Friday, January 11, 2013

Of Bulldogs and Man Boobs

Nancy and I approach Massachusetts General Hospital, the Eye & Ear Infirmary, the luxurious Liberty Hotel, and Charles Street as our Red Line "T" subway car galumphs along the center of the Longfellow Bridge, which spans the Charles River. The Charles is half frozen over with very thin ice. A rare sight that speaks to the cold weather we've been having. A computerized voice over the PA system, not unlike the Hal 9000 from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, informs us that we were approaching Massachusetts General Hospital. We knew that because Nancy and I spend a great deal of time at MGH. It is something of a second home for us. While it is unfortunate that we are qualmish and quite delicate regarding our health, we're lucky to live a mere 10 minutes away (via the"T") from the best hospital in the country. And there is a dandy of a view of Cambridge and Boston as we cross the bridge.
We enter the Charles Street/MGH "T" Station and fight the exiting crowd along the platform, down the stairs, past the turnstiles, and out the door. It's a large station with a lot of people, and that makes us nervous. Outside, Nancy clearly considers smoking a cigarette before crossing over to the Wang Building, but decides against it. My pipe is in my pocket, and I'm tempted myself, but being within 100 meters of the hospital and 10 meters from the "T" station makes smoking a very dangerous enterprise. We both decide against smoking without saying a word to each other, and fight the traffic across Charles Street. In the distance, a street musician is attempting to sing Edith Piaf's signature song, La Vie En Rose. While I appreciate the effort, it annoys the Hell out of Nancy. She is unforgiving of street musicians, and is certainly not a fan of Edith Piaf . To me, it speaks to the artistic vitality of a large city, to a diversity of experiences that make city living superior to living in the woods or suburbs. To Nancy, it's just a person singing poorly and trying to convince a rube to cough up some money. In addition, she simply appreciates the aesthetics of silence, the calming affect of a void of reverberating silence. I understand that, but I still enjoy the amateurish attempt at singing. As we stride past the Liberty Hotel ($250-$900 a night) a man is talking to himself, the screeching of a subway car yowls like a feral cat in the distance, a taxi driver is yelling at a bicyclist, a very tired and spent looking man is selling soft pretzels, a packed double decker tour bus passes slowly by and I wave to help create the illusion that Bostonians welcome the tourists who pour into the city daily, and there are 1,000 other background noises. It is music to my ears, not unlike jazz. No melody, just people playing off of each other and they don't even know it.

Nancy want to slug this guy
An hour later, after a consult with my endocrinologist (which involves a prostate exam, which I do not enjoy), I find out some fantastic news. My thyroid does not need to be removed, despite all of the various and sundry problems it exhibits. As he tells me that I feel like jumping up and dancing like Snoopy.

We talk about my penis, libido, erections, coming, ejaculations, my sex life, and prosthetic testicles. The idea of prosthetic testicles causes me to bust out laughing. Sure, I'd like to have balls and feel normal after losing them to cancer, but it is just not on my mind. And naturally testosterone, and then another bit of great news is dropped in my naked lap (endocrinology exams are rather thorough). The news? I qualify for breast reduction surgery because it is not cosmetic. I have a condition called gynecomastia that developed as a result of a lot of hormone problems. Basically, gynecomastia is something that I should be too embarrassed to talk about, but I'm not because it's a real problem that makes a lot of men miserable. So, to Hell with it. I have man-boobs, and they need to go, as they are not the result of a weight problem but a hormonal problem. Together with the testosterone I'm taking, I could easily end up with breast cancer. With this condition, I'll likely have the surgery before the spring. Today's consultation made me a happy man indeed. A word or two about it here:

That about covers the news of the day. We made it back to Somerville in good time, and Nancy is at a friend's flat, and I'm going to eat some sharp cheddar on a cracker watch The Fugitive, or perhaps Trollhunter.

One last matter that needs to be mentioned. Matt Oresko, a friend of mine, is a huge Atlanta Bulldogs fan (or "Dawg's.") As a friend of his, I decided to share his enthusiasm for his favorite team. Not just a college team, either, his favorite sports team, pro, college, or otherwise. Here you go, Matt...

Just remember, my friend, to get a Red Sox jersey or T-shirt in the spring!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh I love ya Man! That meant a lot to me! Thanks my brother!