Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way?

My phone started playing “Where the Streets Have No Name” at 4:15 this morning, my signal it was time to get up as I was supposed to be at the surgery center at 5:30. I’d put the surgery off a month so I could go to Hawaii with my lady bugs and their long suffering mom (still the finest woman I know).  I also needed to go to Kansas City on business last week, so I was able to move my surgery to this one. 

A couple months ago I noted my genitals seemed to be growing. I wished my dad were still around so I could brag. I didn’t even have a brother I could call. I mean I could have called my step brothers John and Steve, but we didn’t grow up together so it would have been weird. I would have texted my dad a picture and told him his wish came true. I’d finally grown a pair. 

At first I wasn’t terribly concerned. It wasn’t painful. Seemed regular in shape, and there was no pain on urination. But it didn’t go away and  the scrotal swelling got larger and became more clearly unilateral. I finally decided I needed to do something. So I decided I would ignore it. I was like the Republican Party: I *knew* something was wrong. I just wasn’t going to admit it publicly. 

I went along my merry way for a month or so. Out of sight out of mind. I wear shorts all summer so it wasn’t like wearing jeans was an issue. But finally the summer heat coupled with two space occupying masses led to rashes in places you can’t easily scratch, unless you play Major League Baseball. That’s one thing you don’t see football players doing. Scratching their balls. They may kneel for the Anthem, but they don’t scratch their balls. 

My primary care clinic is usually staffed by a nurse practitioner and, frankly, she’s not very good. In fairness, most physicians these days are lousy at physical exams. It’s like they’re afraid they’ll catch cooties. The last good physical I had was 20 years ago in New Hampshire. That sonofabitch checked your ass out from head to toe, including, ahem, your ass. These days they will take your TPR, ask you what hurts then prescribe an appropriate drug. 

Now the NP who staffs my primary care clinic is nice enough and I am sure she’s a Fine American, but I wasn’t going to see her for my jewels. 

Luckily, the same clinic has an office in Anthem, AZ that is generally staffed by two physicians. Male physicians. I generally have no trouble disrobing in front of women and since my youngest is pre med in college it would be hypocritical of me to prefer to see a male provider. 

I’m a hypocrite. 

I got to Anthem to be the first patient in the door when they opened only to find that the male MD was not seeing walk ins.  Only the decidedly female NP. Diana – I’m not making this up – Bone. 

Shit. Serves me right. 

I saw Diana who was and IS delightful and professional. She listened to my history, my heart, and lungs. And promptly referred Waylon and Willie for an ultrasound. Stat. I never even disrobed, but at least she was taking it seriously. Luckily, there was a SimonMed radiology right next door so I walked over with my orders. My luck ran out quickly, however, as they couldn’t see them until 2:30 that afternoon. I now had the day to contemplate cold lube being slathered all over The Boys. I envisioned them keeping it in the fridge next to the gynecological equipment. 

As it happened SimonMed was very civilized. They kept the jelly in a warmer. I could have kissed her. Meaning the ultrasound tech. I’m going to send her fudge at Christmas. 

The tech was not only a great humanitarian, she also was kind enough to tell me it just looked like fluid. No mass. I already had self diagnosed a hydrocele and I was right. 

Diana Bone (I just have to keep saying her name. I’m twelve) referred me to a urologist who saw me the following week. He confirmed the hydrocele and told me I would need surgery to remove the fluid and the tissue from whence it originated. Thankfully this would not involve removing Waylon. He would remain to sing “Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way?”  We scheduled the surgery for this morning, four weeks from that date. 

Which brings us up to “Where the Streets Have No Name”, which in my opinion is U2’s best work. Sandy picked me up at 5 and had me down to the surgery center at 5:30. I checked in and after an appropriately long wait- this was a hospital after all- I was taken back to prep. Now came the time to put on those gowns that tie in the back. The ones where you might as well be naked. I mean for once I felt like Arnold Schwarzenegger: Hallo lahdy nuhrses. I ahm going to break through thiss wahll… but first I am going to show you mhy really lahrge testicles and flex my nipples…” 

Lisa was my prep nurse and got my IV in on one stick. My BP was elevated, befitting considering what I was having done. The anesthesiologist came in and discussed all the good party drugs I was going to have. She asked me a shitload of questions about drugs and alcohol and such. Some of which I even answered truthfully. 

It was time. 

I had been worried whether they were going to shave me in the prep room. I have a friend who had a vasectomy and he had a 23 year old nursing assistant shave his junk before surgery. Oh, hell no. I have a daughter that age. I may be many things. Creepy isn’t one of them.  

As it happened, I needn’t have worried. We wheeled back to OR #4. A few puffs of sevoflurane later and I was out.  I suppose that’s when they gave me the porn star manscaping. Not for all the good it’ll do. I have a penrose drain sticking out of me. Not sexy, not to mention uncomfortable. 

In any event, next thing I know I’m in recovery wearing a jock strap stuffed with gauze. I have my naked robe on and I’m in bed drinking water. How I went from general surgical anesthesia to wide awake drinking and what happened in between I’ll never know. Or really care. I’ve always dreamed of being naked in a room full of women, my genitalia the center of attention. This was *not* what I had in mind. Shows God has a sense of humor. 

Thanks to Livia, I’m home now. Sitting on my balcony enjoying some liquid and inhaled analgesic. The doctor prescribed some Narco, but I poorly tolerate opiates (I puke like a college freshman on dollar beer night) so I am using my doctorly training and have initiated my own patient controlled analgesic plan. I hope to be back on my feet in a couple days. Right now, so long as I sit like John Wayne on a horse, I’m not too painful. If I move at all, however, I feel like my nuts were hit by a baseball. 

So there’s my story, all of it twue. For a while I was “gifted”, like Clevon Little in Blazing Saddles. Now I’m back to being your average middle aged white guy. It’s ok. I gotta be me. 

About Life Along the Edge

In my 50's, I'm enough to remember the first Apollo landing. I'll eventually forget it, or worse, decide it was all a conspiracy done on a Hollywood sound stage. Most of the rest you need to know about me you can discern from my writing. Other important stuff: I have one wife and three daughters. I live in Arizona. I love seafood, being outdoors, and sex (especially outdoors). But, most importantly, I'm on a journey following Jesus. God leads, I do a shitty job following. He's patient with me. I pray you will be too. Grace and Peace, David
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