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Originally Posted: 2004-06-14 02:08

Diary of a Vasectomy

So I decided to get a vasectomy. Thirty something and several kids, it was time.

Going in, the main comment I got from friends who had had one is that it hurts more than the doctor lets on in the pre-op consultation. Not the most comforting thought.

Day of Surgery (Doc's exam room, not hospital)
So I'm in the room waiting for the doc. He asks how I'm feeling, I say, "nervous." Apparently he took this as a que to that I would like things to get weird. Right after this he says, "you know, I have an intern who would be really interested to observe this procedure." Now the exam room is not spacious, so this person would be within a foot of me. I'm thinking, well let's not be a prude here, it's for training a doctor.

Wrong. Doc goes on to say that she's not actually a medical student, she just wants to go to med school. What??!! So here I am nervous enough to begin with that my ball sack is going to be operated on (when there's nothing wrong with it), and he thinks I want a 19 year old girl sitting next to me watching just for the sheer novelty aspect of sastisfying her personal curiousity! I can see her years down the road, "I would like to thank my family as I accept this nobel prize for medicine, and to give a special thanks to the man who inspired me as a teenager by letting me watch his ball sack get sliced open and his sperm tubes get yanked out." In reality, she probably would have gotten a "call" on her camera phone during the operation and my crowning moment would have been immortalized on the internet.

While I didn't really want to disappoint my ball sack surgeon right before the operation, I said, "no." He gives me one of those condescending doctor looks and that's the end of that. But not the end of our time together. The fun is just beginning.

Step one is the anesthesia. A local. Now the problem with locals is delivery. How does your dentist get you numb? That's right, a shot. Turns out they make some sort of special ball sack novicane. And they deliver it with, you guessed it, a needle. And the shot to prevent *pain* is given to you, not in a vein in your leg, not in a vien in your groin. No, the needle get stuck right into your ballsack. And not just into the ballsack, but into your ball. Yes, you heard me correctly. Right in the ball. And the doctor actually says, "You may feel a pinch." Really? A pinch? Who the F*** used to pinch you doc? A f***ing gorilla with f***ing vicegrips?

And one shot is not sufficient. You get five. And not a quick in and out, no it's the old, "I've stuck the needle there and I must slowly release the ball sack novicane while wiggling the needle back and forth." It feels like brain freeze to the tenth power in your ball. It makes you want to vomit and cry all at the same time. Then they start on your other ball.

Seems that part of the pain management is to inflict such severe pain during the administration of the anesthesia that really you wouldn't notice just about anything else they did. Just about...

So this was supposed to be a special type of vasectomy- no scalpel. In fact, his brochure said something about lasers (I like lasers). Turns out there are no lasers. And there's no scalpel because he just jams a big ass pair of pointed forceps directly into your scrotum, making a puncture wound, grabbing the sperm tubes and pulling them out through the hole. But it's OK, b/c you're under a local anesthetic.

Now he's not done when he pulls out the first set of sperm tubes, and this was not a good thing, for more than just the obvious reaons. Turns out that my breakfast of cold pizza wasn't the best choice of ball sack operation day cuisine. Pizza gives me gas and I had been fighting to hold back the inevitable since the beginning of the procedure. But when he stuck those forceps in me with is face right down by my ball sack so he would have a good view, we had a breach. A large foul loud machine gun breach. For a split second, I wasn't sure if it was just gas or if I had crapped myself. All I could see was a vague look of panic behind his ball sack surgeon safety glasses. I mean, he's holding the sperm tubes in his forceps and he knows he can't just pull back, but his position is untenable. He can't withstand another assault. For about ten seconds, no one moves. And no one acknowledges what just happened (see, it's not just on dates that people act like that about flatulence, but that's a different rant). Fortunately, things stablize and we continue.

Anothe five minutes of tugging and sperm tube cutting, and voila, we're done. A simple ten minute procudure is completed, and I do at least feel confident that what we did was sufficient to destroy my reproductive capacity.

And by the way, if you haven't caught on yet it does hurt more than the doctors let on. So the lesson here is- when your buddies hear the word vasectomy and cringe, it's not just some dumb man type response to a myth. It is a rational reaction to having anyone go near your ball sach with a sharp object or pliers. A lesson I learned to late.

Next up on the rant front: the ball sack had to be shaved for the surgery. Now maybe the porno guys make this look cool, and we've all hear about Brazilians for the ladies, but what no one talks about is the razor stubble...

this is in or around Houston

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