This summer my son had surgery for meatal stenosis, a narrowing of the urethra that makes urination difficult. The solution was to cut him a longer hole than the one he had. (This is the point in the story that most men, when they ask about what happened to my son, start running away or dancing with their hands over their privates.) Tiny Man was so exhausted with the pain of trying to pee properly that he couldn't wait for surgery. Like the doctors had promised me, I promised him that he would be all better in two to three days. Insert buzzer sound here and ring the BS alarm.
Recovery from surgery to the meatus is painful. It took much longer than the promised three days, and on top of that, due to a reduction of immunity when under anesthesia, he developed tonsilitis and ear infections. When he wasn't burning up my couch with high fever and scaring the hell out of me, he was crying because he had to pee through his newly cut incision. He missed almost a full week of school, would tire easily, and would get sore just walking around. I saw that his healing instructions from the surgery center said he could return to riding his bike the day after surgery. I took one look at my son and his wounded weenie and forbade him to use the bike or play with his rough-housing neighbor child until I was sure he was better. In the meantime, my son would stand on the front walk, wait for neighbors to walk by, and say, "Hi. I just had surgery on my crotch. Do you want to see?" Between nursing his wound and preventing him from exposing himself to strangers, I was exhausted.
Two weeks later, my son complained of itching, so at the follow-up I inquired as to the reason for the discomfort. "Those stitches," said his doctor, "likely get uncomfortable. Are you still putting neosporin on them?" No, I explained, because I had been told to only do this for about four days. The doctor clarified, "Apply it twice a day for a month or more. Those stitches can last for up to two months." Seriously? Why are we never told not just the RIGHT information but ALL the information? The stitches lasted most of the summer and my son's energy level was negatively affected for at least three weeks of the start of it. Across July and August, he still occasionally complained of pain when urinating. Now, he seems back to normal and the odd symptoms that led us to the doctor in the first place have stopped: constantly showing others his weiner (hence his dismissal from riding the bus last year), peeing in public, wetting the bed or the floor, complaining of pain, and urinating with a stream strong enough to put out a small fire. Unfortunately, he still is fascinated with wanting to show me his weenie. "Look!" he says proudly, "Want to see how much better it is?"