In which I almost lose a ball. Part One.

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Okay. Yesterday was probably the most random, insane, epic, weird-ass day of my life. It all started like any other day. I woke up, fought my roommates for possession of the shower, and got dressed. In the middle of this, however, I started feeling a fair amount of discomfort in my — get ready for this– left testicle. Over the course of an hour or so, the discomfort escalated to pretty intense pain. I texted my work and informed them that I would probably not be able to be in on time. This was around 9am.

I crawled into my bed and found that laying flat on my back helped to ease the pain a little bit. Unfortunately, neither Shannon or I had any pain killers, so I was left to try and wait the pain out. This did not work. When I left my bed, I found the pain to be so intense that I could barely walk. I texted my neighbor Nicole in the hope that she might have some ibuprofen lying around. She was at work, but directed me to go downstairs to her apartment to see if her roommate was there. I went down, knocked, and nobody answered. I hunched back upstairs and, upon entering my apartment, collapsed onto the floor. At this point, I didn’t know if I was overreacting or if there was something seriously wrong. I decided to consult the internet.

I know that it’s often a bad idea to look online for any sort of medical information, but what can I say? I’m a victim of my time. I googled things like “intense testicular pain” and came to the conclusion that it was either an extreme case of blue balls or something called “testicular torsion,” a problem that often arises from extreme shifts in room temperature. If it was the latter (which is what it ultimately turned out to be), it meant that one of my testicles was essentially being strangled to death by a spermatic cord and would die within a few hours if I did not get medical attention.

I decided to text my doctor friend Rachel for some unsolicited medical advice.

Me: Hey…. Are you working today?

Rachel: Nope! I just got up like an hour ago. I feel like a college student! What are you doing?

Me: Um…. DYING. I called off from work because I am in severe pain in my…. boy region. I’m trying to decide right now if I need medical attention, actually. It’s helping to lie flat, but I can hardly walk.

Rachel: Really? Pain since when? And where exactly? Peen or balls? If balls, one or both?

Me: Balllllllllllssssssss. Left one. Since around 8:30am.

At this point I decided to just call her and she instructed me to call my school clinic immediately. After battling with my embarrassment over having to call the clinic for this issue and discussing it with my roommates who were thoroughly involved at this point, I decided to just suck it up and call. This was at around 1pm.

Me: When are your walk-in hours?

Receptionist: Starting at 2pm.

Me: Can I see a doctor RIGHT NOW?

Receptionist: You’re going to have to come at 2. What seems to be the problem?

Me: I’m in severe pain.

Receptionist: Where?

Me: Uh…. the testicle region.

Receptionist: [Pause.] You should come in right now.

After I hung up, I waited for Shannon to get ready so she could take me in a car over to the school clinic. I hunched around my living room a bit, clutching my abdomen which was also severely effected by the pain radiating up and down my body. I ultimately got into a crawling position and clutched my head in my arms on the floor. The pain was so intense that I was pretty sure I was going to throw up. As Shannon and my other roommate Angela helped me get up to go out to the car, I grabbed a plastic bag in case such an event occurred.

As we waited outside for the car to arrive, I clutched Shannon’s body for support as I hyperventilated from the pain. I suddenly started losing sensation in both my arms and legs and couldn’t even hold onto my phone or my bag. “I CAN’T FEEL MY ARMS OR LEGS!” I shouted at my roommates. I felt like I was on an episode of House.

The car eventually arrived and I shouted at the driver to take us to the Willoughby dorm at Pratt (the location of the clinic). I then turned to Shannon and instructed her to keep Rachel informed of everything that was going down. We got to the dorm in no time and Angela and Shannon helped shuttle me in to the clinic. Once there, we walked to the receptionist desk and I said, “Hi. I called a a little bit earlier. I need to see a doctor.” Not quite grasping the severity of the situation, the receptionist asked me to fill out a few forms about my visit.

I was unable to even hold a pen at this point, so I had Shannon fill out all of my information. “For symptoms,” I instructed, “put SEVERE TESTICULAR PAIN.”

As I sat down rather uncomfortably in the waiting room, tears began to stream out of my eyes. Angela and Shannon sat down on either side of me and tried to console me as best they could.

A doctor finally came out to get me. Once in the examination room, she took one look at my junk and told me that I would need to go to the hospital. She helped me walk back out to the waiting room and had the receptionist call a car service. She, Angela, Shannon, and I then walked out to the dorm lobby to wait for the car. As I sat down and the doctor explained what exactly was going on to my roommates, I suddenly felt extremely nauseous. “I’m going to throw up,” I said. Angela quickly handed me the plastic bag I had brought and I started heaving into it.

The doctor, determining that my case was too severe for a car service, immediately called for an ambulance and brought me back into the examination room to lie down. As we waited for the ambulance to arrive, a nurse came in to the room to try to comfort me. “It’s alright, she said. You’re going to be fine. It’s okay to cry if you want to.” As she took both of my hands and clutched them dramatically against her chest, I thought, Who the hell is this woman and please get her away from me! My roommates looked awkwardly at her in silence.

The paramedics finally arrived. The doctor pleaded with them to bring me to Long Island College Hospital because they apparently have the best surgeons in the area. After a bit of haggling with the paramedics, they finally agreed and lifted me into a wheel chair. As I was wheeled out of the examination room and out through the dorm, I suddenly felt extremely awkward as everybody’s attention turned towards me. At that point, my embarrassment overpowered my pain and I managed to smile meekly as I was brought out to the ambulance.

Once inside, I handed Shannon my phone and told her to start taking pictures of me. In between throwing up and clutching my nether-region in agony, I managed to strike a few heroic poses. As I tried to position myself more comfortably and started to lean off of the stretcher, one of the paramedics asked if I was alright. “It’s okay,” I told her. “If I start to have a seizure, I’ll let you know.”

My phone started ringing. It was my father. The doctor from Pratt had called my parents to inform them that I was headed to the hospital and would most likely need surgery. I had Shannon put my father on speaker phone, but I could hardly speak. I suddenly felt a shooting pain and shouted, “Oh balls!! …. Literally!”

….To be continued….

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2 Comments

  1. shannon
    Posted February 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    probably the most awesome terrible thing to happen. haha

  2. Posted February 16, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Oh. my. god. What a horrific episode!

    The hypochondriac in me is now terrified for my testicles. Almost as terrified as I am of overly-friendly and dramatic nurses. Thanks A LOT Max. I’ll be apprehensively awaiting part II with grotesque fascination. Love a good medical drama.