I ran out of Tylenol, so I guess I’ll have a beer.

You would too if you’ve been home for a week recovering from having your testicle removed. 

A week ago right around this time the doctor was cutting into my groin and prepparing to yank my testicle from my body. I’m so thankful that I didn’t have to be awake. Before it was removed it already felt like I was getting kicked in the balls 24/7.

For the first few days, I was in a cloud. The narcotic the doctors put me on for pain was a pain itself. At one point I attempted to make coffee. I must have looked for 20 minutes in front of the coffee maker trying to figure out how much coffee to use. After getting frustrated I finally said, “fuck it, I guess I’m not having coffee.” I also need to apologize to the guests that came and saw me during that time. My brother stopped by, family in tow, and I can’t remember a single thing that happened. I have the get well card that proves they visited, I just can’t remember specific details. 

I’ve had to reread parts of books that I read while on the narcotics. I didn’t even attempt to do the puzzle books that friends brought to me. I took one look at them (while on the painkillers) and felt very overwhelmed. But now that I’m off the pain killers and they’ve seemed to leave my body, I can think clearly enough to know that I can’t wait to move around more. 

Everyone heals differently. That’s what I’ve found while reading other people’s experiences with orchiectomies. The one thing that’s common is how long it takes to get back into regular exercise. I love to run. Well actually I hate to run, but it makes me feel good and it’s better than hard drugs. Yesterday, I moved more than I have since last Friday morning. While I was sore when I finally laid down, it felt good to move around. It felt good to get off my ass. It might take me two months to work back up to running 3 miles a couple times a week, I’ll get there though. 

Enough about me, this is a blog about parenting. While I’ve been recovering, the kids have loved me being home. When they returned home and found me in bed on Friday afternoon, they were excited and scared. While Jude came right into bed with me, Margot stood my the door looking down. I had to coax her in with an oyster cracker. Her big smile was the best mood booster I could have asked for. Especially since it was an inch from my face. Jude was in a bad mood most of that day. He finally had a breaking point in the bath. Toddlers are weird. They soak up all the information and emotion around them and then they explode into tears. Jude didn’t know exactly what was going on; I explained it to him the night before my surgery. He asked me the next day “dad, is your testicle mended?” he did know that people around him were worried and scared. He knew I was “sick”. The little man couldn’t hold it back any longer. Someone squeezed the sponge. He laid next to me in bed and cried, his hair smelling of tear free shampoo. He needed his dad. And I needed him to feel better. Alaina had told them that they needed to be careful with me. We are normally rambunctious when we play. It will be another couple weeks before we can go back to their tiny bodies slamming onto mine. For now, they seem to understand that I can’t pick them up. 

Being home this week also meant that I was able to see Jude off to his first day of preschool. And while I got light headed from walking him into class, I’m glad I did. Seeing him say “OK, see you later” and having no problems with us leaving him was amazing.

Watching my family from the couch has been hard. We still play and interact together but I haven’t been able to help take care of the kids as much as I’d like to. Alaina has been pulling double duty (and double doodie…ha) in this department, as well as taking care of me. It’s because of her that I have found a new love in sweatpants. 

I can be lazy. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. I’ve never considered myself lazy when it comes to taking care of the kids or the household. This week I’ve been idling nearby wanting to help my wife. No one listens to a couch dictator though. Not even the cat, who seems to not be able to leave me alone for even half a second. I can’t thank her enough for doing the job of two parents. 


With every day I regain more strength. And with every day I’m thankful my cancer filled testicle lies in the bottom of a medical waste bin, waiting to be burned in hellish fire. 

-AF 

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