Saturday, 18 April 2015

sore! The tale of a painful testicle

We've just had a health scare with my boy, who's 9. He complained of pain in one testicle, and we gave him children's paracetamol and carried on with our day.

Curious, not au fait with testicles, and with heightened concern because my brother has had testicular cancer (although I'd stress that was not suspected here), I googled testicular pain while sitting in the park with a sad, sore boy.

The internet spoke with one voice. Get him to a doctor now, it said.

So we did.

We have spent a lot of time in hospitals over the last few days, much of it simultaneously boring and stressful.

The really bad thing that it could be if a boy gets testicular pain is torsion (this is a great webpage talking about it), this is where the testicle, or a bit of a tube connected to the testicle, gets twisted; restricting or cutting off the blood supply. If this happens doctors have to act very fast, or the boy will lose the testicle. For this reason we were told, boys should be advised to tell an adult straight away if they have testicular pain, and go straight to Accident and Emergency at the hospital. Do not waste time with a GP in this situation.

The doctors weren't sure if my boy had a torsion so he couldn't eat or drink just in case, and he got examined a lot, which wasn't comfortable, and then he had an ultrasound.

The glorious Doctor Tang, who did the ultrasound was very impressive. Friendly, efficient and gorgeous. She checked the blood flow which showed that there was no torsion, and checked for other scary stuff, and then looked for evidence of infection, which she found, but not of serious infection.

This is a brilliant result. It's also what most testicular pain turns out to be, however, it is always worth checking out. We're told that these things happen. Both torsion and random infections are most common in boys/men of 10-25 years.

So we got antibiotics and more importantly, food! And one very relieved family.

Unfortunately, those antibiotics didn't do the job. This morning the pain and swelling got a lot worse and we were advised to get him back to hospital. He had a small operation to let the doctor see what was going on. This showed that there is an infection, no torsion. The surgeon also found a fatty lump but this could be completely unrelated.

The boy is sore, bored, and fed up, but he's being really good, and we should get home tomorrow. 

Hopefully this will be a distant memory in no time.

On a related matter, as I mentioned, my brother has had experience of testicular cancer. Did you know that testicular cancer is more common in tall men? Anyway, please make sure that you, or the men in your life, check your balls on a regular basis. If you're unlucky you want to find out quick.