Many years ago, as a Man with young children, my left nipple inexplicably began to leak. Yes, just as awkward and grotesque as it sounds, my nipple was lactating. If I squeezed it hard enough, a clear liquid would shoot out... not as fast as a Super-Soaker, but more like a pimple pop. Turns out, this was a really cool party trick as I entertained many people/crowds with this baby, and even became known as the great milk-able man! It was also gratifying to know that I answered Robert DeNiro’s famous question in Meet the Parents.
I must stress… no milk came out. It was clear.
In any event, along with the freak show quality of having a leaky nipple, there was an accompanying lump. At first I didn’t care or give it a second thought. I was young, invincible and most importantly…A MAN. After much goading from my wife and mother (Yes, my Mom knew about my nipple squirts) I finally decided to go see my primary care physician. A mere formality in my mind because I was “strong like bull.” I’ll just go to the appointment, the doctor will give me some mundane explanation, I’ll show him how it spurts for fun, and I’ll be on my way. Not so fast buck-o. Much to my chagrin he ordered more tests. And by “more” I mean just one test... a Mammogram, or as I say... Man-ogram.
The doctor explained to me that, while highly uncommon, men can in-fact get breast cancer. Little known fact that Richard Roundtree, TV’s original Shaft, had breast cancer. The doctor didn’t tell me that in the office, but if he had, it would have been a leading contender for world’s weirdest doctor appointment. I digress.
Turns out there is only one place to get a Man-ogram – A Women’s Health Center. In case you skipped straight to this paragraph and read nothing else, I am a man... A man with a drippy nipple, but a man none-the-less. So I had to call and make an appointment at a women’s health center for a Man-ogram where my results would be reviewed by, and I’m not making this up, a gynecologist. I tried to think of the female equivalent of what I was about to endure and I could only think of a woman having a prostate exam by a urologist. No problem! I’m an enlightened man, comfortable in my own sexuality. Despite the fact I’m about to go do something I thought was exclusively reserved for women, in a place that literally says it's for women, and talk with a doctor that only specializes in women... how in the heck could my manhood be affected? Right?... 😳
Until the day of the Man-ogram…
It all started when I got to the medical complex and I had to ask the building receptionist, where the women’s health center was located. I will never forget the strange smirk on her face as she tried to figure out if I was joking or not. Then how her expression changed when she realized I was not joking. Kind of the look you’d give a man walking out of the women’s restroom because the men’s room was closed. From that point forward, I knew I was in uncharted waters and all my confidence washed away in the blink of an eye.
I found my way to the women’s health center, and as you would imagine, seeing the name of the center in pretty pink swishy letters, my confidence level was now at an all time low. I remember taking a deep breath before I opened the door and prayed to the penis Gods that there would not be many women in the reception area. In a stroke of good luck, there was no one in the waiting room. The blood began to rush back into my brain. I could finally stop seeing double. I felt safer.
I strode over to the receptionist to check-in and I know for a fact she could smell my fear. She didn’t even need me to give her my name. I didn’t think it odd at the time, but years later I came to the conclusion that she new my name because I was a man at a women’s health center. She took my insurance and some paperwork to fill-out and I took a seat. Still no one in the waiting area. I finished my paperwork and gave it back to the receptionist and sat down looking for a magazine to read. I had my choice of Better Housekeeping, Cosmo, and Sports Illustrated for women. I chose to sit in silence.
That silence was interrupted when another women patient entered the center for her appointment. A little sweat ran down my brow as I tried to predict what was going through her mind as she looked at me. There with his wife? A patient? Creepster deluxe just there to window shop? As my mind continued to race, another women entered the waiting area. Shit was getting real... as now there were four sets of eyes silently judging my intentions. I kept my cool as my eyes burned a hole in the exam room door, hoping, praying they would quickly call me back. To no avail.
As a third women came into the waiting area, I started have a little panic attack. I thought about standing up and explaining my situation to everyone. Thinking this would result in them putting away their pepper spray. Then, the unthinkable happened. Four or five women came into the waiting area all at the same time. Like they all car pooled to have their mammograms. I was feeling faint. Just as I was debating on whether or not to leave, the penis Gods shone on me once again and the exam room door opened. The nurse didn’t even have time to call my name, before I darted through the door. I didn’t care if it was my turn or not... I was next. I put my head down and barreled into the room like a soldier avoiding a hail of bullets, storming the beaches of Normandy.
I got into the room and thankfully the nurse helping me was very nice. She could tell I was nervous. I tried to make a couple of self-deprecating jokes about being a man here for a mammogram. The jokes did not land. I took my shirt off and stood in front of a very intimidating machine. If you’ve never seen one of these machines before, its sole purpose is to take a piece of you and smash it between two plastic plates. Hard. The nurse had me put my left arm above my head and moved me into position, adjusting the height to my faulty nip. I thought to myself, these machines are designed to smash boobs. Surely I didn’t have enough material to work with. I was wrong. So wrong. There was plenty to smash. If I had any manhood left prior to that moment, it was long gone.
So there I was, a man at a women’s center with a nipple getting smashed, having a mammogram... No big deal. The smashing didn’t last long and I was released. I got dressed and left through the gauntlet I ran through to get in the exam room. A few days later, the OBGYN called me with the results, and thankfully I had No Breast Cancer. It was something called gynecomastia. She explained to me that it was not serious at all and commonly referred to as Man-Boobs.
So there you have it... I am a just an ordinary Goofy Dad like many of you... except I have Man-Boobs that lactate and got my very own Man-ogram. Don't be jealous.