Panic! At the Vasectomy Table: My Super Dramatic Reaction to This Routine Medical Procedure

There are two small bumps at the base of my penis. They match the two puncture wounds made during my recent no-scalpel vasectomy, one about twice the size of the other.

“Which one is bigger?” the doctor asks me on the phone.

“The one on the right,” I say.

“Would it be your right…or, my right?” he asks. Then he clarifies, “I mean, like, if I was examining you.”

“Garden side,” I say, expecting a chuckle. After a moment of silence, I specify: “My right.”

In case you didn’t know, a vasectomy is when a doctor (hopefully a doctor) severs your vas deferens – or sperm ducts – and seals them off, cutting off the sperm pathway to the penis, rendering you infertile.

It’s a great way to prevent yourself from having too many children. And when I say that, I mean there is a fair amount of swelling after the procedure.

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My doctor suggests that the bumps could be sperm granulomas, which can form when your semen begins to leak out of the cut end of your vas deferens.

In other words…my cum just couldn’t fit inside.

(When I told my doctor this, he didn’t laugh. He just started listing the anti-inflammatory medications I could take.)

Vasectomies, understandably, are a lot like fatherhood. Beyond very general comment, the men who have experienced them are quite tight-lipped about what to expect.

It’s not so bad.

You are inside and outside.

Then you can sit with frozen peas on your crotch.

Vasectomies, understandably, are a lot like fatherhood. Beyond very general comment, the men who have experienced them are quite tight-lipped about what to expect.

If you’re having a vasectomy in March, it’s assumed you’ll be spending the next few days watching college basketball.

Now, I don’t know if you understood my “stage right” quip earlier, but if you did, you can probably assume that I did. do not, in fact, spending my recovery watching college basketball. But that’s not important.

Let’s take a few steps back.

In 2006, I was working part-time at a library in Metro Detroit. The particular library where I worked was the central hub of a network of local libraries.

One of my daily tasks was to unload a truckload of books – mostly Danielle Steel novels – which would then be taken to the people who had them on hold. The books were packed in large canvas bags that sometimes weighed up to 50 pounds. My colleague, Brian, and I were pushing them like kettlebells while listening to nu-metal.

One afternoon on the way home from a typical shift, I felt something… odd …in my shorts. It was just below where my belt hit – an area where you really don’t want to feel anything that could be described as “strange”.

When I got back, I took a look. There was an ugly red bump the size of a quarter just north of my genitals. It was solid.


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A herniaI thought, though I wasn’t sure what a hernia was other than a big bump that appears when you lift things wrong, like I used to do back then. A Google image search seemed to confirm my suspicions.

“I have a hernia,” I announced to what, in retrospect, turned out to be a stupid number of people.

My parents? Concerning.

My girlfriend? Mortified.

My friends? Pushed back.

My boss, bless his heart, could best be described as “disturbed”. She explained with a frown that if I couldn’t quickly get back to lifting 50-pound canvas book bags, a nice 60-year-old librarian might have to step in. And that wouldn’t be good for anyone, would it?

Don’t worry, I told him, I had already made an urgent appointment to have my troublesome hernia inspected and to determine the next steps.

A few days later, with my pants around my ankles, a nice nurse explained to me – with the slightest smirk – that the red bump in my groin was not a large piece of herniated intestine, but rather a hair embodied. Rather common. It would probably go away on its own.

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It made. And I spent the next week looking for lies about why I was suddenly fine and dragging books around like it was no big deal and let’s all forget what I said, okay?

Awful.

My dad had a vasectomy in the mid 80s, which I can only assume was done in a smoky room with a cocaine-dusted razor blade.

I’m telling you this because up until the day of my vasectomy, it was the most traumatic experience I’ve had around that general area of ​​my body. (We’ll go ahead and strike my teenagers off the record here.)

Then V-Day came along and shook things up many notches.

