Early afternoon, one Monday in August 2018, I was chowing into my sandwich at my work desk when I got an email from Boy Wonder. The email had arrived twenty minutes earlier, but I hadn’t seen it. The correspondence was limited in characters, to the point and alerting me that he was in a fair bit of pain. Eyebrows up, I was wondering where this was going. The email was followed by a text that his left nut was aching, and he was now in agony and the pain was making him nauseous. Well, that escalated quickly. I called the lad, and he was whispering and hissing down the phone to me, interspersed with groans, which was odd.
Me: “You all good, mate”
BW: Whispered, “No” (groan), “it’s really bad”
Me: “Why are you whispering?”
BW: “I’m, uh… hnngg, I’m in the library.”
Me: “What’s up?”
BW: My nuts are killing me.”
Me: “How is the pain level out of 10”
BW: Groan… “9.85”
Me: Oh shit! “That’s bad… I wonder if it’s a twisted testicle.”
BW: More groaning, “…a twisted what now?”
Me: Oops, I wasn’t aware I’d said that out loud. “Never mind, go straight to the office and sign out – I’m coming to get you. You don’t mess around with the boys.”
I told the boss I where I was going, turned off the PC, got in the car, and drove as sensibly as I could within the speed limit. I pulled up in front of the school gates and found him on all fours, dry retching on the nature strip. He was pasty white, sweaty (also a teenager, so not such a biggie) but clearly in agony. We were only around ten minutes from our doctor, so I drove to the medical centre. All the way there he was writhing in pain beside me, and it was all I could do not to panic. He groaned that the pain had moved into his stomach now and was see-sawing from nuts to guts. On high alert with tyres squealing, I just about enter the medical centre on two wheels and Tokyo Drifted into the car space. I ran into reception asked for urgent help. Boy Wonder was outside delivering a pizza all over the petunias in the medical centre garden beds as the retching produced a bounty. One of the doctors, who happened to be free, came outside and encouraged Boy Wonder to come with him into the nurse’s station. I remained outside the room because it had been about twelve years since I’d seen his agates, and definitely not since they became nestled in a springy thatch of pubic glory. The doctor felt my boy up behind the closed door and asked him questions then came out to me and advised that he suspected it was a twisted testicle (I refrained from the fist pump at my own diagnosis - this was not the time or the place for victory dances) and advised that we needed to go to emergency post haste. He said it will be quicker for me to drive him to Box Hill Hospital than it would be to call an ambulance.
I led him, groaning and dry retching, back to the car and belted him in. Cursing the traffic and every red light we hit on the way, my grip on the steering wheel was dangerously close to leaving dents. During this stop / start mission to protect the jewels, Boy Wonder’s whole body started shaking violently, like he’d gone into shock or something. I was still driving as safely as I could whilst nudging the speedometer a couple of clicks over the speed limit because I was worried sick and trying not to show it. I somehow managed to keep my shit together.
I could not for the life of me find a car space because it’s Box Hill Hospital and parking is a fucking nightmare, so I dumped him and told him to wait while I drove off with tyres squealing, to find a car park, which was about half a Goddamn kilometre away. I then had to frantically dig around in my purse for shrapnel to feed the metre because the credit card option was ‘out of order’… it doesn’t rain, it pours! I clip-clop ran like a crazy goat in my tight skirt and high heels, back to the hospital, sucking on my asthma pump on the way to avoid requiring emergency attention myself. I found him still groaning, still shaking and still looking like someone painted his portrait in six shades of dried dog shit. I guided him inside the emergency entrance.
The Box Hill Hospital emergency department is a clusterfuck of bad shit - a child with a broken collar bone, a man with a hump on his back that could rival a camel, a baby who is unresponsive post fit... and my boy who looks like shit, but there’s nothing obvious about him that would ring alarm bells. Boy Wonder could not stand, so he shuffled to some unoccupied seats further back in the waiting room and lay on them, shallow breathing through his teeth, curled in the foetal position and cradling his aching jewels.
I joined the line to get past Nurse Ratched at the Triage station (she who decides the priority of the patients) and spent ten minutes executing a patience I did not feel, nervously looking at my son and clenching my butt cheeks in panic and frustration. Whilst in the queue, altering in shades of green myself, I put out a call to Captain Fantastic and told him where we were. He was on his way to an appointment but swiftly turned around and headed to the hospital. I messaged Miss Marvellous, who was working a shift at the bakery at the time, and she called her boss and told him she needed to go to the hospital for a family emergency and left to catch a train.
The pain was making my boy shake harder and I contemplated leaving my place in line and running to him, but I was next in the queue so decided I should just wait. The Captain arrived while I was still queued and ran straight for Boy Wonder, bringing a bin with him because Boy Wonder looked like he was ready to vomit again. An elderly couple mistook his shaking for a seizure and ran for emergency help. Thank fuck because shit happened very quickly from that point forward. Boy Wonder was whisked into a curtained examination cubicle and we were told to wait outside while they stripped him and fondled his aching boys.
The doctors in emergency threw a sheet over him and urgently called Urology to get down there. A doctor came down from Urology lickety-split and again, he was fondled (his nuts were getting more attention than a new groom) and then they came out to chat to us.
