Vestigial Appendages.

It would seem that the doctors disagree.

I find doctoral politics amusing.  I’ve watched two unfriendly cardiologists differ strongly in opinion over a patient, to the point of ignoring each other’s good points just to stick to the diagnosis they feel is correct.  I’ve watched my sister-in-law go through the pain of medical school, and can easily see how someone who survives that could get a god complex.  Not that I think that’s the case today.  But I’m putting the cart before the horse, so to speak.

At the Emergency Room, we were given a diagnosis of viral infection.  The treatment for such for my boy’s swollen right testicle (a phrase I’ve yet to tire of saying) is, well, nothing.  Oh there are the usual…  get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluid…  But really, no magical medical cure.  Being a virus, we don’t have much to combat with.  It hasn’t caused untoward symptoms, other than the obvious swelling of places best not swelled.  No fever, no sickness, no milky discharge (another fun phrase).

So with the diagnosis of infection, the treatment is restricted movement and time.

Today, the urologist gave us an entirely different diagnosis.  Torsion of an appendix.  Not the one on the intestine that we are so familiar with, and I am currently doing without since an appendectomy in 1983.  But like the appendix of the intestine that caused me great pain in 6th grade, this appendix is inside the scrotum and can also become infected.  Additionally, it can undergo torsion, getting wrapped up by the various tubes and such found in the scrotum, and lose its blood supply.

In the past, this was a surgery.  Today, it is left alone… left to die and heal without invasive procedures.  It seems the body can heal itself, at least in this case, faster than the body heals from surgery.  A few days discomfort as opposed to a few weeks.  So,with this new diagnosis, what is the treatment?

Restricted movement and time.

So I don’t really care what the doctors diagnose.  The treatment, and in fact the timeframe, are identical.  Do nothing, keep a six year old boy still, and let time heal.  Now, how I’m supposed to keep a six year old boy still for 7-10 days…  they had no answer.

But we’ll do the best we can.  Just like with the infection, the torsion means that with the swelling comes a slightly elevated risk of testicular torsion, which is quite serious and does require surgery.  So while keeping the boy still, I also have to make sure that any pain he may feel is not testicular torsion.  Any doubt, and we rush back to the hospital.

So yea…  I get to sit on the boy for a while.  It’s about driven me insane tonight.  I’m quite at my wits end with this “treatment.”  But we checked again tonight, and the swelling is going down, even as the redness increases.  The localized fever seems to be decreasing as well.  So, time is healing, I suppose.

I do want to say this.  The boy has had his privates on display for various pokes and prods for 5 days now.  He’s not gotten upset over it yet.  I’m not saying he liked it, but that he has dealt with it… with as much grace as a 6 year old boy can.  No tears, no screams, just a “please be gentle” and a few uncomfortable winces.  I’m proud of him for his stoic nature.

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One thought on “Vestigial Appendages.

  1. I have spoken to enough urologists to know that most of them do not know what they are doing. A difference in opinion is common place as their knowledge of the male anatomy is suspect at best. I hope your son improves, this is coming from someone who is 4 months into testicular pain with no resolution in site.

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