Puberty will be the death of me. Not my own. I dealt with that many, many years ago [and somehow survived]. I’m talking about the kids.
I thought I’d have it easy. I mean how could puberty be difficult for boys? I figured, Lee could have all of the wet dream and unexpected erection conversations and I’d only have to have one period talk and have to buy bras for just one child [I hope ]. But I was wrong. Very wrong.
I’m sure Justis will just be thrilled that I’m sharing this with you [sorry Justis ], but I’m sharing it anyway. I took Justis to the doctor today for his school physical [like I do every year]. Justis is thirteen and right in the midst of puberty. He’s growing like a weed. If you’ve seen him recently you’ve seen how tall he’s gotten. His voice is just starting to change. And he know needs to wear deoderant every day and wash his face every night because of body odor and acne. Fun Fun!
However there are many secret parts to puberty. Things I had never heard of before. Being a girl I don’t know a lot about what a guy goes through to become a man. But I’m learning…
At Justis’ appointment today, the doctor discovered a varicocele. According to that website a varicocele is…
In all guys, there’s a structure that contains arteries, veins, nerves, and tubes – called the spermatic cord – that provides a connection and circulates blood to and from the testicles. Veins carry the blood flowing from the body back toward the heart, and a bunch of valves in the veins keep the blood flowing one way and stop it from flowing backward. In other words, the valves regulate your blood flow and make sure everything is flowing in the right direction.
But sometimes these valves can fail. When this happens, some of the blood can flow in reverse. This backed-up blood can collect in pools in the veins, which then causes the veins to stretch and get bigger, or become swollen. This is called a varicocele (pronounced: var-uh-ko-seel).
At this point the doctor doesn’t think that surgery is necessary. It is minor and it’s not bothering Justis so he is just going to keep an eye on it. He said that down the road if it’s bothering Justis or if Justis and his wife [way in the future] are having trouble conceiving then they may do surgery. But at this point it’s not a big deal.
Earlier this year Justis had gynecomastia. This is a condition in which breast tissue forms in guys, usually due to normal hormonal changes during puberty. In Justis’ case it only happened in one breast. So he looked like he was growing one boob. He, of course, was very embarrassed by this. In fact he refused to dress out for gym for many weeks. However, the doctor assured him that it would eventually go away and his chest would again be flat. And the doctor was right. It didnt’ last for very long; maybe a month or so.
I feel so bad for Justis. It seems like every weird puberty symptom possible is happening to him. And you know how sensitive kids are at this stage in their life. It’s not okay to be different in middle school and high school. But we’re just taking it one step at a time and trying to reassure Justis that he’s normal. Some day he’ll be grown and laugh about all this. But I’m sure in his mind that day isn’t coming soon enough.