The Captain and I were nervously pacing outside. The Urology doc asked what time it had all started and I advised the time of the first message. We went into the room with our boy and were advised that they were almost certain he had testicular torsion (twisted testicle) and from the time the testicle twists, there is only a two-hour window in which to have corrective surgery, or the testicle dies from blood loss. It had been pretty close to that already and they were prepping surgery for an urgent operation, but we all had to come to terms with the fact that he was more than likely going to lose his left testicle. At this point, the boy was in so much pain that he couldn’t have cared if they hacked the bloody thing off with a butter knife. They gave Boy Wonder some pain killers and within a couple of minutes, the tightness around his mouth and eyes relaxed as the edge was taken off the pain. They closed the curtain and left us to discuss the future of our son and his left nut. Miss Marvellous bounced into the room in time to hear us discussing the loss of his lefty and she turned a few shades whiter.
So, after coming down from the ceiling, where I’m sure he’d left nail marks in the plaster, Boy Wonder looked at us all and mumbled "R.I.P my left nut." I stifled a nervous giggle, but the Captain barked “this is serious, mate!” Thanks, Captain Obvious! Insert eye-roll. Boy Wonder, who was now looking pretty chill, countered "I know dad, but it’s my nut, and it is what it is." The Captain takes this as permission to shit talk, so he says “OK, well we’ll call you 'one-nut' from now on then”. Too far, dude… too far.
The nurse and doctor re-entered the cubicle followed by an orderly, as we were advised that the surgery is ready, and they need to prep the patient. Boy Wonder gives us a thumbs-up as he is wheeled away, whisked off to surgery and we are left waiting; I said a silent farewell to his lefty. Meanwhile, The Captain goes out into the surrounding streets with two sets of keys and plays musical cars so neither of us cops a fine. We were all a little distressed as we waited, sipping hospital café coffee that was the epitome of mediocrity in a paper cup, but it was a distraction from what was happening a level above us.
Finally, after hours of waiting, my mobile vibrated rudely on the table. It was the nurse’s station upstairs to advise that he was out of surgery and in recovery. They warned that only one person could go, which was me… it was always going to be me because Goddamn it, I am his mother!!! Also, the Captain couldn’t come up because he was back out there playing musical cars again in the surrounding streets, leaving him with nothing but pocket lint because the Whitehorse council are a bunch of selfish fucks who are making significant profit from the families of the sick and needy. Arseholes! I high-fived Miss Marvellous and practically run up to the next level. I was disappointed that the receptionist parked me in yet another waiting area. I waited a full ½ hr before I asked the receptionist when I can see my son. She looked over to another nurse and she said, “it won’t be much longer.” Bitch, it’s already been hours and I’m stressed to the max! Of course, I dutifully sat down to wait again. The Captain texted, Miss Marvellous texted… how is he? I have no frigging idea because I’m still parked outside the recovery area, perched on the edge of the seat with my handbag on my lap, holding the handle in a death-grip like a little old Italian Nona waiting for a bus!
Finally, someone in scrubs comes to see me. “Hello, great news! When we went in, his left testicle was blue, not black…” which is the death knell, apparently, “…and it pinked up beautifully!” This is possibly the only time my son’s left nut will be described as beautiful. We continued across the hall to recovery and the nurse continued to explain the operation, “So we unravelled it, as it had twisted upon itself one and a half times, and it went pink. I’m sorry it took so long for us to let you see him. There was a bit of a medical issue when he was coming out of the anaesthetic… he had a Laryngospasm” it sounded like he said 'Ranga' spasm and I looked at him like he just spoke Swahili, as my brain tried to figure out why he was telling me a Ranga had a spasm. He took in my confusion, “Oh, his larynx spasmed and he couldn’t breathe so we had to pop him back under and ventilate him until the spasms ceased.” Never a dull moment. “You can see him now in recovery if you’d like.” Holy Mother of Murgatroyd, I just need to see my boy.
I could hear him before I could see him… he was all giggly and looking around like a stunned mullet, behaving like he’d smoked a bunch of blunts in there. He called the male nurse ‘dude’ about six times, and the nurse in question was grinning… loves it. Boy Wonder said to no one in particular, “Duuuuuude, it feels like I’ve just been in a movie.” Hmmm, would the movie title be ‘My left nut?’. He spied me and yelled at a thousand decibels, “Oh heeey, I’m back,” throwing his hands in the air in victory. I frowned and shushed him, then delivered the good news about his lefty… but he turned his head to the side like a confused Labrador. I explained it again to him, very s-l-o-w-l-y and then the penny dropped. “Oh hey, yesssss!” He delivered a fist pump then tried to take a look and reunite himself with his traumatised testy, but I told him to chill… I still don’t want to see his manly boys.
The nurse further informed me that even though they had saved his left testicle, it might still curl up and die (it didn’t) due to blood & oxygen starvation, however, his right testicle will still perform at a normal level so there’s no reason he cannot produce offspring. Mate, he’s seventeen years old… settle down. They attached both testes to the wall of his nut-bag … fiiiine, we’ll call it a scrotum, to prevent a repeat occurrence in either jewel.
Getting him home was hilarious. He had stitches everywhere and very bruised balls. He was walking around the house like John Wayne in slow motion for days. The event will forever more be referred to as the 'Twisticle' incident he is 'Nearly One-Nut", ha!
When he was almost healed and the dissolvable stitches had all but gone, there was a little tightness and stinging in the last couple of stitches. When I asked where, he said “you know that small space between the playground and the sewer?” Form!