Sunday, January 11

Time for an Old Story

I think I have a hernia. Whatever. It's not causing a problem, but it will ultimately mean a trip to the Doctor and a cold hand rummaging around my junk.

5 years ago I tried to have a vasectomy. In a vague way it was a birthday present for my wife. She'd womanfully taken the lead on birth control for years and I figured it was my turn.

My initial consultation was tricky. The general prodding and nudging was difficult, but I put it down to being, "One of those guys who doesn't like having his balls squeezed".

The day of the operation was a cold Friday morning in December. These procedures are popular on Friday mornings. You get the weekend to recoup, and then ease back into work on a Monday.

It's a local anesthetic. I was led into an operating room filled with health related posters, and a radio. Never been a fan of Christmas music, but the next 30 minutes would 'hardwire' this into my brain.

The nurse was great. What a thankless job. A bic and a roll of duct tape are her tools of choice. After a quick trim of my sides she proceeded to lift the 'Executive staff member' in a northerly direction and stuck it to my lower stomach with tape.

And there I lay for a few minutes, alone, legs spread, wearing those perfect fit hospital gowns, while "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" jauntily rode its merry way on Predictable FM.

The Doctor entered. "Hi, I'm Dr. D" was his intro. I'm not hiding his name for anonymity - he really said Dr. D.

After taking a look at the nurse's handy work, he told me what he was about to do. Essentially, we are talking; numb, cut, twist and tie ... repeat on other side. At the end of his little speech I said, "No problem, let's get going". In the distance Mariah was singing that all she wanted for Christmas was me.

First problem. Novacaine-loaded needle in one hand, he started grabbing at my balls trying to find the tube that he would need to numb. You'd think he was trying to locate a special lingo/bingo ball. He just couldn't find the tube. Meanwhile I'm 'expressing difficulty' at the sack squeezing I'm getting. He even tries to get leverage by leaning across my legs. I've had my legs in the same position for 10 mins now, and I'm feeling cramp approaching.

This goes on for 1 Christmas song, and a bunch of commercials. After 3 or 4 injections of the anesthetic, he takes out a scalpel, and makes the first incision.

I scream.

And he says, "You can feel that?"

And so he swabs me and picks up the needle again. John Lennon and his appallingly out of tune wife are singing that "War is Over". Thanks John.

More prodding and poking follows. I make the noise of a dying animal. Each failed attempt leads to more swabbing, and a little pyramid of red cotton wool is building up on the metal table to my right.

Finally I say "End this". One more try and another squeal later, the Doc concurs. "You're obviously the 1% who needs General anesthetic", he says with such douchebaggery that I want to hit him .. except my scrotum is still cut open and the tape is peeling off, one hair at a time.

He gets the needle and thread out. I am terrified to move my legs, but I realize they haven't moved in 25 minutes. "Keep Still" the Doc helpfully suggests.

Jingle Bell Rock plays. Realize it rhymes with cock.

As he pulls the thread a little too hard he says, "We could get this done, but it will take 90 minutes and that's not going to work for either of us is it?". Wow, a shitty doctor and a patronizing nursery school teacher I think to myself.

Afterwards I hobble out and Anne is waiting for me.

At the end of a long day, I go to bed a little sore. Anne offers to sleep in the other bed, more to keep the cat off of the bed. As she closes the bedroom door, alone, I reflect on my day of torture. I start to cry, and then realize I sound like Yoko Ono. The next day is a blizzard day and I have to shovel 12" of snow off of my car. Great.

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