until you're ready to ejaculate and then it sends it to the vas deferens. Since you've had a vasectomy and your tubes don't connect, it's where your sperm go to die.
Me: So, it's like an elephant graveyard for gametes.
Doc: (finally laughs!) Haha, yes! We'll have to get you started on some Cipro for at least a month. I also recommend that you wear a jock strap or at least wear briefs to help with the soreness, it's best if you have support to prevent your testicles from moving around too much.
Me: Am I contagious if I have sex with my wife?
Me: Well, then, could you write me a script for sex at least once a day? Better yet, make it oral copulation!
Doc: (laughs) I could write one, but your story would have to be at least somewhat plausible, your wife is pretty smart after all.
Doc: You should also buy some over the counter naprosen or Alleve to help with the pain.
Me: Okay- let me get this straight- you want me to take a few pills, wear tighty whiteys up high and have plenty of sex.
Me: You sure know how to party doc, that's why I go to you.
We then had a long conversation about my recent depression cycle and while I won't share this here (yet), I have to say that my doctor is a cool guy and I'm glad I go to him. He rolls with the punches and is straight forward and takes the time to explain things to me. That about the best you can ask for in a physician. Last night I proceeded to get rather drunk, as I really needed to blow off steam from the the huge amount of stress I put on myself. Unfortunately, I am hung over today and my balls seem to ache even more than yesterday but that could be psychological as I am now aware that my ball should be sore. However, it is a big relief that I don't have the big C and I don't ever want to imagine what it would be like to lose my testicles.