Swatting Update

Turns out, I wasn’t the target.  At least according to the detective who came to see me tonight at work.  It looks like it was my 11 year old gamer son, who humiliated some poor sucker in Tennessee on MineCraft.  I don’t even know what MineCraft is, but it seems that people, or at least kids, take it seriously enough that this kid who is 17 decided revenge on an 11 year old was a good idea.

Detective was clear that charges are iffy at best.  They talked with his folks, and with him, and while the detective thinks they got their guy, and I have to admit that the screen capture he showed me it looks like they do, with the juvi nature and a out of state suspect, they aren’t sure they have enough to charge him.  However, I understand that he got quite the scare, and will be cleaning bathrooms for quite a while.  Later, his dad called me and apologized.  Again, I’m just glad no one got hurt.

So earlier it was all “we may never know.”  Now it’s “we know, but may not be able to do anything.”  That’s okay, his dad is pissed.  I don’t wanna be in the kids shoes anyway.

The Case Of The Expanded Testicle

My son has been complaining of a pain in his groin.  When asked to show where the pain is, he indicates his upper inner thigh and along the front of his hip.  It started hurting last Wednesday, and by Friday he was actually asking to go to the doctor.  Only this was, it only hurt when he wasn’t having fun.  Kids running around acting crazy?  No pain.  Kids sitting around not doing anything?  PAIN!

Friday night we put him in a hot bath, which has helped the last couple of days when he was hurting at night.  I wanted to give him ibuprofen since it is also a muscle relaxant as well as a pain reliever, but we didn’t have any child safe so I ran to the store.  When I got back, he was in the tub and I noticed it…  his right testicle was larger than his left… and it was red.

Okay, this is serious.  This could be a sign of testicular torsion which is really serious.  Testicular torsion requires surgery, and quickly.  If not repaired within 8 hours, it is highly possible the testes will have to be removed.  That’s pretty serious…  half neutered at 6 years old!

So I snatched him up and ran him to the hospital  The nurses were afraid of the same thing.  (On a side note, that was nice.  I was half afraid they’d laugh me off as one of “those” parents.)  They rushed us back, the doctor saw us in minutes.  He explained the concern, including the possible impending emergency surgery, and scheduled us a rush ultrasound.  He was worried about not getting the ultrasound quick enough.  He explained the concern, said he didn’t think it was torsion, but had to act as if it was.  He put the on call urologist on stand by for emergency surgery and ran off to push us through the ultrasound system.

Let me tell you something.  I’ve had a few ultrasounds.  I know you mothers have too, and you know that they gel you up and press that big wand into you.  I wouldn’t say they press it hard, but I think firm is a fair description.  Now I’ve even had an ultrasound of my testes done.  And with “healthy” testes… or at least testes not in pain… that was physically uncomfortable.  (The emotional discomfort is a whole other blog post.)

So imagine, my male friends, that someone just kicked you in the nuts and decided to cover them in cold snot and press against them with a stick.  That’s pretty much what they did to my son.  Okay, they didn’t kick him in the nuts, but he had a SWOLLEN TESTICLE that was tender to the touch.  And they covered it with the magic ultrasound jelly.  Then pressed against it, firmly, with a long wand.

I cried just watching it.

Male Reproductive SystemLuckily, it wasn’t torsion.  It is most likely epididymitis, which is an infection of the epididymis.  Which, to those of you who don’t remember your male sexual organ anatomy, is the long, tightly coiled tube that collects sperm prior to ejaculation.  It isn’t uncommon for males to get this viral infection, but usually in adults it either runs its course in a couple of days with mild discomfort, or is brought about from venereal disease.  (I’m hoping my six year old isn’t that advanced.  His urinalysis bears out that he was not.)  In rarer cases of adults, but more frequently in children, the epididymis can swell quite a bit with the infection.

It can be quite painful, and any unusual movement of the scrotum can bring on bouts of sudden pain.  Hence the reason it only hurt him sometimes.  He could run around for most of the day with no problems, then move just right and he is crying on the floor.

