Dusting off another “oldie” this week in honor of my good buddy, Mark, who is going through this very passage of life today. Godspeed, sir.
(First published in October 2012)
Again, I am dropping my proverbial pants (pun intended) to review a topic with you that is very personal, intimate and embarrassing all in the name of humor; Vasectomies. More than three years have passed since I went through the incredibly easy, but equally humiliating, “procedure” of being neutered. Snipped. Spade. De-manned. Vasectomized.
As I watched (well, not ‘watched’, I mean ‘witnessed’…I mean 2nd hand…bad choice of words – ‘HAND’ – …damnit! Nevermind.) my best friend go through this passage of life for a significant population of married-men-with-children-who-want-no-more-children-and-their-wives-are-finally-putting-their-foot-down-after-all-their-bodies-have-endured-giving-birth-to-your-kids-you-selfish-son-of-a…population, I was reminded how difficult this journey was to manage.
Before you jump down my throat, ladies, I do not mean to suggest that this minor surgery is nearly as physically painful (in most cases) compared to delivering a child, but I will contest that the mental anguish which we brave SeaMen endure is worth recognizing. I am not even going to attempt to compare this experience to the ‘joy of childbirth’ (isn’t that what you all called it BEFORE you went through it?). I won’t do it, but let me relay the internal strife we, as men, must undergo to get through the process of being neutered like your cat, Mittens.
A walk down men-mory lane….
After 3 children and nearly 3 years since the birth of our youngest, my wife ‘encouraged’ (and by ‘encouraged’ I mean ‘demanded’) that I ‘cut the cord’, ‘close the barn’ and host an ‘all-things-must-go sale’. I finally conceded to her and decided it was my time to step up and face the scrotal-carving music. After all, she was right. She bore us three beautiful children (of course, I did have ‘something’ to do with it, no? Probably a bad time to bring up that old adage about Men vs. Women? If you put 1000 women and 1 man on an island, in theory, you could have 1000 children one year later, while if you had 1000 men and 1 women on an island….yeah, right….forget I mentioned it) and it was time to move on to the next phase of our lives as parents.
Visit 1: The Consult
Before we soon-to-be-sterile suckers get the privilege of having our seed bag scraped open by Dr. Notsofeelgood, we must first take part in a ‘consult’ visit. Without knowing what to expect during this initial visit to the medical practice of Dewey, Pinchem & Howe, I did have the presence of mind to know I was going to be a nervous mess, so I did the logical thing; drank heavily before my appointment. After several mini-van sized draught beers I was ready to embark on this testical journey. I calmly walked into the office, checked in, sat down and tried to relax before I met with the nurse practitioner, Ms. Squeezy Van Nuttwister. Now, I am no Norman Einstein (by the way that is a reference to a slip of the tongue by NFL Legend-turned-Sportscaster, Joe Theisman. I know Einstein’s first name was really ‘Harold’) but I do not recall any ‘consult’ I have been a part of which required another party to take a firm grasp of my twig and berries for exploratory purposes? Maybe I am wrong but my recollection of a, so called, ‘consultation’ usually involved a conversation, a cup of coffee and an exchange of business cards. Never heard of the kind that would require my ‘potato sack’ to be fondled by Nurse Ratchet?
I tried to provide some levity to the uncomfortable situation.
A serious and stern woman, the nurse attempted to be very business-like in her pre-surgery instructions to me…
“Now, you will need to shave your scrotum just prior to the procedure,” she explained.
“Just another Thursday at the McCabes, Sweetheart,” I sarcastically responded.
Without cracking smile, she continued….
“Also, following the procedure, after adequate rest you will need to ejaculate approximately twenty-five times before returning with your test sample.”
“Makes sense to me. By my calendar I should be back here on Tuesday then.” The oh-so-funny-inebriated-and-terrified-patient retorted.
Finally, a small smirk appeared on her face.
“Look, I am sorry to be a wiseass. I am just really jumpy about this whole thing,” I implored.
“Have no fear, Mr. McCabe, this is actually quite an easy, quick and painless procedure,” reassured the person who has never had a ‘ball and chain’ attached to her anatomy.
I walked out…not feeling a whole lot better about the situation.
Visit 2: V-Day
You may recall when I wrote about Panic Attacks in which I describe an episode of anxiety so worrisome I actually called an ambulance to come to my aid. What I did not include in that story was that incident occurred just 2 days before my castration vasectomy. Coincidence? I think not.
Walk into ‘Dr. Kevorkian’s Office of Ill Repute’ in a state of pure horror for what was about to happen to me and ‘my boys’. After what seemed to be an eternity out comes my buddy, Sir Balldesack, to murder the fruitful existence of my ‘two oldest friends’.
A funny and affable guy, Dr. Derection, guided me to the operating room. After a few jokes and some general guidelines to how he was going to be ‘Deconstructing Harry’, I actually breathed a sigh of relief.
First he was going to inject a local anesthesia into ‘the twins’? OH SHIT!
Here it comes…..ah…ah……whew, that actually wasn’t too bad. What’s next, Doc?
Oh, time to slice open the ‘bag of peas’ (which, ironically and literally, would become my best friend during recovery)? Super.
Eyes clenched (along with my butt cheeks), I anxiously awaited the pain to begin. Amazingly, it was not so bad and before I knew it, it was over.
“Mission Slay Bells”: Complete.
After a few more off-color ‘cookie’ comments from Dr. Junkenremover, I was on my way home to rest my, now retired, ‘Generals’.
Job well done, men. Thanks for the memories.