Talking to your kids about your balls.
As I recover from my vasectomy, an interesting dilemma has unzipped and presented itself. The kids want to know why Daddy can’t wrastle. The kids want to know why they can’t sit on Daddy’s lap. The kids want to know why Daddy is walking so funny.
My daughter is six and my son is nine. The younger one has been easy. As soon as I said the word, ‘testicles’ she started giggling and quickly moved on. Although, now she feels she has license to say, ‘testicles’ whenever she wants. So, she does. And then giggles.
“You want a hug, Daddy? Don’t worry, I won’t hurt your testicles.”
“Be nice to Daddy. He’s got sore testicles.”
“Good morning, Daddy. How are the testicles?”
“Hey, Daddy. Testicles. I just said, ‘testicles.'”
The nine year old boy is a little different. You see, he has testicles. And questions.
“Was there something wrong with your testicles?”
“Then what was the testicle surgery for?”
– Don’t end your sentence with a preposition, son.
So, how do I tell the kids that I love them more than anything in the world, but there’s no way in hell I would ever want another one of those loud, obnoxious, expensive, dirty, stupid little angels?
“Daddy, why don’t you and Mommy want another baby?”
A. You kids are relentless. You wear me out. You’re lucky I haven’t gotten rid of you already.
B. I love you so, so very much that I don’t want to share that love with anyone else. Except the dogs.
C. Do you really want to share the t.v. with another person? Gimme the remote.
D. Well, if we did have another one, then either you or your sister would have to go.
“But Daddy, only mommies have babies. What do your testicles have to do with it?
A. It’s called sex, boy. Duh.
B. You see, it takes two to Tango. And when you Tango naked, you make babies.
C. Well there’s this thing called puberty – that’s when you get hairy armpits. And when you get hairy armpits, you make babies.
D. Really, son? I don’t think you’ve been using the internet correctly.
“So you would rather have somebody cut into your testicles than have another one of me?”
A. Y’see. It’s not so hard to understand.
B. Well you don’t have to put it that way. They really only cut the scrotum and the vas deferens. Not the actual testicles.
C. It’s not like that. The third one wouldn’t be another you. That would be even worse.
D. No, no – of course not. There’s just no way the next one could be as amazing as you are. You’ve got a booger in your hair.
So, the conversation wasn’t that bad. And I think my kids will be better off for it. And now, I can focus my energy on helping them be the best they can be. And that makes me feel good.
My kids are gonna be geniuses.
In the end, I gave him a quick run-down of some puberty basics. It’s the part of life when you get smelly and covered in zits. And then you want girls to like you. We talked about how there’s a difference between being a kid and being a grownup. And that it’s more than just a driver’s license and a beard. But, when it came to the actual procreating and consummating and gettin’ it on with a little bump ‘n grind-ating, I told him that nine years old was simply too young and innocent for that sorta conversation. He sighed, nodded and said that he understood.
Then we played the new Grand Theft Auto.
[If you’re interested, the entire snipping story starts here.]
Ow, My Balls
The vasectomy appears to have gone well. My ovarian fertilization launching mechanism has been successfully disarmed. The first few hours have been a wonderful world of luxurious medicated laziness. But, all good things must come to an end. Let’s talk about some of the sweet post-op side effects of having fun-bag surgery.
Please note: I was given some vicodin to use if the pain gets too bad. I will attempt to power through without taking any. Why? Because I’m a man. I’m 40. And my wife managed to pull off natural child birth. Twice. — Also, the pain will help me remember to be careful. Every time I go to the dentist and get a shot of novocaine, I end up chewing a giant hole in the side of my cheek. And I don’t need another hole in my scrotum.
The most noticeable side effect is the hitch in my giddy-up. My boys are tender. It’s a dull ache deep in my innards. Sure, ice can keep the swelling down, but it doesn’t really help the core problem of dense discomfort. Plus, ice is freezing. It’s frozen water, you see. And it’s touching the balls, so – not cool.
Important: Gravity is not your friend.
Sitting down is absolutely the best medicine. But not too fast. Use your arms to hover for a second and then slowly ease into position. They actually recommend that you wear a jock strap for the first day. I don’t own one. And I’m not going to buy one for a single day. Instead, I just found the smallest pair of nut-hugger undies I own and went with that. Maybe I’ll try my son’s Spiderman skivvies if I get desperate.
Common decency prohibits me from posting a photo of my technicolor rainbow of testicular contusions. But trust me, it’s impressive. And it changes like the sunset – a constant ebbing and swirling of purples and blues and greens and pinks and yellows and reds and wrinkles. Kinda like an old man who just got the crap beat out of him.
