A few months ago I was having some seriously painful abdominal pains. At first I thought it was the colitis I had in my early teens but I was not having any other symptoms so I went to the doctors. My family has a few health issues that crop up in members of my family. Mainly heart problems, asthma and cancer. There was a slight concern that it was the colitis returning, or Irritable Bowl Syndrome, or a wheat or dairy intolerance. There was even a little thought amongst myself a couple of my close family that it may be stress related.
Although I know it’s rare in a man of my age I was fearing that it may be intestinal cancer, but I know how rare that cancer is in a man of my age. I was also having the odd pain in one of my testicles, and I did find a lump.
Needless to say alarm bells rang loud, very loud, in my head.
A few years ago I was given a copy of former footballer John Hartson’s autobiography. Hartson almost died from cancer which- if I remember correctly- originated from his testicles. So when I was at the doctors I told her about this lump (that I hadn’t found since) and with my family history she immediately booked me in for blood tests, I’ve never had so much taken in one go! andreferred me to have an ultrasound to see what was going on. A few years ago this would have left me a bag of nerves, but I just cracked on as I waited for the appointment to come through. It did so quickly and I didn’t really feel any anxiety or anything at all as I waited in the waiting room to have this scan.
The scan itself was A little nerve raking if I’m honest. First he scanned my stomach and mid torso, he scanned the parts on my back and had me laying on my side as he jabbed the scanner thing into me. That did feel quite uncomfortable but I rode it out. Then he scanned my testicles. Us men don’t do talking about these things. It’s just something that we don’t do, but in these circumstances we have to.
The fella who was doing the scan asked me to lift my penis out of the way and laid a piece of tissue over it before he started to scan my testicles. He did this quickly and in a very professional manner. Yes, it felt really uncomfortable and it seemed to last forever but it didn’t and before I know it he said we were done and my doctor would be in touch within ten days with the results.
Before too long I got a letter asking me to make an appointment with the doctor who was dealing with me and that there was no need to be concerned (that was in caps). Sitting in the doctors with my doctor, and another (female) doctor, who was observing my doctor, told me that I had a (very) small kidney stone…A kidney stone. I let out a long, relieved, breath and I felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders. I hadn’t realised that I was carrying so much anxiety about this. The rest of the appointment is a little blurry if I’m honest, I remember the doctor telling me that unless the pain comes back incredibly bad, I shouldn’t need any medication to deal with this kidney stone and that if I drink plenty of fluids (at least a litre and a half a day) then it should sort itself out.
I do remember asking that my testicles and everything else was okay, but she reiterated that aside from the dinky little kidney stone, I was fine. I know a kidney stone shouldn’t be taken lightly and I have been drinking more then a fish, water, not alcohol. Since then I have had a few pains but nothing compared to what I was feeling before I went to get checked out.
I was worrying over nothing to a certain degree, I may even be called a hypochondriac, but I’d rather go in and find out its’ nothing to worry about, or it’s not too serious then worry that its something incredibly serious. If it is something incredibly serious, the sooner we catch it, the sooner treatment can start.
So my message: GET YOURSELF CHECKED OUT!!!! Men, women, just check yourself out; and if you find something go to your doctor! I think us men are more likely to ignore any pains or lumps, I’ll admit I left it longer then I should have done to get checked out but in the future I’m not going to hold back.
Please, please do check yourselves out, its not difficult. If something dosen’t feel right, or wasn’t there before, see your doctor.