Back in January several science bloggers had an exchange that degenerated into discussion of the process and aftermath of the vasectomy.
Well, as PhysioProf is wont to say, today I will sack up, literally. As part of my gift to PharmGirl for her [significant] bday next week I will undergo the knife this afternoon to render me no longer able to contribute to the gene pool. Of course, I won’t be completely sperm-free until 20 to 30 post-operative ejaculations, the thought of which brings me great comfort. We have had one child and do not anticipate wanting any more – we got us a good one the first time! So, this was a long thought out decision and I had my consultation with my urologist two weeks ago – a retired Army doc, which made me a bit nervous.
Anyway, as a medical blogger, I will try to liveblog the process from my Palm Treo 700p at the Hospital-That-Tobacco-Built. While I hope it will distract me and relieve some of my anxiety, I’d like to post it on blog as a public service to other men who want to be selfish and make their wives have tubal ligation after the mother of their children suffered through birth(s). (I’ve blogged on PharmGirl’s complicated C-section experience and having my scrotum hacked into pales in comparison to the pain she experienced.)
Because the Movable Type interface doesn’t render on my Treo, I’ll be posting to the ScienceBlogs backchannel discussion forums with the idea that it will be posted on-blog later – my Sb colleagues can attest to the fact that these entries were largely blogged live. Note: For those who might be offended by an all-too-personal experience about me and my anatomy, please feel free to change the channel. For those who think I am a self-effacing lunatic, you are correct.
And for PharmMom, RN, I remember those dinner discussions where you’d come home from the urology office and tell us kids about the men who’d come in for their intraurethral papaverine injections because “they must have a big weekend coming up.” Surely you won’t be embarrassed that your son is posting this, particularly since this is a medical public service.
2:20 check in for 2:45 appt
3:02 bp 117/67
nurse: have you shaved your scrotum?
uh, nope, no one told me to
take off clothes. nurse: no not socks, we’re not operating there.
a single edged razor is brought in- doc says you should shave it dry. fucking lovely.
3:17 – taped penis to abdomen and set up surgical field. lathered down with ice-cold betadyne
doc comes in. 3 questions:
are you allergic to any meds? PCN
do you get faint giving blood or seeing blood? hell yeah
do you want a vasectomy today? Yes
3:47 procedure begins. much pulling on scrotum and squeezing to identify vas. warning the local anesthetic will sting. two injections into cutaneous tissue-slight sting. injections directly into vas felt deeper and radiated into lower abdomen but honestly not as bad as I antciapted
heard snip of 3-5 mm, pulling on innards (pressure but not pain). doc started asking about worlplace. told him about [controversial proprietary work] not being popular – he was not amsued and asks why anyone is opposed to such a thing. man has now exposed my vas deferens and is cutting it. I will not argue. smell buring flesh from cauterization. elapsed time for firs t ball: 7:48
2nd injections quick no warning. started cutting before totally numb. talked about doc being stationed in fla and colo before coming to [Hospital-That-Tobacco-Built]. total elapsed time from prep to finish: 20:48
[postscript: got confused by 7:48 above; my Polar RS200 watch reads 20:13.9]
script for tylenol #3 – pharm girl bless her soul gets it filled at hosp Rx
doc says let him know if swelling gets too bad. how big is bad? whatever worries you. uh, thanks
major vasovagal lightheadedness. ask for ice water. nurses remove surgical drape and point to an extrusion of skin I reconize as my penis, vintage age six. they ask me to remove tape mysef – thanks- hair not painful but skin on underside is screaming when tape comes off
need another glass of icewater. nurse slaps two gauze pads on either side of incision before I pull up requested tightie whities – was tlod my boxer briefs would be insufficiently antigravity.
still have to sit 10 more min with head between legs til enough blood gets to brain
arrived home 4:36 est. retrive ice gel pack from freezer. to bed. listen to npr. took t3. fearing pending hydrolysis oflidocaine. rest now. ice baby ice
It is now 7:50 pm and I have awoken from my codeine-induced sleep – no wonder Sertürner called the most prominent of these opiates “morphine” after Morpheus, the Greek god of sleep (gotta work natural products into this somewhere!). My lovely scienceblogger colleagues are asking for photographs and I have promised caliper measurements at some point. But sleeping with the icepack for 4 hr has rendered it room temp and I am now beginnng to experience significant discomfort.
Will sign off for now.
But the very serious part of this post is to educate men on how mild a vasectomy is relative to tubal ligation in their female partner. As I said, this is the least I could do in return for my wife’s true suffering in bringing our lovely daughter into this world.
If any male readers are considering the procedure, feel free to ask questions or express concerns.
Many thanks to my dear friends for all of the humor and best wishes.