Snip, snip

When going under the knife for a vasectomy, it is my own personal preference that a surgeon stay on point and only engage in the most generic forms of small talk. But that’s just me.

The procedure itself is short, simple, and mostly painless. Even so, the target of the surgery is the testicles. Not around the testicles, not in the general vicinity of the testicles. No, they’re going after your balls, the holy of holies, as it were, the most private of privates. 

Before the surgery I tried to act casual. After all, the whole thing is supposed to be all pretty easy. After chatting with my surgeon, I was asked to sit on the end of the hard, plastic bed.

So far, so good, I thought. But then, suddenly, the moment was upon me. Sitting on the hard bed, I was given the simple but decisive instructions.

It was the moment of truth. With one final sense of determination, I dropped my pants, laid back, and thought of England.

I had sort of hoped I could think of England, that I could just kind of zone out for most of the procedure, but my surgeon was a more talkative type. He made awkward jokes about this and that, none of which I recall. At one point asked me if I wanted him to do the other side.

I think that if we were having a pint at a pub, we would get along famously. I can see us exchanging witticism, discussing current events, and chatting about the interesting things we were reading. While I was on my back, we did, in fact, engage in all of these, but it’s just not the same as having a pint in a pub. I was trying to think of England, and he had me by the balls.

So when he jokingly asked me if I wanted him to do the other side, I was confused. For one thing, I thought that the surgery was over. I didn’t know what to say, and so I kind of just stammered and fumbled with words. When his assistant groaned, I realized it was a joke.

“Yes,” I said. “Let’s do the other side.”

When it was all over and the deed was done, the surgeon and his assistant went about their business. I stood up, pulled my pants back up, and gathered my wits about me.

While I was zipping up, my surgeon thanked me. “For being an artist,” he said.

I just sort of looked at him.

I certaintly appreciated the sentiment, but I wasn’t quite sure what to say. For one thing, it’s rare that people thank me for being an artist. It was also a bit difficult, at that moment, to take myself seriously as an artist, since he and his assistant had just been examining my unmentionables and working with my testicles for the past half hour.

As I finished girding up my loins, he moved on to another subject, post-op stuff: use gauze to keep the area clean, stay off your feed, use an ice pack for a half hour on, then a half hour off, etc.

All things considered, it all went quite well. I’ve been blessed with excellent health (knock on wood), so I haven’t had many medical procedures in my life, only two, really, and those two were probably worse, in truth, than the vasectomy. It was much more nerve-racking to have lasik surgery — when they clamped my eyeballs open and I had to stare up at the laser as it fried tissue in my cornea.

And the vasectomary wasn’t quite so traumatic as having my first prostrate exam. Since I was completely uneducated as to what happens during a prostrate exam, I was clueless as to what my doc was going to do with his fingers, once he put the gloves on. That whole thing came as quite a shock, as you might imagine.

In any event, it’s over. The vasectomy is behind me.

We all limp on.

This is one post where you’ll have to excuse me for having no pictures. If you’ve stuck with it, and made it this far with the post, then you probably have far too many visuals, as it is.

Published by

Jonathan Erdman

Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability.

5 thoughts on “Snip, snip”

  1. I so wish more men would do this if they weren’t sure they wanted children. It can be reversed generally if something changes, and it’s much less invasive than what women deal with just for a routine women’s health exam, nevermind the probing one deals with when pregnant or the horrid side affects of so much birth control. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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