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Dh and I adopted my brother, who is now 12. Yesterday DH took my brother to get a physical for camp. As soon as the doctor told him he was going to have to look at his testicles.....my brother freaked and left the room and ran outside of the clinic. He refused to have the physical and did not care that he would no longer be able to go to camp. My brother is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which I realize has something to do with the behavior and the reaction to the physical, but the reality is.......he is eventually going to have a testicular exam whether he likes it or not. Soooooo my question is: "How do I get him to go through with it?' To my knowledge he has never been sexually abused. I really feel this has more to do with his need to stay in control of every situation, as well as the fact that he is embarrased. Any thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Wow. I don't know what you should do to get him to have the exam. But I'm bipolar and I can provide a little insight. Bipolars feel the same emotions that everybody else does, only stronger (more strongly?). Our feelings are more intense. So, while it's reasonable for any 12 y.o. to be a little alarmed or nervous about being examined in the nether regions, a bipolar is going to feel that anxiety ten fold. You feel a little nervous, he feels panicked anxiety.<br><br>
I do have some ideas, now I think about it. Dd just had her 12 y.o. exam a couple of weeks ago, and neither of us were expecting the 'private' exam. If your brother wasn't mentally prepared for it, it probably freaked him out. Knowing now what to expect he might be willing to consent to the exam.<br><br>
Also, was the doctor male or female? Would a doctor of the other sex help him feel more comfortable? My dh has said he actually feels more at ease with female doctors than male docs. Maybe your brother has a preference!<br><br>
Tell him you're going to schedule another exam, and if possible he can pick the doctor (if possible). Tell him it'll be easier this time since he knows what to expect. Also, ask the doctor to explain what the exam is for and to reassure him that it's purely for medical reasons.<br><br>
Good luck. You're a neat sister to take your brother in.
 

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Can he just opt out of the testicular exam? Maybe the doctor can explain (or give him a pamphlet on) self exam and the importance of it, and then tell him that they can just put it off until the next exam.
 

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I say let him put it off. That is very invasive for some people at that age. I never too off my underwear at the drs. at that age and would have felt very uncomfortable doing so.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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thats kind of strange to get exams down there for only being 12. I have never had a physical exam where the drs looked down there only until I found out I was pregnant. I say let him make his own decision, if he doesn't feel comfortable then he doesn't need to get one. He is still too young and I am sure when he is other and actually needs a physical he will be willing to and will understand it more.<br><br>
<33 Italy
 

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I'd let him opt out of the testicular exam. I think it's a little invasive at that age, especially if he's very uncomfortable with it. You shouldn't have to have that part of the exam just to go to camp. Perhaps you could go back, have a physical without the genital exam? That way he can still go to camp, but he doesn't have to have an uncomfortable exam.
 

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I'd let him opt out. He's 12 he won't feel like that forever. Kind of like a nursing baby won't be nursing in college analogy. I would have been horrified at 12 but didn't care much when it really matter during pregnancy.
 

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I'm not sure on the "opt out" idea, but, maybe you can take him in just to get to know the doctor first. You know, set up a meeting (like an interview) with the doctor, in the exam room, where they talk about all the equipment, what it does, what it's used for, etc. (Not to make your brother feel babied, but just so that he knows what to expect.) And THEN do a physical, either that day, or another.<br><br>
And I don't remember EVER having to take off my pants until I was 15 and hospitalized for being raped.
 

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I cannot imagine forcing someone to go through with such an exam against their will. Give him an instruction sheet for a self-exam on the very off chance that he's actually at risk for any kind of testicular cancer. And then leave the poor kid alone.
 

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Moving to a new home is traumatic enough; he doesn't need his privates handled by a strange doctor. Lighten up on the kid and get him counseling (to deal with changing families....I know you're family, but you're not his mother.)
 

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My guys have been through many sports/camp physicals. All that is required is that the doctor sign a form stating that there is no physical reason that the child can not participate in the stated activity. There is no reason the doc cannot skip the testicle check and still sign the form. Heck, the last sports physical my son had took place in the school hallway - he was weighed, measured, heart and lungs checked, bp taken and that was it. I'm sure that the doc will sign the camp form without the testicle exam. I'd let him wait on that until he's more comfortable.
 