You should see the other ball.
Just go ahead and have a seat, buddy. This is no time to let pride get in the way and make a mess of yourself. Especially for that initial tinkle. This will be the first time you get the chance to see your little victim after the mugging. The image of your twig and berries all mangled and beat to hell can be quite a jolt to the system. Personally, I got a little woozy. And secondly, your parts are pulled up tighter than a bull at the rodeo. Not only does this make things awkward, but it also sorta points your pee-shooter in a less-than-natural direction. Just hunker down and pretend you’re on vacation.
Beyond that, most other things seem pretty normal. I still have an appetite. I still like beer. I haven’t been noticeably angry or irritable. And I still can’t play the harpsichord. Which is rather remarkable considering the circumstances.
Oh. One more thing.
Don’t get a boner.
Friday, The Snip-teenth.
This is it. Vasectomy Day. I’m done with all the waiting and stewing and anticipating and second-guessing and scientific renderings of my junk bag. Let’s do this! The wife and I step out of the elevator and into the waiting room.
Upon checking in, we are told that Dr. Aloe Fingers was called out for an emergency removal of some lady’s golfball-sized gall stone. Which may or may not have been used for a round of golf afterward. Either way, it gives us time to listen to some lunatic in the lobby try to carry on a conversation with a woman who was hard of hearing. He felt very strongly that tennis-playing “cousins,” “Sabrina” and “Vanessa” Williams should retire. The deaf woman thought he was ordering a sandwich.
Two hours later, I find myself peeing in a cup. Little did I know it would be the last time I’d be standing for such a purpose for the next several days. I zip up and move to the party room.
After scoring 48 points for CLINCHED on Words With Friends, there’s a quick knock and the door opens. Enter the assailant. We exchange a few pleasantries and chat gall stones and testicles and then get down to business.
Let’s break it down.
A FLOPPY OBSTRUCTION:
Since the entry point for this procedure is at the center of my freshly shaved sperm satchel, gravity puts the penis in a precarious position. It is unceremoniously taped to my tummy.
POKING THE PACKAGE:
Before there can be an incision into my frightened, shriveled scrotum, there must be an injection of local anaesthetic. This feels pretty much like any normal shot. Only, it’s in a rather sensitive area. But don’t worry, the skin is pinched and lifted up. So, it’s not like you just get jabbed in the sack with a needle. Anyway, not so bad.
SLITTING THE SACK:
I was expecting a scalpel. Instead, scissors are used. Very sharp scissors. Although I cannot feel it, I am able to hear it. And yes, it sounds exactly how you’d expect it to sound. Disturbingly easy.
Because the scrote is so delightfully flaccid, the same hole can be moved around to reveal both the left and right vas deferens tubes. We start with the left. And again, before cutting anything, another local anaesthetic must be injected.
“You might feel a little pressure.”
Okay, so maybe it isn’t that bad – but it is by far the most painful part of the process. It feels like somebody grabs a hold of one of your boys and gives it a big squeeze. And not in the good way. Guys, the pain most closely resembles that feeling you get when your tenders get just barely grazed – there’s a delay, you count to three and then experience that dull ache throbbing throughout your lower belly. Yeah, it sucks – but it dissipates quickly.
By now, I’m feeling no pain. There’s just a sensory black hole between my legs. A great area of never-ending nether-nothing. I can’t be sure, but I think I saw Atreyu and Falkor flying away. Nontheless, this part is a little weird. First, the doc nabs the tube and pulls it through my new handy scrotal glory-hole. It makes a nifty little hoop. He clamps off two parts of the seminal super highway and simply snips off about a centimeter section in between the two clamps. Tada!
Now the tubes need to be permanently closed off. To do this, two little baby paperclips are popped onto each end. This does two things. A – It keeps the two loose ends from trying to find each other and get the band back together. And B – It prevents any little Evel Knievel sperm from attempting to make the jump from one to the next. Wheehaw!
RINSE AND REPEAT
The tubes are poked back in, the package gets a quick wipe-down and the hole gets slid over to the other side. This verse is the same as the first:
Shot to the nad
Stuff the stuff back in.
STITCHES IN MY BRITCHES
I was kinda hoping for my name to be embroidered onto my business, but I think that would require a special appointment. And different insurance. Instead, this turns out to be pretty normal. The strangest part is that I can kinda feel the afore-mentioned black hole bouncing around on my legs as it gets tugged and pulled throughout the sewing process.
After another quick cleansing, I’m good to go. I pull up my pants, get a good look at my nubs in a jar and head back out to face the world. The first face I see is that of my lovely, patient wife. She looks a little concerned. But perhaps she looks even a little more relieved to finally get away from the crazy, confused tennis fan in the waiting room.
