Balls

Balls

Vasectomy is a simple procedure. It involves a small incision (or puncture if using the “no scalpel technique”), and then the vas deference is crushed, tied, or cauterized to prevent the release of sperm into the semen.  It’s one of the most successful methods of birth control, and the operation itself is relatively uncomplicated, usually taking about 15 minutes.

My doctor recommended an older urologist, who had tons of experience. He said the doctor in question was semi retired, but still did it twice a week.  He extolled the virtues of this Doctor’s success ratio (my doctor having referred many folks in the past), and told me this guy practices the “no scalpel” technique, and has done a ton of these (upwards of 20,000).

Awesome, book the appointment.

So the first indication that something was rotten should have been when I said “book the appointment” on a Tuesday, and on the Wednesday I got a call telling me my appointment would be happening on the Thursday…2 days later.  In a panic (as I said to friends at the time, “I need to get myself right in the head before I can do this.”), I cancelled that appointment.  It was rebooked for a couple of weeks later, but I had to cancel that one as well since I would be in an all day training session.

It was finally booked for September 2nd.  The Thursday before the long weekend.  I figured I’d take the Thursday off, I already had the Friday off as a reward for sacrificing our August long weekend, and with Saturday, Sunday and the Holiday Monday, I’d be happily back at work on Tuesday.

Unfortunately, the good doctor had other plans.

My appointment was for 9:15, I wasn’t really nervous, although I didn’t know what exactly to expect.  I’d done some reading on the internet, and knew how to “prepare the area” so to speak.  I arrived at the doctor’s office and was ushered in to the examining room, where the nurse took my information.

At about 9:20 my doctor came into the room, and started talking to me.

First off, he was an older gentleman, I put him in his 70’s or 80’s, he had glasses, two hearing aids, and a device around his chest.  He talked in that calming, grandfatherly voice that older gentlemen have, and he was very forthright in what was going on.  He showed me this little pen device and put it between us, explaining that this device allowed him to hear people a little better.  He said that his hearing was very bad, and he thought that it might be from the fact that he drove tractor in his adolescence during the war.

Okay…here in Canada “The War” usually means one thing.  World War II.  1939 – August 1945.  Soooo, that puts him in his mid 80’s.  He then tells me that he was 9 in 1939…that puts him at 80.

An 80 year old man is about to perform minor outpatient surgery on me.

He proceeds to ask me the standard battery of questions, how old are you (38), have you talked to your wife about this (yes) how many children do you have (2) what are their ages (2 and 5), are you sure you want to do this (laughter, yes), do you understand that this is pretty much permanent (yes), again, you’re sure that with 2 kids down, you’re done? (yes).

Okay, at 38, we generally find that men have decided if they want to have more kids, and if they say they don’t, they tend not to change their minds.  We say that vasectomy is pretty much permanent, although there is a procedure that can be done to reverse the process, it’s not guaranteed, and it…(trails off).

Wait, did he just trail off mid-sentence?  Oh well, I was probably giving visible signs of “I’m completely okay with this procedure and let’s just get ‘er done!”

Why don’t you go ahead and remove your pants and underwear, and hop up on the table.  Leave your shoes on because you’ll want them on when you’re in the stirrups.

And we’re off.

I have to be honest, at this point I’m a little nervous.  Not incredibly so…but a man is about to fondle my genitalia and cut me open.  These are two experiences I’ve never had before.

All right, I’m going to put a little iodine on the area just to kill off any bacteria. You’ve done a great job shaving the area (thank you, I’m very proud of my shaving job…I really got in there and took charge), so I’ll just get my tools ready here.

He spends the next few minutes getting stuff ready, as I lay on my back, feet in stirrups, balls out to the world.  Good times.

It’s about 9:30 when we get underway.

A little prick here, and then pressure.

He puts the local anesthetic in, and I feel pressure go up my left side of my leg, just a little bit, right in the groin area.  This causes me to giggle a little bit…because that’s how my body deals with pain.  Yeah, I know, it’s effed up, but when I get hurt, I tend to giggle.  It’s a trait I’m pleased to say my kids have inherited.  Stub your toe, giggle and say “Ouch.”

So he gets underway, and I look at my watch.  People have told me that this takes about 15-20 minutes.  This guy’s a pro, he’s done over 20,000 of them, I’m pretty sure this will be done in record time, and I can go home, ice the boys, and lay in bed for the rest of the day.

It’s now 10:00am, he’s been working for about 30 minutes, and things are slowing down.  I felt something get pulled out, I saw some tying motions, and I thought maybe we were heading into the home stretch.

“How are we doing down there.” I ask.

What’s that?

Oh right.  He’s pretty much deaf, and that little pen thingie is still over on the desk.  “I said, how is it going?”

Oh, well, I’ve got the first one done, I’m just working on the second.

Okay…there’s two.  I’ve been in here for 30 minutes.  Let’s get things moving here doc…I’m not terribly comfortable, and I’ve got other things I could be doing.

A few minutes go by, and I feel pressure in my groin.  More pressure…and is that some sort of tingling?  Like, a little pinching?