So what do they do about it?  Absolutely nothing.  It is a virus, it has to run its course and the body has to defeat it.  He’s not even running a fever.  He feels fine, or as fine as a child could feel who feels like someone is kicking him in the nuts on occasion.

So we get sent home in the wee hours of Saturday morning with a dose of Lortab and instructions to keep him still, make him get lots of rest, and see your pediatrician and a urologist as soon as possible.

Saturday he spent most of the day laying around.  The Lortab really sent him into outter space, and it didn’t wear off for nearly 18 hours.  He got a little feisty Saturday night.  Sunday he was almost normal, except a time or two he would hurt himself.  Okay, when he put the infant’s riding toy on the slide, and attempted to ride it down I probably should have stopped him.  But hey, it was his testicle, not mine.

Sunday night was pretty painful, and he ended up asking for some medicine.  Ibuprofen was given, since I didn’t want to make him loopy for school the next day.  Monday morning he went off to school armed with a P.E. excuse and instructions for his teacher to keep him as still as possible during recess, while acknowledging the impossibility of that request.  (Amazingly, she found some library books on dinosaurs he hadn’t read yet, and that worked!)

I started calling doctors and managed to get him in to the pediatric urologist Tuesday afternoon.  I got him in to his pediatrician Monday afternoon.  Dr. Klemm is a fantastic doctor, and I’d highly recommend him to all you parents, but he isn’t taking new patients.  (Dr. Klemm, if you google your name and get this and I’m wrong, let me know, cause YOU ROCK.)  Dr. Klemm didn’t treat this lightly.  Of course, this is the man who told me that my son was so sick with pneumonia that we needed to rush him to the hospital, in fact they already had a bed waiting and the only reason they hadn’t called an ambulance for him is that we can get him there faster, so go already… and he did so with such sweetness and kindness that it was almost as if he was asking us to tea.  So despite his reassuring tone, I could tell he was taking this very seriously.

When he checked my son’s privates out, I almost passed out.  What was a significant swelling on Friday, was today a monster swelling ball of redness.  And, before going into the doctor, my son was already walking gingerly.  Upon seeing the massiveness that was my sons right testicle, I understood why.

The ginger walking continued the rest of the day.  Tonight, his swelling is even a bit bigger.  Not much, but if this goes on…  I was hoping that Dr. Klemm would give him some magic shot and all would be well!  Oh, don’t bother with that specialist tomorrow.  Instead, Dr. Klemm called the urologist and consulted with him.  Again, another reason I know that this is serious despite the calm and reassuring tone of Dr. Klemm’s voice.

So in the morning I get to take my son back to the hospital.  He has another ultrasound scheduled.  Since the swelling has increased, so has the risk of testicular torsion.  If he has sudden onset of increased pain, trouble urinating or a few other symptoms that I’m too squeamish about to discuss here (and really, have you read this post?  If I’m squeamish, it has to be bad) then we’re to rush to the ER and expect almost immediate surgery.

After the ultrasound, and come on, at a good bit swollen and he nearly couldn’t take it.  Now his right testicle is swollen like an overripe tomato, this should be fun.  We have an appointment with the urologist at three.  Again, to show how serious this is, the urologist has had an emergency surgery pop up.  He called all his appointments for tomorrow and canceled the entire afternoon…  except us.  He rescheduled us.

So tonight, as I write this, I’m worried for my son.  It is hard to deny activity to an active six year old.  He’s getting cabin fever something fierce.  Yesterday in the nice sunshine, he just had to go outside, so he pulled out a chair and just sat in the sun.  For an hour.  Cause it was nicer than sitting inside, staring at more TV.

And because he is in pain.  No parent wants their child to be in pain.

And because he is in danger of a serious complication, no matter how relatively small that danger is.

