Tuesday, May 03, 2005


The epididymis is a long, tightly coiled tube that lies behind each testicle. It mainly collects sperm made by the testicles, which seems simple enough. However, when the epididymis becomes infected - this can happen for no good reason or can be sexually transmitted - there is severe pain, swelling of the scrotum, fever and general malaise due to the fact that your balls ache and you can't have sex for a good long while.

Today, I sit listing slightly to the left as I type out these notes. What a predicament! The doctor, a woman, says, "If you were a younger man, I'd have you tested for chlimydia." Well, I took that as an afront. What did she mean? If I were a younger man . . . did she mean that since I'm 54 I couldn't possibly be sexually active? I could get climydia, damn it! Anyway, I don't have climydia (can't spell it either). Been with the same lovely woman for quite a while, and although she may now find my oversized nut a bit of a putoff, I think we'll be okay.

So, I sit atop an icepack that rests just under my right testicle, sipping water, waiting for the antibiotic to work its magic. This after yesterday's six hour stay at the Urgent Care center down on Medical Mile. Medical Mile - that's what the locals call a stretch of building on Springfield's south side that house a plethora of clinics, hospitals and health insurance companies, many housed in shiny new-age looking architectural wonders.

When you step in one of these structures, you have entered into a world that many people find comforting and reaffirming . . . a clean inner-world of doctors, nurses, clinicians, gleaming medical technology, and of course, the obligatory drug salespeople who prance about pulling wheeled travel bags full of tempting new samples. "Ask your doctor about Lipitor." These are the real drug pushers in American society. Clean, neat, snappily dressed. Where would we be without them?

Not having been to the doctor in several years, I had to marvel at the pace and activity. I mean, this was just one little clinic along the Mile and there were literally hundreds of people seeking medical attention just minutes after the doors opened. These people had been through this so often, they were trance-like in their obedience and purpose . . . take a number, sit . . . and they would sit for hours waiting to be called for this test or that, this exam or that consultation. I was there for six hours resting uncomfortably on my swollen nut.

Since cancer and the fear of cancer is all-pervasive in our world, I was directed to the Radiology wing for an ultrasound. One can't be too careful with bumps and swollen nodules these days. I sat with a small multitude of women awaiting their turn for breast x-rays. A lone swollen testicle in a room full of anxious boobies. While waiting, I checked out the abundance of breasts that surrounded me, not in a lascivious way, but more as a curiosity. There were no fewer than thirty-four breasts about to be pressed and zapped in the next few minutes, all shapes and sizes. I resisted the urge to think about the variety of nipple types. The nurses routinely called out names with tired voices, and the women rose one at a time, some with great difficulty, and walked back into the recesses of the X-Ray wing. I wondered about the nurses . . . they seemed bored with breasts. They knew very well that most of these women were fine, were just there as a precaution, perhaps out of boredom themselves.

I started wondering about quality of life issues. An extremely large woman waddled in and sat next to me. I tried to adjust myself to allow more room, but the flab on the back of her arms overflowed into my space. I was stricken by how cool her arm felt. Bad circulation, I thought to myself. The woman was called just minutes later as the breast exam assembly line seemed to be geared up a little better than the ultrasound group. She pushed herself up with her arms and with no small effort reached behind to release her mammoth khakis from her crack, and proceeded to make way toward the calling nurse. I could see the cellulite ebbing and flowing beneath her pants, but she was here to have her breasts examined, nothing wrong with her ass apparently. She would be exhausted afterwards, I could tell.

My name was finally called out by a stocky, rural looking nurse. She looked as though she had perhaps handled the testicles of farm animals at some point in her life, which made me feel just a bit uneasy.

1 comment:

Duane Keys said...

hehehe... "...rural looking nurse..."

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