Sunday, December 30, 2007

Jingle Balls II: The Escape Clause

You may recall my frank discussion of my balls some weeks back. Well, I have some resolution to the story. Just in time for the holidays! Because nothing says holiday cheer like discussing your scrotum in public.

The final step in the process was a review of the situation by the urologist. I have never been to the urologist in my life. Why should I? The junk works, so why mess with perfection? As usual, in need of a doctor, I rummaged around on the internet for a while and then picked someone with a catchy name who was nearby. I suppose I could check credentials or something, but I have to assume a total quack would not be able to afford to pay rent in one of the most expensive cities in the world if he didn’t know what he was doing. And yes, I did specifically choose a male urologist. It is weird enough having a stranger manhandle me under fluorescent lighting, I don’t need to make it completely bizarre by bringing a woman into the mix.

The doctor I chose was in Gramercy Park, steps away from a convenient subway stop and my regular doctor. He is right around the corner from the National Arts Club, which when I passed it reminded me that it had been a long time since I saw Manhattan Murder Mystery, so I picked it up on DVD. I had to wait seven weeks for my appointment, and even though my doctor told me it was probably nothing and the two women at the ultrasound office couldn’t even FIND what I was talking about, I was still filled with a certain level of anxiety.

I had my appointment in the week before Christmas. I trotted down to his office and sat in the waiting room filled with current magazines and old men for about 45 minutes before he finally saw me. The urologist looks like all doctors in Woody Allen movies: tall, reed thin and expressionless. He also spoke with a German accent, but not like a character actor in a Hollywood movie about Nazis. He sounded more like a mad professor in an old Looney Tunes cartoon (although visually lacking the mess of white hair and the cheesy Frito Bandito moustache). The whole package instantly filled me with confidence, as all situations that remind me of the movies do.

He asked me the usual routine questions, even though I had filled them all out on the form in the waiting room.

“How many zexual partners: zingle or multiple?”

“Um. Right now, or over my lifetime?”

“In your lifetime.”

“Oh. Multiple.”

He arched his eyebrow and gave me an ever so disapproving murmur. I was instantly outraged and defensive about what a slut I have been. You know what. I am a sexually active 38 year old man. I don’t need to get shit from some stranger about the fact that I have had sex with more than one person in my whole life. Granted, the number isn’t two. But how does he know that? If I want to feel judged, I’ll go to a department store cosmetics counter and put my head inside the black light box with the magnifying mirror in it that makes you buy anything they put in front of you. I don’t need to hear it from the man who is going to tell me definitively if I have cancer.

So he sends me off to the waiting room while his assistant contacts my doctor to have my records faxed over. After that he calls me down to the separate exam room.

“Take your pants down and I will take a look.”

I kick off my shoes and then start in on my pants when he stops me.

“You can leave your shoes on. I von’t be examining your feet.”

So, like James Edstrom in the Ramble, I just shoved my pants down around my ankles and hopped (quite literally) onto the table. I laid back as instructed and he began to dispassionately knead my balls like bread dough.

“Zo. What do you do for a living?”

Really? A conversation about the wonders of satellite radio while you are all over my balls like a case of the crabs? This is definitely one of those situations, like when you are standing at a urinal, when I am not in the mood for idle chit chat. He asked me where the lump was that I felt, and when I told him, he stopped the exam as suddenly as he began.

“What is behind and above the left testicle is a normal structure. Put your pants back on please and see me in my office,” he declared as he ripped his surgical gloves off dramatically and dispensed with them in the trash can nearby. He just left me lying on the table with my pants down around my ankles. I felt so vulnerable!

Once I pulled myself and my outfit (such as it was) together, I went back to his office. He glanced over my paperwork and looked up at me. “There is nothing going on in your genitals.” He stated it so flatly I instantly wanted a second opinion. It was the second meanest thing a doctor has told me during this ordeal, only behind my regular doctor assuring me that I have nothing to worry about because “testicular cancer is a disease of young men.” I don’t need a stranger to tell me there is nothing going on in my genitals. I live with them. I know what they are doing at night.

Unfortunately, my ultrasound results weren’t there, so he insisted that I come back on Monday for a follow-up. Monday, as in Christmas Eve. Aren’t Jewish doctors the best? I guess he doesn’t like movies and Chinese food. However, it did take seven weeks for the initial appointment and he is on the American Board of Urology, so I guess I should take whatever appointment I can get. I trotted back down to the city on Christmas Eve, waited once again in his waiting room with several of the same loose characters I saw during my initial visit. He called me in, glanced over my ultrasound, and then waved his hand over it as if performing a magic spell.

“Nothing. There is nothing here. Go home. Enjoy your time. Have fun. I will see you in six months. Maybe there will be something there then.”

And with that my testicular cancer ordeal was over. As definitive as the Supreme Court ruling in Bush Vs. Gore, the process was stopped dead in its tracks. Yes, maybe something else will go wrong in my genitals, but as I will be six months older during the next go round, I am that much further away from testicular cancer. So now there is nothing left to do but sit back, enjoy Diane Keaton reunited with Woody Allen and pronounce my personal Manhattan mystery solved.


Anonymous said...

"Maybe there will be something there then." ???
I hope doc didn't say that with an anticipatory tone. How tactless!
All I could hear while reading this was your doc/Michael Lucas impression from the show.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if you would stop useing anti aging drugs and everything else to hide that you are a old troll, you wouldnt have deformed balls derek hartley !

Derek Hartley said...

Maybe if you learned how to spell the word "using" and knew the proper article is "an" not "a" for a word that starts with a vowel (like old, for instance), you would have some credibility. Instead you just come off as AN obnoxious asshole with AN ax to grind, hiding behind the anonymity of the internet.