Jennifer thought it had been a while since I posted and also, because some of you or even your husband’s might find what I have to share interesting about the particular topic I am writing about today. I have to admit, not much was available in this kind of a format for dudes like me. So maybe it will help someone somewhere.
I am going to warn you right now that some of this isn’t for the squeamish, and probably rates a bit PG-13ish. I’ll do my best to not delve too deep into the details.
So here we go, I’m getting “snipped”. I have four children, and I feel old. The thought of chasing another toddler around exhausts me. Our family planning has been a success and it is time to lock in our winnings. And this time I will be the one getting cut.
My lovely wife has suffered through four c-sections. Like a fool, I watched the first one in its entirety without retreating to the safety of the blanket shield. At one point I was expecting the doctor to say, “Can you put your finger here while I tie this off.?” The fact I didn’t pass out forever validates my man card. Understand that I have shot, gutted, skinned, hung from the swing set, and butchered my own deer (Jennifer no longer let’s me do any of that. Bambie affected her deeply as a child.) Anyway, all of that was like playing with tinker-toys compared to watching them cut on my wife to retrieve my children. She has definitely done her part. Now it’s my turn.
Don’t take this to mean that I am brave, I have definitely had my reservations. Here is how my first Doctor’s appointment went down:
After getting my referral, I went to see the urologist. I have always wondered what type of child dreams about being a urologist. I understand that they are needed and do good, but, still, those guys, and gals I suppose, earn their money.
The urology clinic was hard to find, tucked off the main road behind a ten foot hedge row like a CIA safe house. There were plenty of guys in there, none of us made eye contact, let alone spoke to one another. “So what are you in for?” is not an ice-breaker at the Supermax or the urology clinic. One guy brought his wife. Everyone else sat away from that guy.
After a few minutes a nurse took me back to a room and handed me two brochures. The second one had diagrams of the procedure. She left without explaining things. I was thankful.
After about 10 more minutes the doctor came in with his college-age looking, female intern, who is probably required in order to make the patient uncomfortable. “Ms. X is here to make sure everything gets recorded properly,” said the doctor with a practiced smile. Fortunately she sat down at the computer instead of producing an iphone with a tripod. Ms. X began typing, furiously. Nobody had said anything other than our introductions.
“The first thing we need to make sure of is that everyone is agreed about the procedure, and that you understand that this means that you are likely done having children.”
“I thought that was the point.”
“We just have to make sure you understand that this is likely forever.”
“You get a lot of guys thinking that they might be required to repopulate the Earth after an apocalypse?”
Doctor says nothing and smiles. Ms. X stops typing for a minute, also smiles knowingly. Suddenly I am grateful for HIPPA regulations.
Doctor proceeds, “OK, I’m not going to lie. There are three points to this procedure that are going to be painful. The first is going to be when we make an incision in the center here to get at the tube coming from each testicle. The good news is that it is only one cut rather than the two we used to do.”
“There’s a pain killing shot, right?”
“Sort of. look, there is no delicate way of deadening things down there, so we use a topical numbing solution. It will burn.”
“Like hydrogen peroxide?”
“More like a Bic lighter. Yeah, it’s gonna hurt.” Ms. X continues to type.
“And that’s one of the three times?” I ask.
“Yes, once we make the incision we will need to pull the tube from each testicle toward the incision to cut and stitch the upper end. You will suffer intense pain for about 30 seconds each time. You will hate me for some time afterward.”
It becomes clearer that crazy masochists become urologists. Kids that grew up torturing small animals. I imagine him using the same metal hook that the dentist terrified him with as a child.
“Then you are done. We stitch you up and you go home to bruising and swelling for a few days. Make sure you take the next day at least off from work. No horseback riding!” Maybe not what he said, just what I heard.
“OK,” I said, braver than I felt.
“Oh a couple more things. First you will need to be tested for a few months after wards to make sure the procedure was effective. Don’t change your behavior until everything is confirmed.”
THAT was definitely news I didn’t know.
“Secondly, I need to know if you have had any hernia surgeries.”
Turns out that I had, as a toddler, It changed things, because evidently, surgery in the 70’s wasn’t as precise as today. Scars needed to be examined, teaching moments were provided to the intern, and I gained deep sympathy for the fact that many of you women have to see male gynecologists. A new game plan that took into account the old scarring tissue was put in place while I stood there mostly being ignored. I was a grateful for that. Fortunately things didn’t progress to the use of a Sharpie pen.
Ms X went back to typing, the doctor offered up more pamphlets, and any questions I had were immediately forgotten. Evidently I will need to check back once the final day of surgery can be reconciled with my work schedule and the family vacation.
I’m fully expecting science to make this whole process obsolete in about a year, because that would be about right.
Seriously though, in the overall scheme of things it is the least worst option and if anyone has legitimate questions, I would be happy to answer them. I may even answer the illegitimate questions too.
Also I am sure Jennifer will have a thing or two to share once the procedure is done and I am at home recuperating. I have already purchased a bell. . .
Go ahead and share this post, you know you want to!