Another great blog from regular contributor Andrew Woodhouse. Today he’s talking ball ache.

“A period of poor weather and some inspiration has had me sitting at my desk writing for a few weeks now. I have been knocking out hundreds of words a day but recently I have noticed that my work has been interrupted by some discomfort. I couldn’t find quite the right position on my usually comfortable chair that didn’t cause testicular discomfort. I shuffled and wriggled, then contorted and struggled to get comfortable. All to no avail. I had a dull ache and immense discomfort in the left of my groin. I have, what became known to those who took pleasure in mocking me, as ball ache. In Movember. The month of prostate and testicular cancer awareness. That didn’t make me paranoid.

I phoned the doctors and in no time at all I was in the waiting room wondering what sort of doctor I wanted to come out and call my name. I knew that any stranger examining my testicles wasn’t going to be the best part of my day. Would it be a middle aged man? A middle aged woman? Neither would be ideal. But they were preferable to a young woman or man.

I was standing at the window admiring the view when a voice called my name from behind me. I turned to see a young and undeniably pretty lady doctor who looked about 21. Poor thing. She looked so cheerful. Little did she know what her next patient had in store for her. She had warm hands and a matter of fact manner. But it was still an uncomfortable experience having a pretty doctor inspect my tender region in a medical manner (i.e. not tenderly). Not only was it uncomfortable in an embarrassing way but physically too. I had to do the coughing thing while she held onto my testicles. I felt like whimpering instead of coughing. I started resolutely at the ceiling and gave it my best shot. She seemed happy. Though she made me cough three times. I was sure I only had two testicles.

Her considered opinion was that I might have a small hernia but I will need some ultra-sound to confirm it. More joy. The odds are high that another lady is going to get the chance to inspect my bits. This one will get to smear my groin with  jelly then massage it in an unpleasant vigorous manner with the ultra sound thingy. I remember that when my wife had ultrasound during her pregnancy the midwife leant fairly heavily. That should be interesting when it happens to my left testicle. I do hope they warm the  jelly first.

However, just before I scuttled out of the consulting room like a dog leaving the vets, the doctor removed her rubber gloves and said that there wasn’t any sign of cancer. There weren’t any lumps on my testicles. That’s what I wanted to hear. That’s what I had been worried about. Every time I had seen a moustache my scrotum had shrunk a little and I had wanted my appointment to be a little sooner. Be it with a lady or not.

As I limped and waddled my way briskly out of the building and sat gingerly and uncomfortably in my car I considered that if it hadn’t been for the Movember publicity then I would have taken some paracetamol and ipobrufen and griped a lot. I am glad that lots of men growing moustaches persuaded me to ignore any prudishness and shyness and confront the slim possibility that I could have testicular cancer. I was relieved when a lovely young lady felt, quite literally, I was okay.

Balls to cancer. This is one of my favourite images and usually gets shared on my facebook page whenever I want to splutter “bollocks” at something that has gone wrong in the world. Seems apt for this blog too.


It shows that the cancer awareness programmes work. The minute that I was aware of something not being quite right I was leaping for the phone. My perusal of the Movember website had me panicking somewhat. It said “Testicular cancer commonly presents as a small hard lump, with swelling or a change in the consistency of the testicle. Some men also experience a dull ache in the testicle or lower abdomen. In the majority of cases, only one testicle is affected.Men, regardless of age, should go to the doctor immediately.” 

I was there like a shot. I had a dull ache! It also said that around only 2,300 men were diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2010 which was a reassuringly small percentage of the population but it went on to say 70 men died of it which had me really worried again when the doctor’s phone was engaged the first time I tried it. If this blog has made you smile wryly or wince uncomfortably please share it with someone – it may be just the nudge they need to go see their doctor.”


Today’s post written by Andrew Woodhouse of Landscapes Skye