I know I’m acting like a baby over this.  I know friends who have kids who by my son’s age had already had dozens of surgeries.  I have friends who have kids who have long term medical issues that won’t be resolved for years, if then.  I even have, as said as it is to say, friends who have lost a child.   And I’m concerned with a little testicle.  But it is my son’s testicle, and I’m devastated.  To the point of barely being able to function.

So if you read this before Tuesday, send me positive vibes.  If you don’t, follow my twitter for updates on him, and I’ll post here later in the week.  Reality is that rest and time are the cure.  And hoping nothing happens that cause torsion.  So we’ll be watching and waiting.

On a completely unrelated side note, the WebMD.com article on epididymitis includes the usual treatment of bed rest.  The link for “bed rest” takes you to “bed rest during pregnancy.”  I don’t know how to word this, or show this, in a way that I can submit to failblog.com, but let’s be honest… linking to an article about bed rest during pregnancy when discussing an infection that only happens to men?  FAIL!

Kids are Amazing Creatures

Kids are pretty amazing. I took my kids out for a day on the river, and they went along fairly happily. We went down to a place on the Tennessee river where I spent a few hours in a cave hiding from a thunder storm a few weeks ago. The kids wanted to see the cave and so we went.

The trip to the cave was uneventful. We saw some fish, a turtle or two, and lots of boats. In fact, my only concern was some idiot motorboater (is my bias showing?) running us over.

But that didn’t happen and we had a grand time. We scrambled up into the cave, hung out a bit and the kids wanted to try some swimming.

The swiming didn’t go well. The girl, my four year old, hurt her knee and the boy, my six year old, got scared when he realized there was no shallow water.


I tried go coax them back into the water by going swimming myself. I dived from the cave and swam out a bit. I turned to try and coax the kids into the water but they wanted none of it. The girl was still crying over her hurt knee. The boy thought there might be snakes. I looked downriver and no longer cared. A big thunderstorm was heading our way. Looked like we’d be spending some more time in my weather cave.

Problem was, unlike the first time, this storm didn’t want to die. It kept on for more than an hour. Then pushing two. I had no clue when it would end. So after the thunder stopped we started looking for a break in the weather to dash the quarter mile from the cave back to the car.

Jim and Sean

The problem was that quarter mile was across open water that was rolling with wind induced waves. Big waves. So we waited. And looked for a pattern. And when I thought I found it I threw the kids in the canoe and took off across the river.

My friend, Jim, had taken my kayak out with us. I found comfort in the fact that if something went wrong and the canoe rolled over, Jim was there with the kayak to grab a kid.

We’d pulled the kayak up in the cave when the storm really started because it is more likely to have trouble with to much water in it. The canoe stayed tied up outside the cave. So when the kids and I where in the canoe, we headed off while Jim had to put his boat back into the water, scramble aboard and set off.

We’d picked a point in the rain when the wind and most of the waves had died down, the rain was slacking and we had a good chance of crossing. I got about 100 yards from the cave and could get a good look downstream.

The Cave

Moving in fast was a wall of water. In front of that was wind driven waves and I knew it was going to get rough. I hoped it was far enough downstream that we could get across before it hit. I screamed over my shoulder to hurry Jim up and paddled hard.

We didn’t make it. The winds in front of that rain came in quick and pounded into the canoe. I yelled to the kids to lay down in the bottom of the canoe. The lower the weight, the more stable the canoe. The winds were pushing me hard, and the best I could do is quarter the wind and cross against the current. The wind still managed to push me far off course, about an eighth of a mile upstream.

My kids, however, thought we were having a grand time. They thought the waves were fun, the rain a hoot and the wind exciting. I, however, was convinced that they were going to panic, the canoe would flip and I’d be in trouble. That didn’t happen. They giggled and teased each other, but stayed low and still all the way across. They were brave little troopers. They made me quite proud!

Of course after getting back to the car, loading both boats onto it in the pouring rain, and dripping wet, Jim and I got in the car and started to leave. Which is EXACTLY the moment the sun came out!

Still a fun day, and the kids actually enjoyed the trip.