Monday, March 11, 2013

The Hernia

Not too long ago, I was assisting my employees with moving a bunch of very large, very heavy steel flat drawers which are used to store our aeronautical charts, plots, and related material.  We were in the midst of a large reorganization, and the drawers needed to be moved to a different area to allow for the building of approximately a dozen new cubicles to be used for contractors.  Did I mention the drawers are very heavy?  I was trying to avoid any injuries to my employees, so I took it upon myself to move many of these drawers myself.  I guess I should have been a little less altruistic.  The result of all of the heavy lifting left me feeling a little sore.  It was the end of the week, and within 8 to 10 hours of arriving home, I began experiencing a great deal of pain in my nether regions.

NOTICE:  Since I think I have a mixed audience of readers of this blog, I'm going to try to be as polite as possible in my description of the events that followed.

There is an area on most men that could be regarded as the most sensitive area of the male body.  In fact, I believe most self-defense classes would instruct a victim of a physical attack by a male to aim at this area and strike it with as much force as possible, which should result in a great deal of pain.  It was in this area that I began to feel some discomfort.  By Saturday morning, the "one" on the left started to ache.  Soon, however, it really started to hurt, to the point that even my clothing was causing pain.  I looked at it to see if I could figure out what was wrong, and realized it had swelled to about double the size of the one of the right.  Then it got very painful, and I was downright miserable.  It began to burn.  I was home alone, fortunately, and all I could do was sit with nothing on with a fan blowing on it and hope that it would stop hurting.  I was too embarrassed to think about going to the emergency room, but I really didn't know what I could do.  It hurt all day!  Then I had one of the worst nights I can remember.  I couldn't get any relief.  I tried to self-diagnose my problem, and I was convinced I had a hernia.  I had never had one before, but I thought, given all of the heavy lifting from the previous day, that was the only explanation.  Sunday was even worse, and I came very close to just packing it in and heading to the hospital.  But then the swelling started to disipate, and I began to feel less and less pain.  By Sunday night, it was still sore, but it looked normal.  It was still bothering me on Monday morning, but it was clearly getting better.  I figured I had better go see my doctor, though.

I made an appointment for that afternoon, and went to see him.  I explained what happened.  He lectured me for not going to the ER.  He said, and I'll quote, "If one of MY balls swelled up as big as a grapefruit and was causing me a lot of pain, I wouldn't wait around all weekend for it to go back to normal.  Go to the hospital!"  Anyway, he said it seemed normal, and there was no evidence it was a hernia, however he recommended that I get a sonogram to get it checked out.  I said okay, not knowing what I was in for next.

A few days later, I entered a lab where I was going to get a sonogram to see if I had a hernia.  It soon became my own personal nightmare.  I'm a modest guy.  I'm not about to let just any woman see me without my pants on, even if it's for a medical procedure and she's a medical professional.  I'm a gentleman, so it's going to take a special girl to see me with nothing on.  In fact, my wife is the only female who has seen me with nothing on since I hit puberty.  Well, that all came to a screeching halt this day.  Throw modesty out the window.  My worst-case fear with this sonogram, and the main reason I decided not to go to the ER, was that I might have to drop my shorts in front of an attractive young female nurse, doctor, or technician.  Well, my fear came true.  Guess who I got?  A very attractive young lady, early 30s, single...exactly the type of woman I would want to meet anywhere but here.  I was truly mortified!

She told me to get undressed and handed me one of those gowns so common in the medical profession, and explained that I should put it on with the opening in the front.  I did as told and covered up as best as I could, then walked into the examining room.  I didn't know what to do.  I felt ridiculous.  I just stood there with my hands in front of me, guarding my privates as best I could.  I cleared my throat, then asked, "What happens now?"  She turned to look at me, smiled big, and said, "Just lay down on the table and open your robe.  I said, "So, I'm just going to throw any modesty out the window?"  And she said, with a wicked little smile on her face and in a very authoritative voice, "Yes.  You can just look at this as the Woman's Revenge."  Yes, she really did say that.  I'm sure I turned several deep shades of red.  I climbed onto the table, leaned back, closed my eyes, and said, "Please be gentle, and wake me when it's over."  What happened next I'm pretty sure would require us to be married in most states.

You might think my biggest fear was that I might get a bit aroused.  I mean, here I was, practically undressed, with a cute young lady who was about to examine a very sensitive part of my male anatomy, using lots of lubricant and a probe.  It turned out this WASN'T my biggest fear.  My biggest fear, which became reality, was just like an episode of Seinfeld involving "shrinkage".  I certainly wasn't relaxed, and it was very cold in the examining room.  Plus, the lubricant was cold, and I think Ms. Technician was enjoying making me squirm.  On a number of occasions, she "pressed" a little too hard, and I let out a little painful yelp.  At least she said she was sorry.  The exam lasted almost an hour.  After it was over, I didn't know if I should run as fast and far away as I could, or buy her dinner.  The good news is she didn't find anything wrong.  The bad news is she didn't find anything except what was supposed to be there.  There was no sign of a hernia, she said.  I thought the sonogram was going to be able to tell them whether or not I had one, and if it could return.  Apparently that wasn't the case.

In all seriousness, the exam wasn't all that bad, but I hope I never have to be in a situation like that again.  She was completely professional, thank goodness, but I'm hoping I have one of those kinds of faces that's not easy to remember.

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