The Day I Became an Urban Legend or The Cautionary Tale of a Cock-Ring Gone Awry

walnuts-and-shells.jpg

3.

“What’s wrong with you?” asked the triage nurse at the Alfred Hospital as I manouvered myself into a seat – I had to be mindful not to sit on my balls because they had become so large and distended.

“Jesus,” I said, and then decided it would be a whole lot easier to tell the simple truth. “Do you know what a cock ring is?”

She laughed, a deep, throaty laugh while looking me dead in the eye.

“Well, I fell asleep with it on and it cut off the circulation to my nuts. My left nut is swollen up like a tennis ball and I feel sick as a dog.”

“Come through,” she said, nodding at the side door. “Let’s have a look at it.” Every staffer behind the counter was a woman.

I took down my pants and she reached out and examined the fruit of my manhood. I’ve been single for a while and my unmanicured pubic region resembled Miss Havisham’s garden.

“You should be right to wait for a while,” she said, indicating that I could pull up my pants. “What’s your pain like?”

“Probably a six,” I replied.

Fifteen years ago, I broke one of my legs once when I hit a tree on a mountain bike. When a friend of mine attempted to help me stand so I could walk down the hill to catch a taxi to hospital – I didn’t want to call an ambulance because I wasn’t a subscriber – I fainted. For that reason, pain that renders unconsciousness has to qualify as a ten.

“Do you want some medication for the pain?” she asked.

“No thanks, I’ll be right,” I replied, and sat down carefully in the waiting room.

I turned my phone back on and discovered I had a missed call from my friend, T_, so I called her back.

“How are you feeling?”

“Not fantastic. I’m waiting to see a doctor.”

“I was really worried when you called before; you sounded hysterical.”

There’s a particular terror that accompanies an injury to the testicles, just as it accompanies an injury to the eyes. You find yourself confronted by the possibility that an entire frontier of human experience will be closed to you.

***

 Finally a hospital bed, and a doctor shortly after who sent me for an ultrasound.

Another woman.

“Don’t be embarrassed,” said she. “This is nothing compared to some of what we see. We often get people coming in with vibrators up their asses – still turned on – that they stuck up there and couldn’t get out again.”

Again, cold gel smeared over my balls and thighs.

“Some of them have been up there for days before they come to see us. And always in the middle of the night. Once, we had a woman come in with a dead kitten jammed up inside her.

“She’d been playing some kind of sex game and couldn’t get it out. Poor thing suffocated. What do you do for work?” she asked.

“Personal trainer.”

“Where do you work?”

“At the gym at the corner of _ and _.”

“The new one? I went in there the other day! Tell me, could you write me a program?”

“Sure,” I said, trying to ignore the sensation of icy-cold gel running down the crease of my groin.

“I mean, you won’t be too embarrassed?” she asked.

“You’ve seen it all now,” I replied.

She handed me a fistful of paper towels. I wiped away the translucent blue gel, although my skin remained in the grip of its clammy stickiness as I pulled up my shorts.

***

 “You maintain you’re not sexually active?” asked the urologist when he entered the room.

“Haven’t had a shag in ages,” I replied from where I reclined on the gurney, reading a magazine article via the internet on my iPhone.

“I think the cock ring is incidental to the actual injury,” the doctor explained. “You had chlamydia at the start of the year, correct?”

“I did.” I had a twenty-one year old American backpacker I had met six months earlier in London come to stay with me. It turned out she had bought something nasty with her and left it behind as a keepsake.

“The medication gets rid of the pain before it kills the infection,” said the urologist. “It appears that the virus has settled into your testicle and lain dormant until now.”

“So what happens?”

“We’re going to give you intravenous penicillin before you go home, and a course of oral tablets for a month or so to make sure it’s gone,” he advised. “Do you mind if I see your testicle again?” he asked.

“Be my guest.”

He handled the offended aggott with his fingertips and began to push quite hard near the brazil nut.

“Jesus, that hurts!”

Again, the blossoming sickness in my guts.

“Congratulations,” said he, snapping off the latex glove. “That’s the biggest nut I’ve ever seen.”

“I’m glad you’re impressed,” I replied. “I had to be careful not to sit on it when I got to triage.”

“I thought it might have been a clot. We’d have had to operate.”

“What – and cut it off?!”

“Remove the clot from your epididymis.”

“Oh, is that all,” I said, resisting the impulse to cover my nuts the way you cover your wallet with a hand so you don’t get pick-pocketed.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: