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Sex Nerdist: My Spleen is Bigger Than Yours

You know those cancer movies where the main character goes in for a routine doctor’s visit and gets really bad news?

Well, I’ve got the light-hearted buddy movie version of that story, starring me and a giant spleen-cyst named Igor.

This would be the reason I haven’t been on Nerdist for a while spilling my inner most dorky sexual situations. I’ve been too busy terrified I might explode.

Once Upon a Time…

It all started with an ultra sound for my crazy, unrelenting heartburn. The doc thought it was gallstones. I thought it was a waste of time.

So I’m lying there in the darkness as a nice lady lubes me up and silently prods my abdomen. I regret that this experience does not live up to my fantasy. After a while, I notice she is spending a lot of time on a large, dark orb on her screen.

“What’s that?” I ask.

“That’s your spleen,” she says.

“Well, okay. It’s good to know I have one. No one’s ever checked.”

She smiles. Little do I know she is a liar-face. This is not my spleen. That is 18% spleen and 82% mystery meat.

The Next Day

My doctor is at a loss for words. He literally has me read my own chart.

“A cyst in my spleen? You mean ovary, right?”

Nope. Spleen. As in that organ no one thinks about until it’s gestating a baby. This would explain those stabbing pains I’ve been ignoring.

“A large cyst like this in your pancreas would be concerning. In your spleen? Well, that’s VERY concerning.”

I blink blankly. He explains that the spleen is an incredibly vascular, blood-dense zone. Rupture could mean a lot of bleeding. Plus, it’s pushing on important things like my kidney and stomach. Cue sound effect.

Fruit of My Womb

Igor measures 13cm x 11.5cm x 11.3 cm in diameter. In American, that’s 5.1” x 4.5” x 4.4”. It’s like a large grapefruit only less delicious.

My companion insists we need visual aids. I concur. We head to the grocery store.

I search the produce aisle with trepidation. Once spotted, I approach the grapefruit in reverence and horror. I choose a juicy one and cradle it.

Calculations of a Spleen-Baby

Citrus is not enough. I go home to do math. (And by math, I mean use online calculators.) My findings are as follows:

  • By volume, it’s 29.3 fluid ounces
  • In water weight, it’s 2.3 pounds
  • By ounces, that’s almost 2 pints of beer.
  • By size, I’m over 4 months pregnant.
  • In pounds, I’m 2 months away from motherhood.

I don’t even know who the father is.


My Support Team

In my vulnerable state, I rely on my friends and family for emotional support.  My best friend informs me some tumors have hair and teeth. I imagine I had a twin in the womb but I ate him.

My loved ones make countless comparisons to “Alien“. My brother does the best impression of me dying in agony. That’s just what I need; a long lost sibling bursting forth from my peritoneal cavity.

The Rules: Avoid Ninjas

I’ve seen four doctors and two surgeons.  While my medical coverage gets sorted out, they all tell me to take it easy. None of them can tell me quite what that means. Below are the activities that doctors have explicitly warned me against:

  1. Barroom brawls
  2. Bungee jumping
  3. Roller derby auditions
  4. Bear hugs
  5. Domestic violence.

No one has mentioned sex as a possible risk. I take this as a sign the universe still loves me.

For good measure, I ask a leading spleen expert if I’m in danger.

“Well, no, not really. It would take a direct blow to your left side for that to occur.”

Since then I’ve been imagining a ninja assassin karate chopping my no-fly zone while I’m distracted discussing the finer points of lube. Brutal.

Medical Controversy


So how’d this happen? Every medical professional I’ve seen insists I must have been in a car accident recently. That’s simply not the case. I haven’t even been body slammed since high school.

The aforementioned spleen expert, Dr. Leon Morgenstern, has only seen 23 cases like mine in his 28-year study. Of my 23 brethren, “in only one patient was there a history of recent trauma.”

Morgenstern’s conclusion is that people like me are born with this anomaly. I’m hoping his findings change mainstream medical opinion. Thanks to him, I have a smart-ass answer every time a doctor double-checks my driving record.


The Bright Side


After weeks of neurosis, I’m finally getting somewhere with my HMO. With the news of my impending surgery, there may be several excellent outcomes.

First, look at this picture above. That giant black circle is one third of my waistline. One third! All this time I thought I was big boned. I smell post-surgical shopping spree!

Second, any gnarly scars mean I’ll finally have a concrete motive for getting my first tattoo. I’m thinking the Nerdist logo right above my belly button.

And lastly, I’ll be cured!!! No more heartburn! That means I can stop using my sex pillow to prop myself up while I sleep and start using it for the pile driver again.

Thanks Igor!


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Images: 20th Century Fox, Sandra Daugherty

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  1. elaine says:

    snap yet mines only 11cm and I`ve been also told I was born with it,yet they have no plans to take it out !!

  2. Melissa says:

    Sorry it posted twice. Said it failed. Weird.

  3. Melissa says:

    I know your post is old but I just wanted to say that I am in the same boat. My cyst is 10 cm large, and causes me pain. They said I must have been born with it, as there was nothing weird in my blood and no trauma. I too was wondering about sex… heh.

  4. Melissa says:

    I know your post is old but I just wanted to say that I am in the same boat. My cyst is 10 cm large, and causes me pain. They said I must have been born with it, as there was nothing weird in my blood and no trauma. I too was wondering about sex… heh. They just mentioned no domestic abuse and contact sports! Isn’t sex a contact sport? 😛

  5. spleen says:

    spleen spleen you are so mean! we have our guts crossed for a safe and speedy operation.

  6. Hanna says:

    Sorry to hear about your spleen as someone who gave birth to a football sized rare tumor a few years ago.

    When things get that big it is totally scary….hope they sort things out for you soon and you have a quick recovery. Most importantly, educate yourself online and tell the doctors what they are going to do when they start waffling (it’ll probably happen).

    Best of luck.

  7. meg says:

    I’ll hold your hand when you get that first tattoo. We can visit the sex pillow shortly thereafter. I’m sure everything will be fine, be well!!

  8. Scrufy 1 says:

    Thats totaly a vagina……

    Hospitals suck! i hate em! Kudos to you for endurance and props for the good attitude… ida been like fuck that ill cut it out myself.. and prolly died ha

    Best of luck on your speedy recovery

  9. Dumblond says:

    So…when they finally remove it…you gonna keep it? Or have you looked at things like an open adoption?

  10. You guys! You’re too sweet! I’m gonna be fine, my organs will readjust so I don’t have a gaping hole in my side a la Jaws. Thank you for all the good wishes and mental hugs. A couple things:

    @Rhacadactylus – marriage & spleen correlation? fascinating!

    @Mickey – don’t worry, I haven’t been on a podcast yet. Not sure if my sex nerdery is podcast-worthy.

    @Anna – Good intentions pave the way to death-by-hugs. I imagine these are all around my shoulders and therefore safe.

    @Vicky – hormones, eh? I’ll definitely have to ask about that.

    @Fenster – That, sir, is not my vag. That is the CT scanning straight through my body and picking up my white cotton wedgie. It’s my very own Rorschach test.

    @DefconDan – You crack me up. Tonsils. Silly!

  11. Hugs! Gentle, non-bear-like hugs!

  12. deb says:

    I am going to have to schedule myself some extra time in the cafe tomorrow, so I can read this posting closely.
    So good to have you back!

  13. jackcr1 says:

    dearest sex nerd and fellow human. female person. hope you fully recover from this spleen thing and hope the 1/3rd of waistline isn’t all in one spot. cause it would look like something took a bite out of you. again wishing you a speedy recovery and any more delightful stories from you. very cautious hugs!!!

  14. DefconDan says:

    You know Sandra lately I was like WTF has this one been, and now I’m like…. oooooooooohhhh. Well a couple of things to keep your spirits up:

    1) They will remove it soon (although I’m with @Jonathan… are you fucking kidding me they need to DEBATE this?… “Yeah hi I got something in me that if it bursts its going to more than hurt… Ummm we’re get back to you on that.. FOR REALS?!)

    2) We missed ya (cue internets AWWWWH)

    3) Doggie style is still allowed… just um… your partner can’t really go holding on… risky.

    4) I’m pretty sure… wait yes Mayo clinic confirms that after the operations the post-op prescription is to be on the receiving end of tons o’ oral sex! Its like getting ice cream after tonsillitis, except better!!!! Bonus: tonsils are still involved if the other person is *REALLY* talented.

    Feel better Sandra…

  15. Fenster Mayhew says:

    I hate to say it, but I’m pretty sure you can totally see your vag in that top picture. Just sayin’.

  16. vicky says:

    As strange as it sounds, you probably were born with this, but it didn’t start to grow until the hormones of ol’ puberty started churning. My senior year of high school I felt some oddness going on with my stomach only to find out from my docs that I had a tumor on my kidney. And it was some weird kind that only like 6 other people had ever been diagnosed with. Years later, my mom went in for her annual check up. When they asked about our family health history and she told them about my case, the doc said it was something I was probably born with that went into hyperdrive once I hit puberty. Glad yours wasn’t cancerous (I’ve had a clean bill of health for more than 10 years), and that it was found before something worse came of it. I feel your pain on the health insurance. Good luck with the surgery! Feel better soon!

  17. Nick says:

    Sorry to hear about your situation, but it reminded me of a game, you might be interested in playing it.
    That first picture is very sexy btw.

  18. Carrie says:

    Inquiring minds want to know, what do they do with Igor after the surgery? Is it creepy to keep the bastard in a jar as opposed to flushing him down the toilet? Good luck with the surgery – sending strength your way. I am glad you can still have plenty of pre-surgery sex!

  19. Anna says:

    Nerdist sent out a twitter message to give you hugs; now I’m worried he’s trying to kill you! (Yes, I’m joking) Gentle hugs for you, enjoy your impending shopping trip & the potential tattooing session.

  20. Kyle E says:

    Well, that just well and truly sucks. I hope that they’re able to remove it without any problems. At least removing it will solve a bunch of problems you’ve been having. Good luck and good health!

  21. Mickey says:

    Being a new nerdist pod cast listener (so new I don’t think I have heard you on the whole 2 casts I’ve listened too):

    1) Sorry to hear about your situation
    2) Will be sure to go back to the pod cast archives
    3) Glad to hear you can keep up with the humor and have a positive outlook during this time

    Hoping to hear some good news as you keep us posted.

  22. Sorry to hear about your situation. At least there are numerous bright points. Anesthesia dreams are always pretty rad, too. Will you opt to keep your splenectomized twin in a jar? Best of luck and please keep us updated.

  23. eric c says:

    I had to get my spleen taken out when I was 11 due to a blood disorder. It sucks, but oh well, that’s life. At least you can get free hospital jello. Sorry to hear the bad news, and best of luck with everything. Can’t wait to read the happy follow-up story.

  24. I definitely wish you all the best.

    I remember a few years back, reading a study in which internal body dimensions were compared for couples after death. They found that people were (at a rate much higher than chance) marrying people with similar spleen size to theirs. As the “sex nerdist” I thought you might like to know that, so you can dig for a little information on those 23 other patients 😉 I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the study but I’m sure a half hour on pubmed would be enough to locate it.

    Again, good luck.

  25. mike ortega says:

    man that sucks. I’m not as funny as you or some of the people leaving comments and wishing you well so i don’t have anything particularly funny and clever to say right now, but my family has had its share of medical s@#!t storms. Cancer mostly but also diabetes ,kidney failure and heart problems so i understand your worry that cant be typed. so good luck, don’t let yourself get to worried and just enjoy all the free flowers and candy. and god bless.

  26. Lisa says:

    Medical Imaging geek Lisa thinks “Man it’s cool she was able to get copies of those…” I’m an insensitive prick apparently. Feel better and hope your surgery goes well!!!

  27. Patti says:

    Wow, how scary! I’m glad the surgery will make things all better again, but kinda mad about your insurance issues. Best of luck for a successful surgery and a speedy recovery.

  28. Samtaters says:

    You have some nice lookin’ insides! May your medical journey as painless as possible and full of sex!


  29. Deltus says:

    I wonder if Hallmark as a “Sorry to hear about your spleen” section?

  30. Oh my, Sandra. I’m sorry to hear that it’s not only so serious but that you’re also having insurance issues. It sounds like the surgery will completely cure everything, so I’m happy for you for that.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery and little out of pocket expenses.

  31. Jonathan says:

    Wait, your insurance seriously put up a fight with removing something the size of a GRAPEFRUIT from inside you? Ooooh, America “You pay us so we can make any excuse possible to NOT spend any money making sure you don’t die.”

  32. Potomac Ripper says:

    So now you can try out for Roller Derby? Wanna come out here to DC and get in our Meat Camp?