Now, time for recovery.
The couch and drugs await.
After the little warm-up appointment with the good Dr. Richard Cushion Hands, I am now much more learned in the ways of my built-in ovarian fertilization unit. Seems simple enough, really. There’s a couple of fertilizer factories. A distribution channel from each factory to a central export facility. From there, the cargo is jettisoned into the mysteries of the universe.
That’s you! And me! And about a Jizzillion other potential chances to catch a spark of life and do something awesome and meet a gal and fall in love and eat pizza and skin a knee and take a crap and watch the Longhorns take a crap and throw a beer on the floor and go to bed.
Anyway. I’m trying to say we’re all special. And that we’re all little miracles. Just maybe not because of this part.
WARNING: I’ll be using the word, “ejaculate” a bunch of times. And in many forms.
Each ejaculation contains, on average, 200-500 million sperm. That’s hundreds of millions of chances to eat pizza. Anything below 40 million sperm-per-ejaculation and the word, “impotence” starts getting thrown around. Flip it over, rub it down, and then a few rare master ejaculators can produce over ONE BILLION SPERM in a single ejaculation.
So you’re one-in-a-million. Whoop-tee-doo.
WARNING: There will be a pronunciation change in the word, “ejaculate.” Unlike the verb – ‘ee-JAK-yoo-layt‘, you will sometimes see the noun – ‘ee-JAK-yoo-lit.’
One single sperm fertilizes an egg. Each release of ejaculate contains hundreds of millions of sperm. But, get this – only 5% of each release of ejaculate is actually sperm. That’s right, you’re a drop in the buck of a drop in the bucket. (Note: never use this analogy in front of your lady.)
So you may be asking yourself – what’s the other 95%? Here’s the magic recipe:
70% fructose, amino acids, enzymes, etc. [sperm food]
25% Acid phosphatase, fibrinolysin, citric acid, etc. [lube]
5% Sperm [sperm]
>1% Galactos, mucus [more lube]
So, what the good doctor is going to do is cut the tubes supplying the 5%. Let’s go to the map:
That part takes about five minutes. And I’m told I’ll be sore for a couple of days. Then, I’ll be back in action after about a week. But, I won’t be completely sperm-free for another two months. Why so long you ask? I’ll have to save that for another blog.
WARNING: I’ll be using the word “masturbate” a bunch of times.
Hello, Doctor. Meet my scrotum.
If you want a vasectomy, you go to a urologist. (I had to look that up.) A urologist treats everything from overactive bladders and urinary tract infections to enlarged prostates and spooky scary cancer stuff.
This initial visit does not involve a scalpel – just rubber gloves. They called it a “consult.” Basically, it’s a quick meet-and-greet for the doctor, myself and my naughty bits. I scheduled the appointment for 3:00 in the afternoon. That way, I could leave work early without the expectation of returning. Genius.
Now, the first thing you do at a urologist’s office is the exact same thing you do at any other doctor’s office. You wait. And then you pee in a cup.
Now I’m no expert, but I would have had a diagnosis on this particular warm cup of yellow goodness right off the bat. This guy just drank a bunch of coffee. I considered gorging on a heaping pile of asparagus for lunch. But, I figured that ultimately I wanted these pee-pee professionals on my side throughout this whole ordeal.
So, I hand the cup over to some lucky devil with the best job in the world and make my way to the assigned room.
Enter Dr. Kim.
He closed the door and gave a quick smile. Then came the moment of truth – the handshake. This simple pleasantry could make or break the entire thing.
Just turn your head and scream.
Good news. He had soft, supple hands with delicate nimble fingers. Expertly manicured nails splashed with a touch of lavender scent glided into a precision grasp and then quickly released within a comfortably measured timeframe.
He asked why I was there, and upon hearing ‘vasectomy,’ he responded, “Oh good. That’s easy.” In fact, he told me that the actual procedure would take less time than the consult. After asking a few more questions, he whipped out a pen and pad. He drew a few amazing pictures worthy of any middle school bathroom stall. Then, he grabbed some latex gloves.
“Okay. Let’s take a look.”
I dropped my Underoos and he put on his glasses. He poked and prodded at some stuff and then pointed at the spot where he would be going in. Front and center. He pointed out one of the actual vas deferens tubes, too. Kinda weird looking. He even commented on how my sparse amount of body hair and low levels of body fat were going to make the whole thing easier and more pleasant for the both of us. I took it as a compliment.
He popped off his gloves. I pulled up my pantaloons. And he sent me to the front counter to schedule my procedure. Easy-peasy.
