Well this is annoying. I just spent over an hour typing this and it’s too long for my profile (even though my word count shows it being way under 3000). Anyway, I don’t have time to try to revise this, so you’re getting the full, giant story right here:
2007 - Vasectomy - Dr. Arthur Albers, Orlando
No complications, the procedure wasn’t too painful and recovery was fine. First orgasm after a little over 2 weeks and it hurt quite a bit…a cramping, shooting pain deep into the right side. But it subsided quick and didn’t seem to happen in subsequent orgasms.
The timeline after this is a little fuzzy.
~2009/10 - Epididymitis - Dr. Albers, Orlando
Aching/throbbing in testicles, on and off. Not too horrible, but went on for a while and decided to go back to Dr. Albers. I recall asking about post-vas pain, but no, he didn’t think it was that. Antibiotics prescribed. I don’t remember how well it relived the symptoms, especially since it was sort of on and off anyway. But I do know I had to go back sometime within the next year, and was once again prescribed antibiotics. I don’t think it fully went away, but it came and went and was tolerable.
2012 - No diagnosis, think it might be musculoskeletal, maybe something to do with my back - Dr. Lemoine/Jablonski, Orlando
This was the first major stint of things getting BAD. It seemed to come fairly suddenly one day. I just remember starting to get these nasty, intense shooting/stabbing pains in my testicles when I walked or stood too long. Then it started happening even when sitting or lying down. The pain tended to come in random waves of shooting/stabbing sensations throughout the day and night. It was hard to tell if sex made it directly worse, because everything seemed to. Any activity or position that put pressure anywhere on my pelvis. I went through the usual gauntlet of tests and checks. Antibiotics, didn’t help. Physical check and Ultrasound for lumps/anomalies, negative. They didn’t seem to even consider post-vas pain, and they ended up sending me to a pain management guy. I don’t remember his name, but he put me on oral steroids. They did help, but as someone who deals with moderate-severe depression, I have an extraordinarily intense reaction to steroids, in the form of super mood swings/depression. I also have stomach issues. Not like I could stay on steroids forever anyway. And the pain did come back.
2012-2016 - Semi stable, occasional shitty flare ups
I just dealt with it, mitigating pain with OTC anti-inflammatories, and working with my primary doc now and then to try various things, from changes in underwear, to special seats, to stretches and exercises. The thing that finally ended this daily pain, was seeing a massage therapist that helped me adjust my ab/core workout routine so that I wasn’t putting so much extra stress on my pelvis. The pain never went away, and it was still hard to figure out what exactly triggered it when it did act up, but it was bearable.
I stayed in this semi-stable state until Jan 2016, when my lower back gave out on me. I had been running for a few months (a new exercise for me), which was causing me some pain, but it didn’t seem like something I couldn’t handle. One morning before a run, I did a basic legs-out-in-front, reach-your-toes stretch, and my back seized up and started spasming like crazy. Massages eventually got me upright again, but the pain was bad. Now since the nut pain had never really gone away, and any physical stress seemed to set it off, it was spiking to super intense levels as well.
Feb-May 2016 - Herniated Disc L5/Compressed Nerve - Dr. Willey, Orlando
Got an MRI and they saw the herniation and compressed nerve. Went to Orlando Ortho and saw pain management guy, Dr. Willey. I asked him if the back issue and nut pain could be connected, but he said no. The nerves from L5 don’t run into the groin. Prescribed physical therapy for back, which I was all about since I’m an exercise lover. PT didn’t help though, both back and nut pains got worse. My PC doc did seem to think it was either directly or somehow indirectly related to my back pain, and my Uncle mentioned getting some nut pain with his back issues, so it seemed at least somewhat plausible that they were related. Even though I had serious reservations about cortisone, I went ahead with an epidural cortisone injection in the hopes it would take care of both the back and nut pain. But cortisone shots in my wrist, toe, and even a trigger point one in my back, had always seemed to give me zero or very, very brief relief, only for the issue to feel WORSE after the effects wore off. I still can’t bend my left big toe after two shots. But, my docs thought it made sense and I was desperate. I regret it. The two weeks following the shot, everything was worse, including the nut pain. It settled down over the next couple weeks, but I never got any real relief for either my back or my nuts, and now everything just felt worse. So much stiffer and so much more pain in my pelvis and nuts. I went back to doing core stretching and strengthening, but everything seemed to make the pain worse. I went back to Orlando Ortho to see the surgeon instead, but he felt surgery would make it worse, and he reiterated that the herniated disc was not related to the nut pain. Also suggested swimming. Which I did, and still do. But the stretching just kept yanking on my nuts…stuff that was supposed to stretch my psoas muscles or hips or lower back would usually spike that stabbing pain, and it would sometimes feel like things were being yanked.
