August 20, 2015
Before my wife died, at age 35, due to metastatic breast cnacer, we talked about me getting a Vasectomy.
For those enviable readers, for whom I need to explain what a Vasectomy is; it is a procedure where the doctor cuts the Vas Deferens, so the sperm doesn’t leave the body during intercourse or ejaculation.
(NOT TO SCALE)
In other words, it is a form of anatomical, but reversible, Male Birth Control.
I agreed with my wife in principle, but still felt somewhat reluctant, even though I truly felt no inclination towards having more kids.
We already had 2 amazing daughters.
Well, at least my wife was pregnant with our second, when we started the negotiations.
Soon after our second daughter was born, vasectomies fell by the wayside, as we had bigger fish to fry.
Fast forward past that painful story, to yesterday…
Kerri, I am happy to report that the deed has been done.
It seems so unbelievably selfish, for me to have had anxiety, about this relatively simple procedure.
I mean, seeing what my wife went through, with chemotherapy, radiation, and gamma knife?
Not to mention, just daily life with that uninvited slob guest cnacer, draped all over the insides.
And even if she didn’t get the worst kind of cnacer, the kind that kills you, and even if our life remained within those 2 standard deviations of normal, my stubbornness was still childish.
The amount of possibly embarrassing, and definitely uncomfortable medical procedures that women have to endure, even when completely healthy, is overwhelming for most of us XY’s to ever imagine.
Seeing how vulnerable and exposed my Bunny was, when delivering our 2 beautiful girls, was almost surreal to me, even though I could tell it was like a car wash to the professional Doctors and Nurses in the room.
No one has actually ever seen me poop besides me.
The amount of stuff flying around a delivery room was more exciting and nerve wracking, than Circ Du Soleil.
I remember my male friends and I, discussing the upcoming Digital Rectal Exam, as we neared that magical age of Back Door medicine.
We were imagining getting Goosed in some Top Gun volleyball scene, at age 40.
And the Iceman fear was related to a single Viper slowly slid, with lots of jelly, into an orifice that has passed 3 course Migs over relatively short periods of time.
Yet, we were still afraid to Buzz the Prostate Tower.
If we men, at age 40, feel violated by that, I cannot imagine how a female teenager endures a pap smear, with a speculum.
(ALSO NOT TO SCALE)
I feel like the only pussy here, is me.
So I skipped the Pre -Op Exam, and met my Human Veterinarian at his office, ironically enough, situated beside the ‘Nutty Club’s’ main warehouse, in downtown Winnipeg.
If that ain’t a subliminal phallus, I am a Freud.
The accoutrements of being neutered are pretty decent, actually.
There was a nice waiting room, with a brochure advertising over 20,000 successful procedures by my guy, and a nurse to walk me through the details of sterility.
One final ejaculate of ink onto the cellulose, in the territorial markings of my signature, and it was all Kosher.
I was asked to undress ‘all the way’, which immediately triggered a knee-crotch-jerk reflex.
So I replied, ‘my underwear too?’
In retrospect, I wonder if I was trying to tell my Prom Date that I wasn’t sure I was ready.
But this particular chaperone had 4 more engagements to go, on this day alone.
So, pretty soon I was lying naked from the waist down, as my shirt was the clothesline for the clip attached to my buddy, so he would stay out of the way.
It wasn’t until he was injecting the freezing, using a space age, no needle device, that I felt a sense of castration anxiety.
He had already asked me several times whether I knew I was sure, and I was.
But still, just thinking about losing the ability to procreate, cannot help shift oneself, to the other side of the life cycle.
Incidentally, the no needle device feels like someone is playing a game of ‘knuckles’ with your nuts, and you have to endure 4 torturous raps, which would grab a yogic master’s attention.
These units of pain of course, are measured on Male Pain-Scale (PS), and rate about an 8.
The female PS starts at our 8, but they label it a 1.
There is no Male PS number for childbirth.
After about a minute, the freezing kicked in, and he got started, by making a small hole in my Hacky Sack.
During this time he put on an episode of Home Improvement, from 1994.
The right side went pretty quick, and he was done, by my estimation, a bit prematurely.
The only complication was that unpleasant smell, of some part of yourself being cauterized. I was warned about this, but had forgotten to premedicate with Vicks Vaporub.
I did learn that I would not attend a Cannibal’s Barbecue.
Then he started on the side I prefer to hang out on, even politically.
At one point, he asked me where I grew up, which I immediately recognized as a problem.
Not that this wasn’t a perfect time for psychotherapy, but rather, I knew he had no interest in my roots, since he was taking away all future possibilities.
So I replied, ‘Oh, do you have a little bleeder’, trying my best to sound humble.
I watched his pupils, to see if their increasing radius would betray more information, but they remained shark-like, and immobile.
He was a pro, and things were fine, so I described where I lived, when I was small.
After that, things went smoothly, and we talked throughout the procedure.
The entire procedure lasted about 8 minutes even though I am pretty sure I could have gone longer.
I never once thought again about the fact that I was no longer a member of the procreating version of our species.
Since I didn’t get to see the entire episode of Home Improvement, I was pretty curious.
Before I left, I thanked him for the procedure, and listened to the follow up advice.
‘Y’know, I have watched that video over 10,000 times’, he said to me.
I asked him, ‘So how does it end? Was Tim happy with how it turned out?’
‘I don’t know’, he replied, ‘I never watched the ending’.
Simon Trepel, MD
Simon Trepel, MD FRCPC, is a practicing Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, in Winnipeg, Canada. He is an Assistant Professor, at the University Of Manitoba, in the Faculty of Medicine, and the Co-founder of the GDAAY Clinic. He is, more importantly, the proud Father of 2 beautiful Daughters. He writes in his spare time about things he knows something about, and occasionally about things he doesn’t; like Yoga, and Italian flavored coffees. The Vasectomy in question ACTUALLY occurred on August 19, 2015.
Check out his Blog, called Simon Says Psych Stuff, at