EVERY-THING SPORTS (AND NOT)

For men, trips to the doctor - even for elective procedures - are not a sign of weakness

At least the TV was on. Jermaine Every

There’s a stigma with most men. We often times don’t want to go to the doctor. Let me rephrase that: we never like going to the doctor. Whether it’s fear of what they’ll tell us, or fear of what may happen as a result, we don’t like going. Most of us would rather fall out and die than know what’s going on.

That said, I somewhat fall into this category. I only go when I’m forced. A cyst on the back of my neck got infected and grew into the size of a golf ball before I had it taken care of. When it grew back, it took me about a year or so to get it removed. Thank God it was non-cancerous, or else I would’ve taken even longer to get treatment. Yes, I’m hardheaded and tolerate pain or discomfort differently than others.

On March 7, I filled in on The Blitz and co hosted with AJ Hoffman. Beth Liebling of Darling Way was on with us in the 6 p.m. hour. If you’ve ever heard her segments, it can get interesting. The topic turned to birth control somehow. When my method was deemed taking a chance, AJ said vasectomy was the best way to go. His exact words were “it’s like going to the gun range with unlimited bullets.” Took me a while, but I finally decided to take the plunge.

I looked online at their website, read up on the procedure, and made an appointment. I was sent an email, and then got a phone call to confirm. Edgar and Madison were both very nice and accommodating. They explained everything to me in detail, helped me switch my appointment around, and even gave me the price for everything with my insurance.

When I got there Monday, my nerves were bad. I mean, I’m about to literally put my manhood in the hands of strangers! Jennifer helped me get signed in and took my payment. Nicest person I’ve ever willingly gave that much money to. Nathan was the medical assistant that went over the procedure and post-care instructions. He’s a funny guy that made me feel a little more at ease. By the time Dr. Williams came in, I was calmer, but I could feel myself getting nervous again.

Dr. Williams was nervous also. See, I laugh when I’m in pain. So while he was busy working on my nether regions, I was busy laughing and groaning. The stuff he did to numb me initially worked sort of. I also have a high tolerance for meds and stuff. But when something is going on down there, all bets are off. I was worried it wouldn’t work anymore if something went awry. The main reason I was there was to freely use it without fear of making another human tax deduction! My wife had to explain that that’s what I do, but he went to get more anesthesia. After the next round of anesthesia, I was good to go; only a little pain and discomfort.

I wrote as a man trying to get other men to realize that it’s OK to seek medical help. Next up, I’m getting this skin spot biopsied to make sure it isn’t cancerous. There’s no need for seeming weak or less of a man. Sure this was elective, but I wasn’t afraid to get it done. Okay, maybe a little. It’s my balls we’re talking about! Seriously though guys, if you need help, get it. Don’t be afraid. Take care of yourselves.

 

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Houston drops first of three

Mariners heat up late to take series opener over Astros

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

With the playoffs just a little over a week away, the Astros started their last week of regular-season games in Seattle against the Mariners. A couple of wins against them would secure Houston's spot as the AL West's second playoff participant, with Oakland all but having locked up the first spot sitting six games in front of Houston with seven left to play. Here is a quick rundown of the opener from T-Mobile Park:

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 1.

Record: 27-27, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Marco Gonzalez (7-2, 3.06 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (3-3, 4.24 ERA).

Bitter end to an impressive start for McCullers Jr.

Both starting pitchers would take a scoreless deep late into Monday night's game. While the Astros were trying to figure out Marco Gonzalez, Lance McCullers Jr. was repeating the success of his last start, a seven-inning two-hit start against the Rangers.

McCullers Jr. allowed a two-out walk in the bottom of the first inning, then proceeded to retire the next fourteen batters before a one-out double in the bottom of the sixth gave the Mariners their first hit of the night. He would go on to finish the sixth before things unraveled in the seventh.

A leadoff walk would result in a run after an error by Jose Altuve left runners on first and second, setting up an RBI-double to give the Mariners the first run of the night and a 1-0 lead. McCullers Jr. looked like he was going to cap off his night by stranding the runners on second and third after back-to-back strikeouts, but before he could get the last out of the inning allowed a three-run home run to blow the game open at 4-0. His final line: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 102 P.

Mariners take the opener

Despite getting several hits against him along the way, Houston could not get anything substantial going against Gonzalez, who would shutout the Astros over eight innings of work. After Enoli Paredes finished the seventh, Brandon Bielak would take over out of Houston's bullpen for the bottom of the eighth.

He struggled mightily, loading the bases with no outs, including a hit batter before allowing a two-RBI single to extend Seattle's lead to 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the top of the ninth, getting a two-out double by Carlos Correa, who would score on an RBI-single by Josh Reddick. That would be too little, too late as the 6-1 score would go final as the Mariners took the opener, keeping the Astros' magic number at two.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will be another 8:10 PM Central start on Tuesday. On the mound will be Framber Valdez (4-3, 3.82 ERA) for the Astros and Ljay Newsome (0-1, 6.35 ERA) for the Mariners.

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