Thursday, March 15, 2012

What Every Man Should Know

This post will have nothing to do with my writing, and everything to do with my life. It's personal to me, and to millions of other women across the world, and if you have a woman in your life, it should be personal to you, too. Please take a moment to read.

The Facts May Depend On Your Point Of View

This message is for all the men out there. Find someone who will read this out loud to you, then get comfy and close your eyes.

 Are you ready? Let’s begin.

 Picture your left testicle. Or your right one, it doesn’t matter. No, I’m not trying to be funny or pervy. Picture your right or left testicle.

 Imagine that once a month, usually every 3rd week, a small cyst erupts on your testicle. Your body views this inflammation as a potential hazard, so white blood cells rush to the site. Then something goes haywire, and the cyst grows. Fast. Very fast.

 It grows to the size of a softball, and is filled with fluid and tissue. It hangs off your testicle like a swollen melon, excruciatingly painful. It hinders movement, and pain radiates down whichever leg that is below your cystic testicle, as well as up and across your abdomen. It is so painful, you become nauseous. You take Ibuprofen, or Tylenol, but the over the counter pills can’t even begin to touch the pain. You get a prescription pain killer from your physician, but even the prescription pain killer, which is just shy of a controlled substance, only takes the pain down about 25%, leaving you with 75% of the agony remaining.

 The painkiller makes you dizzy, and does strange things to your blood sugar and equilibrium. It also gives you a migraine about a third of the time you take it. It makes you feel wired, but not in a nice way; In the kind of way where you are desperate for sleep but lie there for hours, unable to fall into it. You aren’t sure which is worse, the side effects from the painkiller or the burning, nauseating pain from your testicular cyst.

 You have the cyst for a week or so. During that time, it hurts so much that it distracts you from being able to sleep properly. Or sit still at work, or in the car- it’s far, far worse when you are sitting than when you are standing because of the extra pressure in the seated position. Because the cyst is so large, you have difficulty urinating, and your bodily functions that caused the cyst make it difficult to maintain normal bowel movements, so you alternate between constipation and diarrhea for the week the cyst is on your testicle. Forget trying to have sex with your spouse or partner, it is SO not going to happen!

 When the cyst finally begins to drain at the end of the week, you feel such relief, you want to cry. You have about 2 weeks of pain free, normal functioning, and just when you have started to forget how horrible it really was, the third week of the next month arrives. You wake up one morning, ready to take on the world, and realize you feel a burning, stabbing pain. You grit your teeth and want to cry again, because you know, even before you’ve looked down, the cyst is back. Again.

 This will happen to you every month, for the next 30-40 years, maybe longer.

 This is also what happens to millions of women, from age of menstruation, until age of menopause. The normal process of a monthly cyst, caused by ovulation, goes terribly awry, and is a chronic source of de-habilitating agony, frustration, and emotional distress. Guess what would prevent the whole thing? A tiny hormone therapy tablet, taken once a day, at the cost of mere pennies to manufacture.

 Have you had a softball sized cyst grow on either of your testicles recently? Or, in fact, ever? Wouldn’t you take the tiny hormone therapy pill? Wouldn’t you expect your health insurance company, which you likely pay a decent amount to have in the first place, to cough up a few dollars a month for you to avoid this reoccurring, agonizingly painful event?

 Now go ahead and tell me MY Health Insurance Company shouldn’t have to pay a few dollars a month so that I also don’t have to deal with this excruciating medical condition. Or your sister. Or wife. Or girlfriend. Or your mother, daughter, co-worker, neighbor, friend, even the random woman on the bus.

If it was a testicular cyst, there would never be any doubt treatment for it would be covered. Why would you make any woman suffer what you yourself would not?


  1. Well said! I never thought of it that way, but if this sort of thing happened to men, I believe you're right - the help for it would be there, readily available. Very sad, indeed. When it comes down to it, ovaries, their functions, and their related problems, will always be center of the battle of the sexes. If proven by nothing other than the fact that whenever I mention issues in that area, I hear a chorus of, "Oh, right, right, that old excuse." Um. Excuse me? *sigh*

    1. This post came about directly after the hubbub over Rush Limbaugh's ignorant and shameful comments about the young woman who testified regarding why women should have free birth control pills. What makes me the most sad, even though this was made law (for now!) is how many truly bewildering people out there still see "women's health issues" as code for sex, free abortions, and permission to be "slutty."