Personal Views

Miracle cure

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 25 February 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:538

During my final year as a medical student I noticed a difference in the size of the testes which I thought was due to enlargement of one rather than shrinkage of the other. I was referred to the professor of surgery, who was satisfied that the difference was due to atrophy or agenesis. I had had mumps 15 years before but could not recall any associated orchitis. I was duly reassured, followed up, and reassured again.

During the next four years there was no change in the condition. I then developed backache. This was a dragging pain and at first not associated with any stiffness. At that stage I began to feel vaguely unwell. A few weeks later a minor febrile illness, which lasted about ten days, was passed off as flu. The next symptom was abdominal pain. It woke me up at about 2 am with a generalised feeling of tightness as if muscles were in spasm. The pain seemed to fit the descriptions I had read of proctalgia fugax but it was not confined to the rectum and it lasted for an hour or two. This pain recurred but only at night. A pattern developed in which I managed to sleep through alternate nights, presumably because of the exhaustion of the night before.

The backache was persistent but not severe …

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