In a moment, a life can change drastically. There are other moments where that life is merely altered. The effects of the causes are simply unknown at the time.
It was the summer, she remembers that much. Sitting in a peachy, sterile office, across from a doctor who meant well.
They had been in that same office before, her husband humiliated, only that was a younger, more calloused doctor. This doctor had a specialty, and that’s why they were there. He laid out three papers, each more devastating than the one before it.
“It’s not as bad as it could be”, he offered as a hopeful statement. Only that was the kind of thing you just didn’t want to hear.
He read the results. The numbers didn’t make much sense at first, but he offered the controls at which they were measured. That made the reality of the situation sink in. He spoke clearly, offering many avenues at the time. It was a lot to take in.
His testosterone was zero, which was the possible cause of many things. Fatigue, low sex drive, loss of muscle mass, and the news that couple feared that afternoon, infertility. It was a blow to his masculinity. They were asked intimate details of their private lives. How often, how was it, any plumbing issues? A young bride blushed, and answered as truthfully as she could. Her older husband was no less embarrassed, that was certain.
Their eyes widened as there was discussion of implanted pumps and weekly needles. Hearing that there was no cure was daunting. Fear coursed through her bloodstream as she saw her dreams of a family and a fulfilling sex life fly out the window.
Months later, no new protocol on the horizon. Pills, patches, shots and creams never produced results. Psychologists and urologists could offer nothing more than patronizing advice. Occasionally, in the middle of the night, she'd find herself glancing to her left, in the hopes a subconscious erection would appear.
Years later, she climbs into bed beside him, trying to remember the desire that once existed, and finding only scraps of memories.