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My suggestion would be to call and speak with the doctor and explain the situation and find out what your options are. It may be that the doctor can complete the physical without this part of the exam. Or, that the doctor may be able to suggest some materials for the kid to read. Or, they may be able to sit down together and discuss what the exam is about and give him an idea ahead of time what to expect. It may be that the exam was an unexpected shock for the kid, but with more time, information and preparation it is something he could handle just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks so much for everyone's input. I should probably clarify that he has been living with us for about 7 years now and the doctor is a family friend. However, that being said, I think I am going to call the camp and see if we can opt out of that part of the exam. I agree that he will most likely feel more comfortable as he gets older. I also agree that he is probably feeling the same feelings I would, only more intense because of his bipolar disorder. He sees a counselor, but we are in the process of waiting to start with another one that he clicks with better. Normally, I would have just asked his counselor what to do, but I can't now because he is supposed to start seeing someone new in a couple of weeks. Thanks again!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Roar</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7957024"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My suggestion would be to call and speak with the doctor and explain the situation and find out what your options are. It may be that the doctor can complete the physical without this part of the exam. Or, that the doctor may be able to suggest some materials for the kid to read. Or, they may be able to sit down together and discuss what the exam is about and give him an idea ahead of time what to expect. It may be that the exam was an unexpected shock for the kid, but with more time, information and preparation it is something he could handle just fine.</div>
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I agree with this.<br><br>
I am guessing there are some family dynamics for you and dh to have adopted your brother. Was he going for regular physicals before this? Has he ever met this dr before? Going in for an exam at 12 without knowing what to expect I'd run too. I don't think being bi-polar has anything to do with his reaction. Puberty & being a pre-teen has more to do with it, plus everything else that has been going on.<br><br>
FWIW my dr has alot of male ADULT patients who go for their physicals and still refuse a rectal exam. I don't know why I know that other than my dr talks alot.lol
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BelgianSheepDog</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7955305"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I cannot imagine forcing someone to go through with such an exam against their will. Give him an instruction sheet for a self-exam on the very off chance that he's actually at risk for any kind of testicular cancer. And then leave the poor kid alone.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>gumby74</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7957119"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks so much for everyone's input. I should probably clarify that he has been living with us for about 7 years now and the doctor is a family friend. However, that being said, I think I am going to call the camp and see if we can opt out of that part of the exam. I agree that he will most likely feel more comfortable as he gets older. I also agree that he is probably feeling the same feelings I would, only more intense because of his bipolar disorder. He sees a counselor, but we are in the process of waiting to start with another one that he clicks with better. Normally, I would have just asked his counselor what to do, but I can't now because he is supposed to start seeing someone new in a couple of weeks. Thanks again!</div>
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I wouldn't even call the camp. When DD had a physical for GS camp my doctor wrote "deferred" on that portion of the paper. No one said a word. They also wanted urine analysis and all kinds of other stuff. Doc just wrote N/A. All they really want to know is if the kid can participate in activities.
 

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umm why is he going to have a testicular exam weather he likes it or not?<br><br><br>
I did not have a doctor look at my testicles until i was 23 years old and worried I contracted an STD from my then soon to be ex-wife. I had the routine exam for std's and checked out, but I never even contemplated having my testicles examined prior to that.<br><br><br>
Having someone look at or touch your genetalia should be a personal choice, and should not be forced on you by anyone.<br><br><br>
You can explain to him why it is no big deal, but I would NEVER force someone to undergo such an invasive exam until THEY were ready.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Yoshua</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7957709"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">umm why is he going to have a testicular exam weather he likes it or not?</div>
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Umm, nobody said he's going to have a testicular exam whether he likes it or not.<br><br>
Apparently the nether regions/private parts/'down there' exam is a standard part of the 12 y.o. full physical exam as established by AMA. That the young man's camp required a physical exam is coincidental; they aren't asking about his testicular health anyway. The doctor can sign the medical form without having done that portion of the exam.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>gumby74</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7953446"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">but the reality is.......he is eventually going to have a testicular exam whether he likes it or not.</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>journeymom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7958678"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Umm, nobody said he's going to have a testicular exam whether he likes it or not.</div>
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The OP did. That stood out to me as well the first time I read it. He doesn't eventually HAVE to do anything. If he wants he can go his whole life without this exam. Might not be the best idea.. I dunno... but he doesn't HAVE to.
 
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