The Boys

This is not a post about Jerry Jones' football team.

It is a post about Malcolm's testicles.

At the end of January, we took him to the doctor for a wellness check and to get a couple of shots. The doc noticed that his boys were not residing where they should be, but were in fact back up in the body cavity. Previously, they had been down in the sac.

As this had been mutually agreed upon between Pam and myself to be "my department," I felt bad for not coming thru for the boy. In my defense though, I thought they were in their home and the fact that it looked small was due to the fact that his balls were small. And it's not like any dude wants to be poked and prodded down there if they don't have to be. Nevertheless, gutterball for me.

The doc, Dr. Trester, wasn't super concerned, or at least didn't appear to be. He said it did happen plenty. All the same, he referred us to a pediatric urologist to get a specialist's diagnosis. Dr. Cortez is apparently a popular guy because his next available appointment was over a month away, in the first week of March. (No link b/c the lame website only has 1 url.)

So for a month and some change, we're nervous. Every single time we change a diaper, we look and feel, and they're still up. Not good. And it begins to seem like maybe Malcolm has noticed too. From the time he became aware of his body parts and his surroundings, he would often reach down and grab his package when exposed on the changing table. But now, it was seeming like it was happening more. At the beginning of the Month of Waiting, I wrote it off to every male's belief that the penis is generally awesome and none of us would want to be without one, so it's only natural to check and make sure it's there--"Yup, still there. Still awesome." Plus, at his age, he's gotta be wondering what this thing does. But then I too sensed it was happening more, and it was coupled with an increasing restlessness when getting his diaper changed. Our anxiety increased to dull roar level and we began to hope surgery wouldn't be needed.

Two days before the appointment, Pam gets a robocall from Dr. Cortez' office. It talks about a letter of referral being needed from the attending physician. A call to Dr. Trester's office gets one sent to us, though they assured Pam they had already sent one to Dr. Cortez. Parental nerves and anxiety are not helped when it says "I appreciate your taking a look at Malcolm to see what you think about surgery on him."

Appointment day arrives. We get there 15 minutes early, as requested, to do paperwork. Then we wait. There's no one else in the waiting room so Malcolm is able to run around. He smiles and laughs at the receptionists. He overturns plastic toddler chairs. He looks at the fish in their aquarium. We watch him and exchange glances filled with trepidation too often. 20 minutes after the scheduled time we get called back and they weigh and measure Malcolm. Then they deposit us in an exam room. We wait some more. Too long. The boy is hungry and overdue for his nap.

Finally, an hour and ten minutes after our appointment time the doctor enters. There is small talk. He has a 25 year medical school reunion coming up. I don't know if he can read on our faces that we don't care or if he is going thru the motions because that's what he does.

At long last, we pants Mal. Lo and behold the jewels are residing within their case. It's as if they knew they were getting inspected and wanted everything to be just right. Dr. Cortez isn't surprised.

"They go up, they go down. They're in, they hang out. That's what they do. Have them checked every year for the next few years. Dr. Trester can do it or you can bring him back to see me."

When we leave and discover that this office consultation just cost $317, we know that we won't be coming back unless it's a necessity. The walk to the car is almost like bouncing on air. There is no longer a huge weight on our backs, no anxiety and best of all, no need for surgery. The boy's boys are a-ok.


In the park behind Central Market

PS. These pictures are among my favorites of the boy. In the first one, the look on his face alone could tell the story but I also dig the blurriness of motion and his round belly. The second one is all about the sense of exploration.