Saturday, February 02, 2008


One of the glamorous parts of my job is doing scrotal ultrasounds. Back home I have high-paid ultrasound technologists who do this for me. Out here in Iraq, I do all of the ultrasounds myself. Far and away the most common exam I do is this one, followed closely by pelvic ultrasounds (looking for fibroids, ovarian cysts and babies) and right upper quadrant ultrasounds (looking for gallbladder disease). When left on their own, soldiers apparently spend a lot of time "examining" themselves. This leads to a lot of, "Hey, what the hell is this lump?" kind of questions. It's almost always normal or something benign like epididymitis. I haven't found any cancers since I've been out here, but statistically I will. Men from 25 to 35 are in the danger zone for testicular cancer - just ask Lance Armstrong. Our Army TV stations even run regular ads reminding soldiers to periodically check themselves. As if they needed reminding…

It's not a technically difficult exam as long as you know the anatomy. It can occasionally be challenging based on "environmental factors." If the room and the exam table are too cold, the "boys" will try to climb inside where it's warm. Whenever I have to do an exam (which is almost every day), I ask the techs to warm up the ultrasound jelly (we have an actual jelly-warmer) and they turn on the heater, too.

I was explaining this to my one of my techs and he replied that if the room wasn't warm enough, he would reach down and try to warm up the patient by hand.

I think he was kidding…


BamBam said...

Right after we read this, Pebbles looks at me and say's "comments?"

It's really not like me but.....

I think I'm finally at a loss for words.

(Peb's say's thanks!)

Be safe !

911siren said...

Ok. I just pictured you doing your job in Iraq. Then I threw up.
Thank you brother.

Sister Michele (not a nun)