Thanks to everyone who was thinking kind thoughts about Jim today. I have his permission to divulge the following details.
What was going on was he had a spermatocele. If you look that up, it is a cyst that is in between the scrotum wall and the testicle, usually caused by the epididymis suffering some sort of trauma and leaking sperm. The body forms a cyst around the leakage. For lots of guys, this is no big deal. For Jim, the initial discovery of the cyst was over 20 years ago, when he was told unless it started to bother him not to worry about it.
Well, it slowly grew, and a few years ago, it started to bother him. The urologist he consulted with got side-tracked by his slightly elevated PSA level, and so a series of prostate biopsies ensued. Eventually, Jim got a little pissy with the urologist and reminded him of his original presenting symptom, and the Doc got all “Oh, we need to do something about that!”
Preparation for surgery involved a testicular ultrasound, which sounds just as embarrassing as it is. The young lady doing the ultrasound was very professional, but there was a very bored chaperone in the room anyway.
When he went for the pre-operative consultation, the urologist happened to have a young intern who was trying to decide what specialties he wanted to do residencies in observing his practice for a week. Now, if you will, picture a medical professional who is all excited because he has a chance to deal with something more interesting than bladder infections, enlarged prostates, and erectile dysfunction. Picture him extremely interested in providing an interesting and (apparently) rare educational experience for his student visitor. The doctor asked Jim if it was okay if the student observed the pre-op exam.
Jim is not a shy or inhibited guy, so he said “Sure, let him watch.” During the course of the exam, the doctor got all fascinated by the palpation of the cyst, and how amazing it all was. I guess if you are a urologist, you get excited on a clinical level by stuff like that. I mean, I like palpating. . .oh never mind. We won’t go there. Anyway, the doctor once again asked if it was okay if the young intern could have this experience.
At this point in Jim’s retelling of this trip to the doctor, I had to ask. “Okay, when they are palpating your testicles, Dear, what do you do with your penis?”
“Oh,” I was informed. “You just politely sort of hold it up out of the way.”
So I have this mental picture of my dear sweet husband politely sitting at the edge of an exam table holding his penis up off to the side while two completely focused physicians are down there saying things like, “Okay, feel the right side. Now feel the left. Do you feel the difference? Etc. etc.” (Feel free to crack up, Jim and I and all my girlfriends certainly have!)
Okay, so we got up at 5 o’clock this morning, had to actually use the alarm clock to do it. Haven’t employed that device since we had to get up early to go to the airport or something. Nice to know it still works. Anyway, we drove up to the Fort and got to the hospital by 7 a.m. as requested. Jim was admitted, did all his paperwork and surgery began at 8 a.m. We had been told that two hours had been blocked out for the procedure, so when it began to be two and a half, I started to worry a bit.
But finally, at 11 o’clock, the phone in the waiting room rang and I was invited to the recovery room, where I found my woozy and emotional husband waiting for me. Apparently general anaesthesia removes all mental inhibitions and blocks and he had gone way back to the stresses of his father’s health issues and death. However, the effects of the drug wore off quickly and the stoic and stable man soon reappeared. While we were in the recovery room his respiration rose to normal and his blood oxygen level started staying up in the 99 and 100% range, which made the recovery room nurse happy. Me too. Pneumonia is always a danger after hours of general anaesthesia.
The surgery was a success. This is a really good thing since the whole thing was filmed for training purposes because the problem is fairly uncommon. The cyst had fully involved the epididymis, and there was also a cyst inside that as well, so in addition to removing the two cysts, the doctor removed the epididymis as well. He believes that this will prevent a reoccurence of the problem, which is fine by us. However, due to the extensive excision necessary, he had to install a drain, and so Jim has to stay in the hospital overnight. The drain will be removed in the morning, and then he’ll get to come home.
He has a grand immune system, so I’m sure he won’t be getting any infection. And he is quite healthy so I am equally sure that he will heal quickly. The nurse, a very nice Sergeant, opined that things look to be working just fine. I told him that we wouldn’t really know that until we had had sex, which made him laugh.
When I left to come home and feed the fire, Jim was enjoying his first cup of coffee of the day, which he had sent me out to procure. You know that people are feeling better when the fact that they missed their morning coffee is the most serious thing on their minds. Of course, he was all hopped up on some serious pain medications, too, so that probably had something to do with his positive mental attitude.
I’m feeling much better now, too!