If you’re considering a vasectomy, we should stop here and note that it’s a perfectly normal and reasonable thing to do. The American Urological Association estimates that up to 500,000 men in the United States undergo vasectomy each year. And I’d bet none of them complain about every little inconvenience as much as I do.

That is to say, don’t let me – a stranger who passed out twice while donating blood – stop you from getting the punch.

My dad had a vasectomy in the mid 80s, which I can only assume was done in a smoky room with a cocaine-dusted razor blade. When I asked him what to expect, he made it seem as routine and boring as a dentist appointment. “It was just me and the doctor,” he said. “It took half an hour.”

It was a completely different situation for me, I told him after my speech.

For starters, although my vasectomy was actually performed by a single doctor, there were also close to half a dozen secondary characters in the play – nurses and technicians, I guess, although I never really thought about asking. Which is funny, because within 30 seconds of entering the aforementioned room, I was on my back with my (formerly) private rooms exposed.

I said something weird to talk about my vulnerable position. The doctor said, “Yeah, sorry, this procedure leaves little room for modesty” as he coated my scrotum with ice cold chlorhexidine. I felt the need to say more but, perhaps for the first time in my life, I didn’t. Having your genitals spread out for a room full of strangers will make you do crazy things.

Then one of the other medical staff piled a heavy blanket over my chest. This sent an immediate signal to my brain that WE HAVE BEEN TRAPPED. She asked me if I wanted another blanket and I said “No thanks” as I quietly slipped into a panic attack.

Having your genitals spread out for a room full of strangers will make you do crazy things.

I didn’t tell anyone the panic attack was happening, of course, but they got the picture once I started tugging at the heavy blanket and talking nonsense about how hot it was in the operating room at 60 degrees. “Calm down, baby,” someone said, putting a piece of cotton soaked in rubbing alcohol under my nose.

The doctor continued his work, coldly asking what kind of music I like. “Jazz,” I replied, but my tongue was numb from the panic attack, so it sounded like “jath.”

“Oh, great,” he said. “I know exactly what you’re going to like.” Then he asked an artist I had never heard of, but can only assume is the Vanilla Ice of jazz. After about a minute he asked me what I was thinking and I answered him with my own question: “Can we read something else?”

I suggested Dave Brubeck or Miles Davis. Even in the middle of the panic attack – who was showing signs of calming down, perhaps thanks to the awful smooth jazz? “I was wondering if the people in the room thought I was just trying to look cool.

“You need to slow your breathing,” someone said. “Why don’t you try to breathe with the next song?” On cue, Miles Davis’ fastest and most unpredictable live cut began to play. It looked like a scampering cat on a slippery counter. I wanted to laugh but suddenly felt the dull sensation of my cum duct leaving my body. It was like a piece of wire slipping between my teeth.

“Ohhh man,” I said in a shaky voice. More alcohol-soaked cotton balls were piled on top of my upper lip. A damp cloth was placed on my forehead. Recognizing me as a nerd in my late thirties, the doctor began summarizing an article he had read on the psychology of Batman. Everything worked in concert to keep me conscious as my brain raced through images of blood bags and red stained sheets.

About 30 minutes later, my body seemed to accept its fate. My heart slowed to a normal rate and I was able to regulate my breathing. My doctor, laughing while applying two regular bandages – Yes that’s all — said, “OK, that was just a practice session. We’re going to do it for real this time.” A nurse (or a technician) told him: “Stop it. I laughed, probably too hard, out of pure relief.

The doctor left and after a few moments of peace someone helped me put on a pair of medical grade support garments ie a jockstrap. I was then taken to another room and asked to sign some paperwork stating that I knew there was a small chance that I couldn’t actually be sterile. “Sometimes the procedure doesn’t work,” the post-op nurse said. “But if that happens, it’s very easy to go in and redo the procedure.”

My eyelid twitched as I nodded and smiled, trying to convey the human emotion of being completely okay with something horrible you just heard. I was given cranberry juice for the road.

An hour later I sat on the couch with a bag of frozen butternut squash in my pants.

We had no more peas.

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