So I found out I have a bad ball. If you need me to church it up, the proper term is “varicocele”. Basically it’s a condition where the veins in your beanbag become enlarged, typically on the left side, in a similar fashion to the varicose veins you see in the aisles of Walmart. This causes the temperature in and around the testicle to be too high, leading to low sperm count and motility (which means their ability to move around, I wasn’t aware) and even infertility.
Diagnosis of this situation came about after my wife, Andrea, endured a rigorous amount of examination and intrusive probing, resulting in the the discovery of endometrial polyps. I won’t get too into the weeds with the medical condition minutiae, but simply put, the polyps are an overgrowth of tissue on the lining of the uterus, known to cause fertility issues and an increased risk of miscarriage. To answer your question: Yes, I graduated with honors from Google U and am more than capable of regurgitating search results. A procedure was necessary to have them removed. Dre had some pre-game jitters due to it being her first legitimate trip to the hospital, but those little polyp fuckers were cleaned right out and Andrea walked away unscathed aside from the week of soreness and fatigue that followed. She powered through like a champ.
After we were green lit, it was time for another spirited run at conception (translation: an increased rate of doing the nasty), which is always a task I’m up for. However, with the labors came no fruit. Since wifey was now in the clear, that forced me under the microscope and a sample of my love warriors were required for testing. I hope everyone is appreciating my colorful depiction of all this, BTW. Despite a Vince Lombardi-esque rallying cry delivered to the troops encouraging tenacity and perseverance, my sperm count and motility came back low on two occasions, proving the Mackey infantry unsuitable for the battlefield. I was left feeling like a shell of a man. Believe me, I’m a dude who appreciates science and I fully realize the outcome is not indicative of my value as a man, but it was emotionally crushing. All I could think was, “WHAT NOW?”, sensing that I was completely fucked.
Fortunately I didn’t have to ruminate on that question too long. We were referred to a urologist by Andrea’s OBGYN for a full and immediate 150-point inspection. It’s hard to choose my favorite part of the whole experience, but let me hit the highlights. For starters, I loved the invasive line of questioning necessary for them to get the complete picture of my health. People close to me know I love the challenge that is transparency. Like most, I have some habits and behaviors I’m not exactly proud of, but when the situation calls for laying it all out there, I get a little adrenaline rush and just send it, dropping hard truths even if it means my health insurance premiums go up. So that was fun.
Another highlight moment had to be the physical examination itself. I had the privilege of enjoying not one, but two sets of hands investigating the totality of my situation. I’m pretty lucky in that, as a strapping lad, I haven’t had to utilize the health care system much in my life, but I get the impression they always seem to milk these situations into a string of appointments, so I wasn’t sure if we were going to accomplish anything aside from filling out some paperwork. Earlier that morning, I told Andrea I was hopeful we’d make some actual progress and not get jerked around, so to speak, so when it was announced I was going to have to lose the trousers, I was pleased. Andrea was sure to crank up the awkward 120% and loudly declared, “He was really hoping to get some action today”. She knows how to set the mood and I’d have it no other way.
Once it was time for the doctor to go flesh diving, she coached me up in the proper technique. Much to Andrea’s delight, the direction was simple: “Bear down”. Basically I was told to emulate crapping, but obviously, refrain from dropping a shoulder and powering into the end zone. I suspect those fuckers choose their words carefully for their own amusement, because the second I start “bearing down”, like a rider pulling on the reigns of a skittish young horse, she insists I ease up. Apparently when it comes to my #2 approach, I go hard to the paint. You could have told me to go at it gently, doc. When someone tells me to bear down, I’m fucking bringing the heavy lumber. To fully illustrate the beauty of the moment, keep in mind that Andrea is the room, completely unsure where to aim her eyes. The dilemma of wanting to be a caring and supportive wife while maintaining some semblance of romance and physical attraction to me through it all was getting the best of her, resulting in pure hilarity as her gaze darted around the room.
So here’s where shit gets real. While pawing around down there, the doc reacts. The bitch of it is, she’s kneading at something wholly familiar to me. It’d be like if someone grabbed your kneecap, started wiggling it around and was all, “DAFUQ IS THIS ABOUT”. Her reaction to it as something awry snapped my mind into focus and I started reflecting on all the times whatever she was grappling with was a source of discomfort to me over the past decade. Nothing chronic by any means, just some occasional soreness and sensitivity to touch. I have a bit of a reputation for “rubbing some dirt on it” and moving on in regards to ailments, but this wasn’t that. It just never registered as abnormal to me for whatever reason, so the realization was a strangely enlightening moment as far as how we process what we feel going on with our bodies.
After the surgeon joined the party and got his mitts into the mix, he confirmed what the doctor suspected. Pretty rad dude overall. Politely broke down all the details regarding the diagnosis, taking his time to make sure we were keeping up, and laid out the next steps. He reassured us that it’s a pretty common deal and the surgery is cake, but he was going to have my blood tested for hormone levels to make sure it was the right move. Like Andrea, I haven’t had to undergo any serious procedure at the hospital either, so it was a little unnerving to hear surgery was likely, but shit, I was damn-near thrilled just to have a strong lead in solving the case of the weak-spirited swimmers.
My hormone levels came back solid, which was a load off because the last thing I needed to hear was not only that my sperm were inadequate, but my testosterone levels were pathetic as well. I was in my head about it and planning to purchase a box of tampons and a new dress to make myself feel better. We followed up with the doctors and confirmed I was going under the knife. My surgery is slated for late July. As with most situations of this nature, it comes with no guarantee that it will lead to success in our mission for little Brandreas running around, and we won’t know if the procedure made an impact until months after the fact, but there’s great reason for optimism. I’ll definitely take it. At the very least, I won’t have sore balls anymore.