Saturday, July 30, 2011

Anesthesia is for Pussies

My first mistake was going to my vasectomy alone. I'd scheduled it on a Friday when my family was out of town, and because I drove myself, I couldn’t have general anesthesia.

The vasectomy wasn't a mistake. We'd wanted two children and we were blessed with two beautiful girls. We were done. Any other form of birth control was either a pain to deal with or had serious health risks for my wife. So I didn’t give a lot of thought to the procedure, at least until I got to the clinic.

After all, my father had one. If he was to be believed, he had it done within minutes of laying eyes on me.
I was escorted into a room that had as it's centerpiece, a large stainless steel table that looked a lot like the tables they used to perform autopsies. A thin blanket was spread out on top of the table and there was a disposable paper sheet often seen in regular exam rooms. There was also a pillow, which I thought was very considerate. I was told to change into a standard ass hanging out the back hospital gown.

My general practitioner came in and once again assured me that this was a simple procedure and he had performed it several times. Then as he laid out his instrument of torture, he asked me if I wanted a mirror so that I could watch. The idea was intriguing, but I passed, and it was the only intelligent decision I made.

"You'll feel a small poke," he said, and I tried not to imagine scenes from prison movies. I felt the needle as it entered my scrotum and it didn't hurt that much, first on the left and then on the right. He waited a respectful time and the asked if I could feel anything. I couldn’t, and he made two small incisions with a scalpel.

"Ok, now I'm going to deaden the tubes and surrounding area. This might hurt."

Most of you know, that doctors are full of shit. They do things that hurt and so are masters of understatements. If it's 'just a little prick', it's going to hurt. If he tells you it might hurt a little, it's time to grab the fucking table and bite your tongue so you don't scream or whimper like a little girl and shame your ancestors. I may have gurgled a little, because he assured me he was almost down when in fact he was only half done.

He gave the Novocain time to work and I was relieved. It was basically over. The Novocain had deadened my sac and I didn't even feel the blade that cut me, so I was over the worst right?


For some reason, it didn’t take. I found that out when he secured a clamp onto my left vas deferens, which is the fancy name for the tube that carries a man's sperm from his testicles up to his Seminal vesicle as seen in the image below.

*Important note, my junk is bigger, especially the nuts.

My doctor noticed what he described as my 'discomfort'. Or perhaps he heard me when I said through gritted teeth, "MotherFUCKER!". Regardless, he noticed something was amiss and applied more anesthesia. It was no more effective than the earlier shots. He then asked if I wanted to quit and reschedule for a day when I could get general anesthesia.

I thought about it, and it sounded appealing. But I knew myself, and I knew that if I escaped his table, I would never come back. I heard my self tell him to go ahead. I was impressed with myself until I felt him cut the tube. It's a tough little tube and took about two very long seconds to get all the way through it. I felt the pain in my toes and in my scalp. My hands ached from gripping the table and I wished for one of those raw hide bites prisoners used to put in their mouths when they got whipped.

"I'm going to cauterize the ends so they can't grow back."

Here's an interesting fact. They use an electric device similar to a mini arc welder to cauterize human flesh. Simultaneously, I got to feel the burn as well as the electric jolt while smelling my own flesh burn. It was…a unique experience. I could feel myself getting a little shocky, but I kept breathing and trying to send my consciousness elsewhere. I got by telling myself it was almost over. I had done it, and it wasn't really that bad, right? Then my doctor said something that shook my confidence just a smidge.

"Ok, we're halfway there."

Repeat the same as above but this time I knew what was coming and what it would feel and smell like. Ten minutes later, he was giving me my instructions to take it easy. He'd apparently had men not take him seriously in the past, so he showed me a picture of a testicle swollen to five times it's size with blood because some macho man had decided he could play contact sports the day after his surgery. He clearly didn’t know me.

I'd already cleared my weekend, and had nothing more rigorous planned than walking to the bathroom. In retrospect, that journey was a bit long. I should have brought a mini fridge and a blanket into a bathroom and nested.

Confession time. In the months and years that followed, I told a few men that my procedure was no big deal. I did it solo and drove myself home. Anesthesia is for pussies.

What can I say? I'm a bad man.


  1. Wow, that sucks...but yeah, you did it. Cool points! I had mine done for the same reasons in 2008, after my third child was born. MY anesthesia (local) worked, and all I had to deal with was a slight tug and the sizzle during cauterizing. I didn't take the Vicodin afterwards or anything...just no running, jumping or marching for 30 days.

  2. King? Campbell? Laymon? Barker? Lovecraft? Forget about it, that was the most horrifying story Jimmy has ever read. You had Jimmy sweating and clutching his balls throughout the tale. Mothafucka, I'm a have to sleep with a night light on tonight :)

  3. You are an evil, evil man, boss! Could be worse though. An old friend of mine had the same thing done and yeah, the blow by blow account sounds familiar. Only thing is, he had it done in a surgery on the ground floor and the blinds were left open. People were walking in and out the hospital and getting a free torture show!

  4. I'd like to trade my coffee in for a stiff shot of whiskey now, please.

  5. There used to be a saying about a brave guy that goes something like, "He's got balls big enough to come in a dump truck." Yeah, um, that ain't nearly as cool as it sounds.

    When I had mine done, he didn't cut and seal the tubes with heat. Instead, he cut and then folded the ends over, clamping them shut with what look disturbingly similar to micro size hair clips.

    Of course, he gave the standard recitation of, "Don't lift heavy shit." Little did he know we had a baby (~5-6 months old, as I recall) I needed to take care of because my wife had to work that night. Yeah, um, he tipped the scales at 10.4 lbs at birth so there was quite a bit of heavy lifting that night....

  6. I didn't think it was possible, but Jim, you just made my balls twinge.