Okay…little fun story for you here. I’ve got a Wolverine like metabolism when it comes to local anesthetic. When I get dental work, they usually have to give me 2 or 3 shots, and even then about 20 minutes later I start to feel stuff.  I once had a dentist freeze an entire side of my face in order to work on a tooth, and I felt it (also I had a dentist nail a nerve in my mouth and instantly freeze me from nostril to eyeball in what was basically a nerve block which took the better part of a day to go away, good times).

Okay, this is trouble.  There was definitely pinching.

“Umm, I’m starting to feel that.”

What’s that?

“Yeah, starting to feel that.”

I’m sorry, I still didn’t get that.

“Ouch, that is starting to hurt!” I say loudly.

Okay, I’ll take care of that.

Pinch, pressure, and the feeling vanishes in seconds.

I look down.  His hands are in front of him, they’re a bit bloody, and he’s looking at my groin.

“Oh dear sweet Jesus, please don’t let him have forgotten what he’s doing.  Oh my god, please don’t let him have a stroke or something, the last thing I need is his forehead bashing down on my wide open groin.  Oh god.”

“What’s up?” I ask, praying that he will hear me.

What’s that?  Oh, have you ever had an injury down here?  Maybe surgery?

“No sir, not to my knowledge.”

Well I’m having a devil of a time finding the second one.  Could you maybe move your hands down from over your head down on top of your stomach?  Sometimes the movement will change the muscles, and…yep, there it is, I see it now.

Okay.  Good stuff.  We’re in the home stretch now (and not a stroke in sight!).

He finds that area, pull, snip, crushing sound, tinkling of stuff together…and what is THIS new hell?  Oh, my legs have been splayed wide for so long that my left leg is starting to tremor.  I’ve got a wiggling leg, while he is down there digging around in my scrotum.

Okay body.  Listen up, and listen good.  You are going to calm your ass down, you’re going to stop your damn moving, and you’re going to let this man finish mutilating you so you can get the hell out of here and get your ass home.

I will my leg to stop wiggling.  He finishes up his work, sews me back up, and I’m allowed to dismount, re-robe, and wait for instructions. I look over and…there’s a bit of blood over there, and is that, yep, I’m pretty sure, that’s a small chunk of me on the tray.

Awesome.

I’m given a prescription for an anti-biotic, told to take it easy for a couple of days, and he shakes my hand.

I hobble out to the front, wait for Char, and go home, where I lie in bed all day, ice my boys down, and generally don’t do anything.  The Friday is pretty much a repeat of the first day, but I decide to go out at the end of the day for diapers.  I wear jeans, and feel like my boys are on fire.  This is a bad idea, and I vow to wear athletic shorts for the next four days.

I woke up on Saturday with a little morning wood, and quite a bit of pain.  After taking a look down there, I realize it’s because one of the 4 stitches is a little way up the penis, and when wood happens, it tightens up down there, and pain ensues.

So of course I start thinking of ways for it to go away.  “Betty White” I think, and instantly…a picture of 20 something Betty White comes to mind.  Oh for the love of god, today’s Betty White!  Still nothing.  Okay, just stop being woody…stop…go away…wait, that’s the wrong way…NO LESS!!!  LESSS!!!

Ugh.

I went to Rob’s BBQ on Saturday (in shorts), and didn’t do much Sunday or Monday (other than a little grocery shopping, and playing with the kids).  I napped all 4 days, and generally took it easy.  My groin felt like it had a mild pull

On Tuesday morning I woke up in mild pain, and decided I’d try out some pants.  Yeah…pants weren’t going to work, so I called up my boss, explained the situation, and told him I’d work from home.  I spent an hour at my desk, and an hour on the couch, and then repeated the whole process about three more times.

At some point I called my doctor, and explained the situation.

“Soooo, he doesn’t practice the ‘no scalpel technique’, I’d say he performs the “all scalpel” (NO!), and did you realize that he’s 80…I’m not exaggerating, he was born in 1930, that put him 80 (NOOO!).  Oh, and my procedure took just under an hour (NO!  Why?  That’s insane!).  Yeah, listen, I’m just going to tell you that I wouldn’t go back myself…this process sucked!

This morning I got up and decided to really inspect stuff before I headed to work, and I noticed that there’s something between the testicles.  In a bit of a panic I went on the internet.

Okay, when there’s something wrong with your junk…DO NOT GO ON THE INTERNET!!!  Bad stuff is on there, bad pictures, horrible pictures of vasectomies gone wrong.  Things done by “doctors” who must perform in meat wagons at the back of dark alleys.  Guys named “Dieter” and “Svlorgnark”, who use rusty instruments and tie you down on a gurney.

So of course I called Ryan and asked him questions about his balls. After laughing at me for a few seconds, he responded that yes indeed it is normal for there to be a lump between your two testicles, and that this is where all of the now “folded, tied, and cinched” stuff gets put back in.  It’s tender for a good 6 weeks, but shrinks up over time.

Oh…and mine’s black and blue.  Dunno if that’s germaine to the conversation or not but…UGH.

Soooo, there’s my tale of woe and agony. Vasectomies are a totally normal, easy procedure…unless of course you’re me, and your junk gets assaulted for 60 minutes.

Luckily, everything seems to be healing well, and I’m feeling quite a bit better than yesterday.

Still, I wouldn’t recommend the 80 year old doctor, and I say if you find yourself chatting up an octagarian in his waiting room, and the door is still a crack open…go for it, get thee the hell out of there.

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