TRIED AS AN ADULT: Technically, a Sparkling White

The upside to having a doctor for a dad is that when your testicles start hurting for no explicable reason, you have someone you know who you can talk to about it. The downside to having a doctor for a dad is you are almost compelled to talk to your father about the issue the minute your testicles start hurting for no explicable reason.

Even in my mid-30s I’m still a little weird about going to my dad for advice when it involves my junk because, well, it’s my dad. Even when I was 10 and racked my left nut on my bike bar hard enough that it swelled up for a week, I was weird about it. But then again, I suppose it would be far stranger if I was totally cool with showing my dad my genitals all the time.

Thankfully, he’s not any cooler with it than I am these days.

“You should go see a urologist and get this checked out,” he told me, making it obvious that he thought I was ultimately going to be OK, but he wasn’t about to examine any further because it crosses a weird line when you palpate the scrotum of a guy you’ve had beers with.

He gave me a list of three urologists in town that he felt were the best, and I was able to make an appointment with the guy at the top for the following month.

He wasn’t about to examine any further because it crosses a weird line when you palpate the scrotum of a guy you’ve had beers with.

Now, I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen to me in this visit, but with a month to think it over, I was able to devise a number of god-awful scenarios and devices that could be used to examine every square inch of my family jewelry in the most painful and publicly viewable manner possible. Each of these was parading in my mind’s eye in graphic detail when the nurse called me from the waiting room that morning.

I followed her into the tiled stable that houses the urology exam rooms and was directed into a sizable bathroom that was nonetheless cramped by a variety of tinkle-time accoutrements for which I can only imagine their very specific uses. On the back of the toilet was — I shit you not — a pack of disposable, clear, plastic cups like you get at a keg party. The nurse grabbed a cup out of the pack, wrote my name on it, and handed it to me.

“You don’t need to fill it; just give us a sample then place it in the box.”

She didn’t say a sample of what, although urine was heavily implied. You’d think she’d cover her bases just in case.

My dad told me he once had a patient who spoke rather poor English go into the bathroom with the cup (a proper peeing cup with a snap-close lid) and return it to the nurse half-full of pee with a tiny turd floating in it. It can’t hurt to be specific sometimes is all I’m saying.

I filled the cup about halfway (could have gone further, but I decided to be polite) and placed it in the stainless steel box in the wall behind the toilet. If you’ve never seen one of these things, it’s basically a polished, 1-foot square of metal in the wall with a tiny door you open to put a cup of pee inside. There’s another door on the opposite side of the wall that the lab tech opens to remove your sample. It’s a very unique wall accessory that only exists to pass pee through. I can’t imagine another scenario where you’d need a little stainless steel, double-doored wall box just big enough for a cup of pee.

Almost immediately after I shut my door, I heard the door on the other side fly open and slam shut. The unseen tech on the other side was very eager to steal my pee.

That’s someone’s job every day, making those. He goes out for a couple drinks after work and meets someone new, dreading the moment he gets asked, “So, what do you do?” and he has to roll into the spiel he’s used hundreds of times about what the box is called and what it’s for and how he makes only those things all day long but hey, it’s a living.

So I set my cup inside, and almost immediately after I shut my door, I heard the door on the other side fly open and slam shut. The unseen tech on the other side was very eager to steal my pee.

I pictured him sitting in a chair with his face just inches away from the door on the other side, a tiny bead of sweat on his receding hairline. He hears someone enter the bathroom and lock the door, and his heart begins to race. One shaky hand rests on the cold steel of his door, clinching reflexively when he hears the other door open and then click shut. Quickly, he grabs his prize and raises the thin plastic cup to his face, the surface warm to the touch as he inhales deeply and shudders with anticipation. He takes a tentative sip and moans appreciatively before chugging the rest of the cup with one hand down his scrubs. Licking his lips, he turns to a clipboard bearing my name and jots down a series of notes like a sommelier in the Chateau Latour tasting room.

“Good legs. Perky nose. A bit sweet on the finish with hints of coffee and round cherry notes. Not especially dry with decent carbonation. Pair with freshwater fish or crab cakes.”

I had time to think about it because I was in the waiting room for a while listening to the doctor talk loudly about how he was going to give the guy in the next room a prescription for Cialis and add that he should come back in a couple weeks for a follow-up on his ED.

A urologist’s exam room is not the place to start browsing the posters. You can’t imagine the nightmares that can happen to your genital plumbing, and you don’t have to, thanks to the very graphic explanations and full-color illustrations all over the walls.

I’d just finished using one of these diagrams to diagnose myself with pelvic organ prolapse when the doctor entered and got swiftly to business. He wasn’t rude but moved and spoke with the efficiency of someone who deals with genitals all day and has to be self-assured and forceful if he wants people to hurry up and get their tackle out so he can do his job.

I’ve had genital exams before, but always as part of a work- or sports-related physical, so the cupping and rolling of each of my nuts was a novel experience.

“Go ahead and drop your pants and underwear and let’s have a look,” he said, rolling up to me in an exam chair.

I felt it very necessary to remove my watch first. He didn’t stop me, which I’m very thankful for.

I’ve had genital exams before, but always as part of a work- or sports-related physical, so the cupping and rolling of each of my nuts was a novel experience.

“There’s a little swelling.” He snapped off his gloves and rolled back, motioning for me to pull my pants up. “But I think we can handle it with antibiotics and having you sit in a warm tub for an hour every day. I do want you back in a month for follow-up and a scrotal ultrasound.”

That caught my attention for all of three seconds before he delivered the last bit.

“Also, we noticed some sugar in your urine. You need to see your regular doctor about that as soon as possible.”

Great, I have sweet pee. I’m sure the piss master noted that on my rating sheet.

Then again, the “soon as possible” thing can’t be good. Right?

 

“Tried as an Adult” is a series by Knick Moore chronicling his recent health issues. You can follow the entire series here.

About Knick Moore

Knick Moore
Knick Moore hasn't been a smoker since 2007. However, this picture is just too stylish to replace.

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