June 2016-March 2017
The swimming did seem to work my core with minimal discomfort, but I would still get some nasty flare-ups. I still wasn’t able to do any good stretching without aggravating either my back or my hip or my nuts. And one of my favorite things to do, walking, is one of the worst triggers. Within 10 minutes, my back my start to hurt, and my nuts definitely will. Sometimes it’s just some achiness and a few stabs and then it’s not too bad, but usually it stays triggered with the on-going stabbing for a few days, if I push the walking enough. And sex? Yeah right. It would make my back spasm, and the stabbing pain would start in my nuts too. But the nut pain didn’t usually happen right away, not immediately as I ejaculated. It usually crept up over the next several minutes or hours. And could stay triggered for days or longer.
March 2017 - Feb 8, 2018 - Maybe an ablation? Fuck it, I quit - Dr. Dycus/Dr. Brooks/Dr. Radahd, Orlando
I seemed to be getting more and more triggers, so I went back to my primary care. We talked about maybe it was time to consider a nerve ablation, or some other form of killing the nerve (he wasn’t sure what the current techniques were).
Before going to the new pain doc, I wanted to see another uro, since it had been years. But I went in with an objective: to get him to agree I should try the nerve block. That’s not to say he just went along and wasn’t thorough, but I immediately discounted that it could be the vasectomy, because that’s what I have been saying for years…the stuff I read about it didn’t seem to fit my pain, and I didn’t WANT it to be that. I loved getting rid of the chance of mistakenly procreating, and with no docs pushing for that idea over the years, and my own insistence it couldn’t be that, that’s just the narrative I stuck with. I wanted to be able to help my back pain and my nut pain at once, and it seemed plausible, and just less scary, than it being specific to my nuts. Still…it seems like one of these uros would have at least questioned me a little harder on it, but as I’ve seen from reading through posts on here, it’s a bit of a mystery to many docs anyway. He did seem to think it was something musculoskeletal and said to try that nerve block.
Dr. Dycus then called and consulted with Dr. Radahd, and I went to meet with her. She offered a nerve block for the ilioinguinal nerve, but said outright she wouldn’t do an ablation. That, along with the GF and Pudendal nerves were familiar to me, so that made some sense, but once she explained that it would include cortisone, I said no way. Every single time I’ve had cortisone, my issues got worse. She didn’t seem to think my concerns were legit (with an eyeroll to go along with her shitty tone), but she did offer to do the shot with just the anesthetic. This obviously wouldn’t give more than a day (if that) of relief, but could at least tell us if that nerve was involved. But considering she seemed so averse to doing anything beyond that, I didn’t see where it could go. I got frustrated and just sort of quit.
Feb 8, 2018 - Now
Woke up on the morning of the 8th around 3am, in pain, and super tight and stiff. Pissed off, and motivated by it, I got up and decided to see if my body could handle stretching my core yet. To my pleasant surprise, it could. This little act helped kick start me into getting back on the FIXIT bandwagon. I’m not done yet, you bastard pain. I had also recently found an incredible massage therapist, and she is excellent with disc and nerve pains. I worked with her to design a super intense and targeted massage routine to keep my back/hips/pelvis loose, to possibly help the nut pain, or at the very least help me better ascertain which pains are which. My back/hips/pelvis feel looser and more stable than ever, after the last few weeks of daily stretching and a couple intense massages (every 2 weeks), yet the nut pain persists. The past month or so, it’s been more persistent than ever…as in I’m feeling the base throbbing/achey pain almost 24/7, and on top of that I also get the random stabs that make me stop in my tracks (or jump in my seat) and scream. I guess that’s what lead me to this site. I needed to do some research to figure out my next step. It was here that I started to reconsider that this all could really be from the vasectomy. I’ve seen many posts describing pain and triggers that sound very much like mine. I feel like it could be nerve pain caused by the slicing and dicing. I don’t seem to fit the experiences of the congestive type pain, but the neuropathy one fits. And that would make sense as to why the same activities aggravate my back/hips and my pelvis/nuts. I just made an appointment to see Dr. P at the PUR Clinic, but I’m still really anxious about the whole ordeal. I still don’t have a clear idea if this is from the vasectomy, or from something in my back/hips, but I do know that I can handle the back pain, but not the nut pain, so I’m making that my focus. Hopefully Dr. P can help me make sense of this…we’ll see.