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Growing up, I always figured I’d have three kids: One of each.
However, during the time my wife was pregnant with Owen, my wife and I had a serious discussion and she laid out some basic truths for me:
– Hermaphrodites are very rare and you just can’t decide you’re going to have one.
– They’re hard to shop for. Boys are dressed in blue, girls are dressed in pink but, so far, no one has assigned the proper color for a hermaphrodite.
– Then she made it clear by saying, “Giving birth to two kids is enough for me. If you want another one, you’re giving birth.”
Instead, I decided to have a vasectomy. And I decided to strike while the iron – or, in this case, the cauterizer – was hot.
A few weeks after Owen was born, I met my doctor for a consultation and she suggested I think about it, just in case I wanted more kids.
My reply was something like, “Yeh, thought about it. Thanks. Give me the referral, please.”
“Well, you know, a vasectomy is a big step and you better be sure because once you have it done, you can’t go back.”
“Yeh, thought about it. Give me the referral. Puh-leeze.”
So, I finally got the referral and set up the appointment for a few weeks later, timing it so I would only have to work a half-day on Friday.
I wish I had scheduled it sooner because those extra weeks gave me enough time to sweat, worry and fuss about the whole snippy procedure.
You see, the pre-vasectomy times are the middle-aged guy equivalent to what junior high boys go through a few weeks before their first shower in P.E. Guys who’ve gone through the experience do whatever they can to make it seem as painful and as miserable as possible.
In my case, I had to deal with my friend, Bob, going into excruciating detail. Plus, my brother kept telling me how he was so ticklish when the doc touched him that he needed a valium to relax.
Meanwhile, my brother-in-law told me horror stories about guys who didn’t ice their crotch enough and ended up swelling up to terrible proportions.
Even worse: Scott Kaplan, one of the morning sports guys on Mighty XX, kept talking about his recent vasectomy, hinting he was less of a man than before.
On the other hand, the doctor told my wife I would need to take it easy for three days and not do too many chores around the house – and I was sold.
At least I thought I was. But during the week leading up to the operation, I started getting skittish. Oh, I definitely didn’t want to risk getting my wife pregnant but I wasn’t sure I wanted to be caught in a grip-like vice (to borrow a phrase from Elvis Costello).
I showed up to the urologist nervous and maybe a little testy. The good doctor noticed my squeamishness and had a look on his face that said, “They got to you, didn’t they.”
So it was time to give me a shot and the doc made sure to warn me before each step of the operation. To be honest, the thought of the needle was worse than the actual shot itself. Still, I did wince a few times. But just a few.
Apparently, I had it easier than other guys because it was a hot day so my privates were more, shall we say, flexible than if was the coldest part of winter.
According to the doctor, 10 percent of patients pass out during the vasectomy. Although I did try to astrally project myself to another place, I was very present. However, I started thinking about the zipper scene in “There’s Something About Mary” and got the giggles.
The doc asked, “Are you ticklish?”
I told him, “No, but there’s a line in “There’s Something About Mary” along the lines of ‘Is it the frank or the beans?’ and it just cracks me up.”
“Oh,” he said. “Never saw that movie.”
Finally, it was over. It only took 15 minutes but it felt like an eternity. Still, the local anesthetic numbed enough so I could drive home. The doc gave me antibiotics and one tablet of Percodan just in case I did feel pain.
I thought, “Cha-ching!” because I had been wanting to try Percodan ever since I learned Jerry Lewis had been addicted to it. For the record, I haven’t used it yet and I doubt I will unless I, say, break my arm. Still, it’s nice to know that it’s there.
On the way home, I played a special mix tape of vasectomy-themed songs, including “Cuts Like A Knife” by Bryan Adams; the classic Miles Davis album Kind Of Blue; the AC/DC song, “Big Balls;” and, of course, the jingle for Chock Full O’Nuts coffee.
Then I spent the whole weekend sitting on a bag of frozen peas but the most painful part came from dealing with my daughter, Alex.
She was away during my operation and became very sad when my wife explained that “Daddy had a booboo on his bottom and won’t be able to swim for a few days.”
Alex came to me with tears in her eyes worried about me and I got teary-eyed myself.
“Are you okay?” she said, practically on the verge of tears.
“Can I see it?”
Since then, I’ve been feeling a little better but occasionally feel a slight bit of discomfort – but that’s only when I’m watching mudslinging campaign ads on TV.
My doc says I’ll have to have my sperm count checked in six weeks to make sure the vasectomy took. Since I’ve been following doctor’s orders, I’m expected to be a success story.
Now, I hope to use my position as a journalist to correct inaccurate rumors about vasectomies.
Having your tubes tied does not make you less of a man. Yes, I spent the weekend watching MGM musicals but I’ve been a big fan of those (and bad Lifetime channel TV movies) for years.
A vasectomy isn’t painless but the male-dominated medical industry is looking out for guys by making it sound worse than it is so married guys get at least one weekend in their lives without having to follow a “honey do” list.
Yes, there are some “ewww” moments during a vasectomy, but it’s not nearly as labor intensive as giving birth.
Or so my wife tells me.
David Moye is a La Mesa-based writer who freely admits being a little nutty. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Or