Like many couples, my wife and I have tried a number of contraceptives, from condoms to IUD’s (Intra-Uterine Device), but each had some side effect attached with it. After our experiences with pregnancy and that we have 2 children, my wife and I decided that the time was right for us to explore other methods of birth control – the more permanent type. We looked into a tubal-ligation, but decided against it as my wife had 3 c-sections during the course of our pregnancies, more than a fair share of the surgeries. After thinking about it for a few days, I called my primary care physician to speak about it and to get a referral to an Urologist. What happens next is a light-hearted running diary of the appointment, procedure, and follow-up of my Vasectomy.
January 18th – Call for an appointment – Forgot the name of the procedure (I got confused as to who I was speaking to in the practice – I also need to go for a sleep study for potential sleep apnea – more on that in a future post), which makes the receptionist laugh and say “Honey if you can’t say it, should you be getting it?” This makes me laugh as well and I go on to explain my recent doctor binge. She then asks, “Do you want an initial consult, or the consult and procedure in the same day?” I reply, “I think I’ll just go with the consult first”. I am convinced I am getting the procedure, but I still like to have the option to back out if what I hear makes me faint.
February 5th – Consult Appointment Day – I meet with the nurse, she hands me a brochure asks me to read through it and says that the doctor will be in shortly to speak to me and do the physical exam. The brochure is helpful, the drawings of couples holding hands after the procedure helps to put me at ease, but it also gives me a general understanding of what will be done, recovery time, etc. My Urologist comes in and we get to know each other:
I pass the initial motive screen with flying colors, now he asks me to undress and he does a physical exam, I am told everything looks normal (always a good thing). He then goes on to describe the procedure and informs me that he has done about 5000, all in the comfort of his office in about 20 minutes usually on a Friday to help with the recuperation. I tell him I am in, we go out to the front desk, sign some papers, make the appointment and I head on home.
March 9th – T-minus 1 week – I start to prepare myself for the procedure, there are some pre-op things that need to be completed prior to the surgery. First on the list, a jock minus the cup – which when I think about walking into a doctor’s office with a jock strap and a cup on makes me chuckle. I am an active guy, but haven’t owned a jock strap since playing ball in college, so I set off the local sporting goods store with my son in tow – big mistake. As we are preparing to leave with said jock in hand, I hear my son yelling out to a friend he sees in the store who has his Mom with him. This is a tough way to meet someone for the first time, I turn red and feel like a 17 year old kid trying to buy condoms at the local drug store and getting my Mom’s friend at the register. I mumble something about a rec. softball league or something like that, but deep down I know I am busted (this is later confirmed by my lovely wife). Next stop – to get an electric razor to prepare the “site” and some boxer briefs for support after the surgery. This latter shopping venture goes off without a hitch, I made sure to shop off-hours in the next town.
March 15th – T-minus 24 hours – The instructions say I need to shave my scrotum 1 day before, I dutifully complete the task, but while shaving have that uneasy feeling that if I slip I might be performing the procedure right here in my bathroom, no doctor needed. Later in the day, my wife asks me how I am doing and if I am having any second thoughts. Honestly, I am not – it is the right move for us. I am more nervous about the pain afterward than the procedure itself. I know how sensitive the area is (any guy knows what it is like to get hit there) let alone having it cut open, but all-in-all, I am good.
March 16th – V-Day – The instructions say eat a light breakfast – I go with a lightly buttered bagel and a small coffee. I had originally told my wife that I would drive to and from the procedure, but over the last few days we have been hearing stories from people we know about how they were after the procedure. This was another source of humor for me, I wasn’t really planning on telling anyone, but then people started coming out of the woodwork with these stories about their husbands nearly fainting after the procedure and guys that were white as a ghost, we decide I might need a ride.
10:45 – My wife drives me over and drops me off, she needs to pick up the kids from preschool and will be back. I tell her if I am not at the front door by noon, send in the rescue team. I head up stairs to the office, check in and ask if I can use the restroom before the procedure. I can, which relieves me, but then here come the nerves.