Feeling reassured and oddly confident, I strolled up to the sliding window and greeted the nice young receptionist with a grin. “Good day, me lady. I would like to schedule a timely congress to partake in a casual vasectomy. Might I inquire as to your next opportune availability?”
“Sure thing. How’s Friday, the 13th?”
There are all sorts of financial, health and social reasons for having a vasectomy. And they are all seemingly sensible motives for wanting to avoid another infestation of children. But let’s get real. Let’s get freaky.
We all like our sexy time. In fact, we physiologically need our sexy time. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, its right there with food, water, shelter and maintaining homeostasis. (That’s breathing.) Basically, Justin Timberlake was full of crap. He didn’t bring sexy back, because sexy never went anywhere. Sexy has been around since forever. One day a sexy Stegosaurus caught a glimpse of another sexy Stegosaurus bent over eating some sexy leaves and said, “Hey sexy. You wanna get all sexy on each other?”
You know what the answer was.
Unfortunately for the dinosaurs, they didn’t have a Urologistasaurus. But guess what – we do. We have opposable thumbs. And we can snip things. We can continue with our beautiful human love, passion and need for gettin’ busy without the coital consequence of breeding. I’ve done my share. Twice.
I no longer feel the instinct to propagate the species. I just like touching my lady’s lady parts. I mean seriously, my wife is a babe – a totally foxy, red-hot mama. I’d post pictures of her, but I don’t want wordpress to ban me for inadvertently creating a pornography site.
Image too sexy for the internet
So here’s one of the perks I’m looking forward to most after having a needle and a knife taken to my testes. Spontaneity. Sure, we’ll still have to dodge our current offspring, so that they’re tiny little minds aren’t scarred for life – but it’ll get a whole lot easier. It’s ironic, really. Kids are the result of sex. Then, once born, they are almost immediately responsible for the hindering of sex.
Well, I’m bigger. And I’m smarter. And I’ve found a workaround.
Another bonus will be getting rid of birth control. Pills are expensive – and kinda wonky on my gal’s system. And condoms? Not only are they a pain in the penis to put on, but they totally break up the sweet lovin’ action. That’s why they never show that scene in any films of ill repute. Ron Jeremy ain’t got time for that. And the feeling, of course, is vastly different – no matter what the stupid package says. Oh, and the freakin’ smell. Is that really the best the condom companies could do? C’mon, nobody ever created a perfume wafting the enticing aroma of prophylactic latex infused with spermicidal lubricant.
So let’s do it. Let’s get to the doc and drop some drawers.
I’m feeling a bit randy already.
My boys deserve a Dr. with references.
Now, it’s not too often that I deal with the phrase, ‘scrotal incision’ – but I’m pretty sure I don’t want to entrust just anybody with the task.
Free heartworm medication with every vasectomy.
The good news here is that I’m not blazing any new trails. I have quite a few friends who have already undergone this procedure . So, I just take out my handy rolodex, spin it back to the ‘sterile’ section – and start making some phone calls. Everyone was eager to help – perhaps a little too eager. As one might expect, some had good experiences, and some had bad experiences. And, as I heard more and more of their stories, I learned that when it comes to a man’s nethers, simple words can take on new meanings:
Good experience = uneventful
Bad experience = balls on fire
Doug said his anaesthesia didn’t take. Balls-on-fire. George said his recovery time was months rather than days. Balls-on-fire. Jason said his urologist’s name was Dr. Richard Chopp. Well that’s potentially even worse than balls-on-fire. So these options were quickly eliminated. Mike, Greg, Chris, John, Jin and Clint all had much more delightfully uneventful snips. And in the end, good or bad, every single one of my interviewees told me they were ultimately glad they had it done. And then they limped away.
A couple of docs were dropped due to distance. Apparently you don’t want a long bumpy car ride after all the fun.
And then there’s insurance. Check this out – it’s rather important. If you have the procedure done in a surgical center, boom – you get punched right in the deductible. That would be about $2,000 for me. Wallet-on-fire. BUT, if you have the procedure done in the urologist’s office, you are only responsible for the copay. That’s right. Twenty bucks. Ten per tube.
Enter, Dr. Kim. Referred by a friend, insurance compatible, a cozy 1.7 miles from my house, and bargain basement, value-menu pricing. Bingo.
I call. I shakily mumble the word, ‘vasectomy’ a few times, and then they set me up with a preliminary appointment. They called it a ‘consult’. I guess a person can’t just walk in and order the Cut’n Go Special. Dr. Kim wants to get to know me first. And get introduced to the fellas.
Oh, what to wear?