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All’s well that ends well, or rather, what happened to J1 yesterday…

July 30, 2009

Last week, J1 started to complain that his left testicle was sore and a bit swollen. He showed it to me (and believe me, it has been a LONG time since I’ve seen it!), and it looked a little bit swollen, but not too much. We put some ice on it and gave him some ibuprofen, and J1 pretty much continued on in his regular business: running, jumping, stamping, playing etc. We questioned J1 about injury, but no particular incident came to J1’s mind, and from what I understand, testicle injuries are, well, memorable. I thought maybe he was getting strained from wearing boxers or maybe it was hormonal or something, and decided to keep an eye on things.

It seemed to improve, and then it would flare up again.

As of Tuesday night, it was going on for almost a week, so I decided to make an appointment to take him to the pediatrician yesterday. J1 was starting to get very frightened, and spent the better part of Tuesday evening and yesterday morning in tears. He was fearful he’d need surgery of some kind. I was trying to be calming, and reassuring, and giving him the zen statement that there is no sense worrying when we don’t know it’s something to worry about. My little control freak son was NOT persuaded.

When J1 woke up yesterday, his testicle was VERY swollen. Way more swollen than it had been. So, we dropped off J2 at camp, and off to the doctor we went.

My pediatrician, Dr. Santo Domingo, is NOT an alarmist. It’s one of the things I like about him. But, he took one look at J1’s testicle, and basically said, “How long has this been going on? Almost a week? This is very concerning. I’m going to send you to a specialist, but I’m going to call his office to see if he wants to see you there, or have you go straight to the ER.”

Grand. Now I feel like the worldest shittiest mother AND my heart is in my throat. J1 starts crying again. And holding my hand for dear life.

Doctor comes back in and says, “The specialist I want you to see is performing surgery at St. Peter’s Hospital in New Brunswick. I want you to take him to the ER there.” (It’s an hour or so away). I’m worried that his testicle might be twisted, and, if the blood flow gets cut off, it could require surgery, and it might even need to be, you know…”, he stops and mouths, ” removed.”

Now I’m like HOLY FUCKING SHIT. Ok, I think, my son can live his whole life with one ball, I guess…OY.

I just nod dumbly, and his wonderful staff prints me directions.

So, I text E, who is in a training class at work, and not supposed to be playing with his phone. The first message I sent said, “Dr. sending us to a specialist, maybe to ER.” The next message said, “Call me. Emergency.” I’m also not an alarmist. This is a message I NEVER send. We decided he’ll pick up J2, and we’ll meet at home. We bring J2 to my mother-in-law’s prepared to stay overnight, and off the three of us trundle to St. Peter’s Hospital. By this time, J1 is petrified.

When we get there, J1 is still all teary and crying. We are seen quickly, and shown to a room quickly (you have to imagine, that at almost 12, J1 is about 3 1/2″ taller than me already, with size 10 1/2 shoes!). We get there, and J1 gets on a gown, and gets on a hospital gurney, looking scared and pathetic. The nurse who deals with us is VERY VERY good. She is sweet, speaks directly to J1, and explains EVERYTHING. They take his vitals, a urine sample, and we wait for our turn to see the ER doctor. This is around 12pm we arrived.

ER doctor, Dr. Cunningham, comes in relatively quickly. He examines J1 (and to my surprise, my son is neither bashful nor embarassed to show off his swollen testicle to any and all who need to see), and shines a light beneath and around the testicle and pronounces that he thinks this might just be a hydrocele and some issue in the epididymis, but the ultra sound would rule out tortion. So we wait a bit, and an orderly arrives to take him down to ultrasound. (I tell J1 NOT to get used to being pushed around here there and everywhere…NOT going to happen at home…We all laughed!) There, a technician named Maria dealt with J1 very gently and with dignity, and she took lots of pictures of both testicles and pronounced to us that there was good blood flow to both, and that surgery was not going to be necessary. She wasn’t seeing any evidence of tortion. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew!!!!!

J1’s demeanor changed dramatically, and he enjoyed seeing ultrasound images of his testicles, which we decided looked like Lake Ponchartrain.

We got returned to our cubicle in the ER and waited to hear back from the radiologist, the urologist and the ER Doc. By 2:15pm, we got the news that it was epidymitis, wouldn’t require surgery, and we could go home, rest, ice, take motrin, wear more supportive tightie whities and see the urologist in a few days. Thanks be to Godde!

The swelling is already down!

Thank you all for your prayers – it meant so much to me and to J1. I could feel the love and support coming from all of you.

And that is that.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Paul in ABQ permalink
    July 30, 2009 10:51 am

    Prayers for swift healing. I know this is all after the fact but time and space are irrelevant in matters of prayer. I saw the short note at FB this morning before leaving the house but only now got to read the full story. Were I in J1’s shoes I would have been majorly freaked. Peace to all your house!

    • episcopalifem permalink*
      July 30, 2009 2:00 pm

      Thanks Paul! Prayers and thoughts appreciated.

  2. susan s. permalink
    August 3, 2009 11:32 am

    So, how’s it going today?

    • episcopalifem permalink*
      August 3, 2009 1:09 pm

      Swelling is very much down, Susan, and the patient has returned to camp, where he went on a field trip to a Japanese Hibachi restaurant. I tagged along for a date with him, and he was so sweet and cute about it. I know that won’t last much longer, so I enjoy it greatly.

      Food was AWESOME.

  3. August 3, 2009 3:19 pm

    Better late than never. Ouch. Hope the patient is fully healed and you are no longer feeling like a bad mother.

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