Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Let Me Be Clear On This...

My bad. I shouldn't have labeled the last post. Instead of sharing something funny that Aaron said, I have received criticism for something upon which we have not yet completely decided. (And I don't mean you, Tami! Thanks for the support.)

So, let me clear something up here by saying that Tim and I won't be letting Aaron decide his own fate when it comes to his urethral problem, but since he is getting older, and it is his penis, we think it is a good idea to ask him his preference. Furthermore, we like the fact that our urologist is not in the habit of suggesting circumcision as the first choice. When we met with him, he said that there are too many of them done, and that there is no need for circumcision. That was our feeling, too, when Aaron was born, and the reason why we didn't have him circumcised at that point.

When Aaron goes to the bathroom, the urine backs up under the foreskin, causing the foreskin to balloon out. The urine eventually leaks out, and Tim has taught him to wait until the urine is all out, then he carefully wipes his penis, and the toilet (if there are drips on it). Along with the ballooning penis (and I don't mean to be funny here), his urine stream (prior to trying the steroidal cream) would go everywhere: the walls, the floor, the toilet lid. No matter what Aaron did to try to get the urine into the toilet, most of it was missing the actual bowl.

Our pediatrician checked Aaron out and said that his urethral opening was very small at the tip of the penis, because the foreskin there was very tight. The urologist explained that he agreed, and that the skin actually looked a little like the tightness that happens with scar tissue. Retraction of the foreskin, which usually occurs in uncircumcised males between 10 and 14 years of age, is a long way off for this kid. He is five. If he cannot go to school and urinate without getting urine on the walls and floor, he is going to be teased mercilessly.

The questions I have for the urologist at our next visit are:
1. Can we try to use the cream a bit longer? I think it has helped a little. The urine still backs up under the foreskin, but his stream is straighter.
2. If we do nothing, is there a health issue with urine that backs up under the foreskin, i.e. bacterial infection?
3. Will his skin retract normally when he is older? And if so, can we just try to get through these next few years?
4. If Aaron was his child, what would he do? (Whether or not he can really answer that one, I don't know.)

Anyway, poor Aaron has his life spread out here for all to hear, but hey, as I said in the last post, privacy is at a premium at our house.


Joel said...


I realize that I made some comments on your last post that rubbed you guys the wrong way, and I am sorry about that.

I wasn't intending for it to come across as criticism. I was simply trying to share what I know about the topic, and hopefully allow you two to make a more informed choice.

This post clears up a few of the misunderstandings I had after reading your prior post.

I think that your doctor does sound informed, and you two are certainly doing your best. I apologize if my previous message implied otherwise.

Thank you for responding and clarifying. I honestly, honestly just wish you all the best. I hope that it works out without any need for any kind of surgery, and if it does come to that, only the most minimal intervention necessary.

Once again, I am sorry. I hope you didn't let my comment cause you to regret sharing stories on your blog.

All the best,


P.S. Not the biggest deal in the world, but it is something you could think about. The word 'uncircumcised' is kind of an unfair way to describe the natural state of the male genitals.. and in some cultures that word is used as an insult towards both men and women. It is very common usage in our culture, but I feel like nothing in its natural state is really 'un-" anything. It might be worth teaching your son that he/his penis is 'intact' or 'natural' rather than 'uncircumcised'. Not the biggest deal, but its something many never even consider, so I thought I would bring it up.

T said...

Dude, to be honest on your last post, I'm not sure why the hell anyone would make any comments on anything other than your writing style which is humorous.

It wasn't anyone's business to leave any remarks about you, your family's decision or how you are coming about making decisions.

As you know you've always been someone I've looked up to literally and figuratively on how I want to live my life and what type of woman I want to be.

As I've gotten older and become a mother myself, I know look up to you for guidance and to model myself after you in your parenting style.

Anyone who gave feedback on a humorous blog bit, doesn't know you or know the situation.

And to be honest, you didn't put it out there for feedback for people to give.

I'm laughing over here because both you and your husband have your doctorate degrees, you have personal friends who are medical doctors and have such a strong relationship with your own personal physicians that you're the last person who would need more information on any topic.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Christina said...

Joel: I actually didn't think anyone besides my family read our blog, so comments took me off guard. I was slightly offended, but if I didn't want comments, I shouldn't have posted, right?

Thank you for wishing us the best. I'd like to keep Aaron intact, as you say. And intact is completely what I should have written! When I teach about the reproductive system at school, I have to say circumcised vs uncircumcised, or else they get confused. However, if we all just got in the habit of saying intact, that would be great.

Tara: thanks for the support. And thanks for reading! I will keep sharing, and trying to keep the humor in things. Let's see if Aaron finds this humorous when he gets older...probably not!

Teresa said...

Thank you for putting into words exactly what I wanted to say (only far more eloquently). Tim and Chris (hi Chris!) are two of the best parents I've ever seen, as well as two of the most educated, thoughtful, and *informed* people I know.

Chris, please hug my nieces and nephew for me? :)

All my love,

Joel said...


Thanks for your response. In retrospect, I can see why my comments may have caused you to feel offended.

I apologize to your friends and readers as well, if they too were offended.

Please know that my intentions were good, though. It was only my effort to enlighten and further discuss a topic which I am well-researched, especially when it is easy to have misconceptions in our culture about circumcision and the foreskin.

I am sure you realize that is the case.

Nevertheless, my approach to giving you feedback was clearly less than ideal, and if I could go back and approach it in a way that would have caused less negativity, I would.

Thank you as well for your support in the use of the word intact. I wish you were allowed to use that word when teaching students about the reproductive system as well, as those words can really shape the mindset that people later use to interpret these issues.

Good luck in everything again,