“Have a seat up here.” The nurse said as she pulled on roll of crinkly white paper covering the examination bed.
“Do you have any crayons?” I asked. “So I can draw pictures while I wait.” I pointed at the paper on the bed.
She ignored my joke and asked “What brings you here today?”
She glanced at my chart and her eyes widened as she realized the purpose of my visit. Not waiting for my answer, she mumbled something about the doctor seeing me in few moments and she quickly left the room. A few minutes later there was soft knock on the door and the doctor entered. He was a young guy, maybe late twenties, his name tag clearly showing that he was one of the doctors in training.
“What brings you in today, William?”
“My left testicle is vibrating.”
He kept his best poker face on as he asked me a series of questions regarding the symptoms. I explained all that had happened up that point. I answered--It is only the left one. About a week. Constant. No injuries. No pain. Just the left one. No other symptoms.
“Is it a twitch or a vibration?” he asked.
“Vibration. Like a cell phone is buzzing in there.”
“Can you feel it now?”
I laughed. “Is that a cell phone joke?” I asked. “Like the Verizon commercials?”
He smiled. “That’s funny, but no. Is it vibrating right now?”
“Can you feel it with your hands?”
“No. Every time I reach down there to check. It stops.”
“Yes. It’s like my ball knows that I am reaching for it and it stops. Like its hiding.”
“I know ball is not the medical term but you know what I mean” I told him. “Feel free to laugh doc. Seriously; it may make this easier for both of us.”
“I just think it is funny that you gave it a personality.” He said.
“Well, don’t we all?”
He snapped on some rubber gloves and told me he was going to check me for any lumps or to see if he could feel anything. The examination was a little more than the typical turn your head and cough routine. He squeezed and poked and prodded.
“I think it was hiding from me as well.” He laughed when he finished the exam. “I do not feel anything abnormal. No lumps or anything that I would think could be the cause of it.”
“Basically you are telling me my balls feel fine.”
He was stunned. He then cracked up and in between chuckles he then said. “Yes. I guess that is what I am saying although I am not sure how to take that.”
The doctor told me he was going to have to look up some information and consult with the attending physician and he left the room. He returned a few minutes later with the attending physician who was a guy much older than me.
“What’s the verdict?” I asked.
“You’re nuts.” Said the young resident, followed up with a “Ba-dum dum.”
I laughed but the attending just gave us a stern look. The attending physician read off a list of possible causes of a vibrating testicle. He was very serious and talked about cancer of the prostate and testicles. He mentioned blood flow and nerve damage. The tone of the conversation started to concern me.
The attending doctor explained to me what he thought was the problem. “I think the most likely explanation is that you have some kind of groin injury that you are unaware of. There is a tendon that runs though that area that can cause the sensation you are feeling and it would explain why you are only have the vibration on the left side. I think if you should take it easy and see if the symptoms stop. I wouldn’t worry about.”
“Wait a minute.” I said. “What if it was your testicle that was vibrating? Would you worry about it?”
Both doctors noted my concern and explained that since it was only the left side that it was most likely not prostate related. They ruled out other causes based on my symptoms and the physical exam. They eased my concerns and I felt better. They decided I should have blood work done to be safe and rule out other possibilities.
The young resident explained. “The other cause could be that you are experiencing low testosterone levels and you 're working extra hard to produce more testosterone.”
I waited for it.
The young doctor then added. “No pun intended.”
We both laughed.
The results of my blood work were fine. All levels were good. No evidence of any diseases, cancer or low testosterone. A few weeks after that visit the vibrating stopped. My testicles feel fine.