Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'll Have What He's Having

    I had to get a testicular sonogram recently. I mention this for a few reasons. First, it's absolutely pertinent to the potentially humorous story I'm going to tell. Also, I believe in frank discussion about medical issues. Especially if it gets my readers squirming in front of their computers.
    So, buckle up. This one's gonna be way testicley.
    First some background. A testicular sonogram is just like the sonogram that a pregnant women gets, except it's lower. Warm gel is used as a conductive agent, a wand is applied to the area or areas and a grainy black and white picture is produced. An uncomfortable time is had by all. 
    This much I expected. Here's what I didn't expect:
    When you're done, you get a DVD of the sonogram to take to the doctor who originally ordered the test. This DVD looks exactly like the "Hannah Montana" movie your brother-in-law pirated off of the Internet- a white-colored disc with the title written in permanent marker. Except it doesn't star Miley Cyrus. It stars your testicles.
    After you take it to the doctor,  you can do anything you want with that DVD. I, for instance, considered sending it to Netflix when I returned some of their movies - until I considered how angry this might make my wife.
    So, I did what any responsible person would do with his intensely private medical record. I left it in my car. So my children could find it on the ride to school one morning.
    "What's this?," Julian asked.
    As I said, I believe in frankly discussing medical issues. It makes me feel like a rational adult.
    "It's a DVD of my testicular sonogram."
    My kids were instantly mesmerized.
    "Can we see it?"
    I realized that they thought this was a regular DVD - an actual movie of me being sonogrammed. I pictured a director in the room with me, the technician and my testicles.
    "It's not a movie. It's just a black and white scan."
    All three kids looked at me expectantly.
    "You can't see anything."
    "Oh," they said in unison and looked disappointed. For a second, I thought I might be off the hook.
    "Did they have to scan your anus, too?" Gabriel asked.
    "No. No, they didn't, Gabriel."
    I looked in the rear-view mirror at my ten year-old son. "And where did you learn the word "anus"?"
    "Playground," he answered.
    Seven year-old Julian interrupted my next question.
    "Hey," he said. "I got one of these sonograms when I hurt my testicles playing football."
    "That's right," I said. "I remember that now."
    "Did it hurt?" Gabriel asked.
    Julian considered this for a second and smiled.
    "Nope. It kinda felt good."
    I must be going to the wrong sonogram place.