"Have you seen the group chat?" I uncharacteristically hadn't checked my phone in a few hours but bolted towards it because Alex sounded worried (he never worries - it's almost annoying).
It was our friend letting us know instead of the countryside weekend we had planned, he had to take a rain check because he was preparing to get his testicle removed that week. It was one of those texts where you hold your phone in your hand for a few minutes in a bit of shock but also craft multiple responses in your head. I pressed send and as always in delicate conversations, hoped it was the right thing to say.
Once we heard post-surgery was going well, we planned to bring over takeout Indian food to their place as a sort of a low-key recovery party. I obviously looked through my card repertoire for the occasion but unsurprisingly nothing fit the bill. Was it appropriate to make a card for a friend who just lost a ball? I didn't know - it was the first time I was in that situation.
Spoiler on how that internal conversation went. After all, my motto is "when in doubt, make a card."
As we sat down to dig into our Indian food, we were a bit nervous to give the card. We had discussed the possibility of it it going south and our get well soon party turning into a get out now type of situation. But as he tore it open we heard him roar with laughter - he loved it and we were extremely relieved. Alex, who I need to recognize as a collaborator on this one, topped it off scribbling inside "I hope you're back to your nutty self soon." The card now sits proudly on his mantle.
This situation re-confirmed a few things:
1. If something feels not quite right, go to the doctor. You never know what's going on. It's one of the reasons I wanted to share this story - we all need a reminder, especially in the arena of men's health, to talk about what's going on and make sure we, and people close to us, are taking the right steps to seek help.
2. Saying something is better than nothing. No matter how uncomfortable or hard it is for you to find the right words, the person at the receiving end will appreciate it (but I mean also know your audience - not everyone would find a ball card hilarious).