Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Two: Smooth Egg Intact

These trousers will be forever associated with an enlarged scrotum.

Welcome to Part Two.

I'm discovering that writing this down is more of a therapeutic release that anticipated.

Reminder: ladies - get the gentlemen in your life to check their testicles regularly.

Here we go...


2: Smooth Egg Intact

Tuesday 1 September I went back to school. It was 'teacher training' day and I was delivering  a session (yeah I'm that kind of employee/ teacher).

The mood at school was nervous and pretending not to be. A combination of COVID-19 restrictions, risk assessments, masks, clearning products, hand-gels, seeing colleagues/ friends etc.

After that it was back to 'COVID-19 normality'. I pretty did my thing as normal: starting teaching as I always did - planned out my timetable, got my books, replied to emails, set up lessons, did photocopying.

I hadn't really thought about the ultrasound - until I got the letter 'Wednesday 16 September'.

'Oh ok' I thought.  'That's good - it's in the afternoon on my least-busy teaching day. I can be back in school on Thursday no problem.'

Coming back to school, I had some new trousers and shirts to wear as I'd lost weight over lock-down.

My swollen testicle still felt like a smooth egg. No bigger.

But I was more aware of it in wearing new clothes.

(It's got to the stage that whenever I wear these trousers, I'm immediately reminded of how it felt. Our brains are fascinating.*)

A slight, fleeting, but ever-present discomfort.

Men reading this will know what I mean when I say - I felt the need to adjust myself regularly.

I liken to things like this:
- waking up in the middle of the night, and taking a while to get back to sleep
- leaving the house and remembering that you needed to bring something...but you're not sure what
- starting a conversation with someone intending to ask a question, and getting off-topic

I remember on Tuesday 15 September, I really had a go at a student. They were not organising themselves at all: not communicating about losing books, they had left their work on the train more than once, they were moving house...there was always some ridiculous story going on. And they were moaning about having some serious stuff to deal with.

I said something along the lines of, "I'm have a hospital appointment on Wednesday for something that is potentially challenging - but I've organised the teaching for you guys. As long as you're in communication, you can sort out anything."

I taught my usual lessons on Wednesday in the morning, and left after lunch to get to the hospital on time. I arrived in good time, and waited.

Then waited some more.

Then I had the ultrasound. This involves a gel being put on the area, smoothed on, and then a machine being placed on the gel, and moved around.

I've seen my wife get ultrasounds in the course of our fertility treatment.

Despite possible suggestions for me to have an ultrasound as part of checking me as part of the fertility treatment, I'd never had it. No other examinations had necessitated it.

Until the smooth egg-sized thing in my scrotum.

The guy doing my ultrasound said the gel would feel warm (it did) and he was going to move the machine around a bit (he did) and that it might be a little uncomfortable (it was).

He then said "I can see there is something there. I need to speak to my manager about it."

That was the first time where the smallest alarm bell began to ring in my head.

As I cleaned myself, I breathed deeply with my mask on, and lay back. I began to count the ceiling tiles. And notice the cracks. And then count the lights. I then closed my eyes and began meditating: noticing my breath, feeling my heartbeat, observing the thoughts coming and going.

After what felt like ages, he came back and said "I've made an appointment for 11am tomorrow. Just come to this ward and ask for urology".

I listened, repeated back what he'd said to ensure I'd understood it, and left.

Smooth egg intact.

I got home and drafted emails to work explaining they'd asked me to come back to hospital on Thursday, and it was in the morning, so I'd need cover for my lessons.

I thought I'd be back in the afternoon for my lessons.

As it turned out, Wednesday 16 September was my last day at school until Monday 2 November.

*It would be remiss of me if I didn't say how good these trousers are. I have such trouble finding things that are short enough in the leg with the right waist. Frustration abounds. So when I discovered Spoke trousers I was blown away. So I do tell everyone about them. Click here to find out more and get a discount - and if you buy - I get a discount too! Win/Win!

No comments:

Post a Comment