Finding My Way

I was born on April 4, 1953, in St. Paul, Minnesota USA. Recently retired as a self-employed computer tech in Volcano, Hawaii, my Japanese wife and I moved back to Japan. My diagnosis of Klinefelter’s Syndrome happened six years ago, although I suspected there was something amiss long before then.

When I was almost 18, I enlisted in the Navy and was later rejected as 4F. It was during the physical that the first mention was made of my small testes. At the time, I thought nothing of it except for a little embarrassment over the impersonal announcement. At age 19, I entered alcohol rehab at a state hospital in Minnesota, where again, it was mentioned during a physical exam. This time I asked for an explanation. At the time, the fearmongers’ dreadful message to drug and alcohol abusers was chromosomal damage, so I decided I wanted to be tested for that. I’ll never forget the doctor’s explanation of the results, leading off with “good news and bad news … .” I had no chromosomal damage but I also had no sperm. I was devastated. The rehab doctors ordered more tests, this time at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. I recall lying on a gurney when an Orderly shuffled in and began what we both thought was an injection of dye into my veins for X-rays. He overshot the vein and pumped my arm tissue full of the stuff. His first tip was how hard the plunger was to push on the 50cc syringe, but soldier that he was, he kept pushing until my arm turned purple from bruising. I screamed in agony as my arm went dead and he ran out of the room. The next thing I knew was I was packed into a car and sent back to rehab – no further testing was conducted. Subject dropped.

My first marriage was a non-event, lasting fewer than six months. My second marriage was different. My wife wanted to know why I had lost interest in sex and I had no explanation. She wanted kids and although I’d told her about my tests before, I redid them with the same results. Next, I went under the knife: testicular biopsy. The results were conclusive. No germ cells, no sperm, no kids. Devastation number two. We divorced over it.

I remained unattached for a number of years before once again getting involved with my third (and current) wife. Because she had a daughter from a previous marriage, I was safe. Still, after a short while, my libido flat-lined again. This time it would be more or less permanent as would our arguments over that fact. Long story short, 23 years into marriage and I’m tested for KS, and bingo: third devastation – although in a way, a bit of a relief for finally having a name to go with all my physiological problems. We haven’t argued about sex for years because she finally lost interest herself.

The endless parade of problems has left me feeling like I don’t belong to the human race. After all, our purpose for being is to reproduce.

I’ve begun to suspect that a diagnosis of the depression years ago was wrong; that I was reacting to hormonal imbalance – and still am. I’ve been suffering night sweats for about a year now, often sweating through five shirts per night. I did try the testosterone smear after the KS diagnosis but the side effects were awful, so I quit. At this point, I’m weaning myself off of antidepressants, experiencing highs and lows – or I should say, lows and not-so lows.