I’m the kind of person that believes that the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is just a pile of nonsense. Prevention is everything! And especially when it comes to procreating, when you’re a guy who just has no interest at all in it! Thus begins my odyssey.
I’ve been bothered with chronic epididymitis most of my adult life, with pain ranging from barely noticeable to flat on my back in ER wanting to rip out the offending part with a spoon. Needless to say, the performance was an issue during these times and condoms were certainly of no assistance. The thought of unplanned pregnancy was always lurking in the back of my mind which was also of no assistance in the performance department. So, what other option does a guy have but to entrust his most precious possessions to a (hopefully) skilled professional for alteration?
Broaching the subject with my GP resulted in a “no way for a single, childless guy under 40. Are you nuts?” response. And, knowing my medical history, his quick pinch of the epididymis would send me writhing. He had made his case or so he thought. He did refer me to a urologist for the epididymitis, though, and he, unlike the many before him, gave me a very thorough check-up and discovered trichomoniasis. Something I could have had for years and could have accounted for much of my misery. However, in spite of my relief at the diagnosis and appropriate medication to cure me, the guy just creeped me out and there was no way I was going to even bring up the subject of surgery with him. Back to the drawing board.
Given my GP’s reaction, it was time to find a new GP. So happens that the new GP had just had his third son and was going to get done himself the following week and referred me to the urologist who was going to do him. Great! I do my research-most of it on this site and go into the consultation prepared. During his examining me, he finds the offending epididymis. The one that I thought had been cured because it hadn’t bothered me for some time. “Not as long as that’s acting up” was the reply. Needless to say, I was somewhat discouraged and resigned to my fate.
Getting on with my life, I began to aggressively treat various injuries I had received in a car accident some years earlier-hip, groin, sciatic problems. Going where no one had gone before, the physiotherapist hit a nerve somewhere that got the epididymis mentioned earlier just right upset, and me in agony! Taken aback, he asks with almost angelic innocence, “Have you ever had epididymitis?” I almost leaped off the table and kissed him. (Almost. Let’s not be silly.)
After about 6 months of therapy like that, I felt better down there than I had in years. I asked the physiotherapist if he knew of any reason why I shouldn’t get a vasectomy. He saw no problem. Dare I actually risk going for the Big Snip again? Damn right! I come to this site and find a doc nearby, who, to my relief not only would do the NSV I wanted but didn’t need a referral. Woo-hoo!
Premature. (Pardon the allusion) Not only did he not do NSV (he just used the site with his info on it for patient referrals), but his examination was crude, he insisted I remove my piercings, and he, like the first urologist I mentioned, creeped me out. Restating my preference for an NSV, he referred me to another doctor. She (and I mean “she” – first time I ever had a female doc!) was as helpful and knowledgeable as the previous one wasn’t. She did suggest I go under general anesthetic as my scrotum hangs close to my body, something nobody else had mentioned before, and it would be easier for her to get at the parts and there’d be less tugging, etc. My reply from Dr. Karpman confirmed her assessment. The thought of general anesthetic appealed to me less and less. Longer recovery, more bleeding, a drive out to the ‘burbs, etc. Back to my GP.
So happens that after he got snipped, my GP decided he’d branch out and do vasectomies also having done about 800 since I last saw him! (That’s all he does now on Thursday and Friday; I guess they add up!) I figured if he could give a needle as good as he did and he had 800 snips under his belt, I’d be good to go with him. He wasn’t convinced that an open vas was any better than a closed vas so I agreed to a closed. He did agree to go in through only one very tiny incision, though. He had no concerns about my piercings and didn’t even bother with an exam. I mean, after all, he had nursed me through more than one epididymitis episode.
His booking nurse and I have always flirted with each other and she managed to “find” an opening the next week, bless her heart! I shaved my scrotum two days before I was to go in just to make sure I didn’t cut myself or give myself a case of razor rash.
In lieu of general anesthetic, I took a valium 90 minutes before I went in and was just nicely mellow when, as patient #834, after we each put our hair in ponytails, I felt the first sting of the needle, this after he shaved me: he wasn’t impressed with my job, apparently. Perfectionist. (Believe me, in this context, you want a perfectionist ass!). Just 18 minutes later I was putting my pants back on and walking out with two specimen cups. The next morning was actually awakened by an erection so hard and strong I thought it would jump right out of me!
Fast forward two months after having given my first sample. “Swimmers.” Repeat. Fast forward one month. “Some swimmers.” Repeat. Fast forward two months. “Some swimmers.” Repeat.
This called for an office visit. “Some swimmers” was never more than six, so no surgical failure. “Apparently,” he summarized, “I have long tubes. Maybe they’re hiding out in a nook or cranny somewhere.” He has at least one guy a year who doesn’t clear out “normally”. One poor guy still showing dead ones after 15 months. Left with a lab req for a “cultured” sample, i.e. do it in the washroom right out the lab door and drop it off for the tech to look at immediately. Took a long lunch and headed to the hospital and did my duty. Spent all afternoon dazed and confused wondering about the results. Got home, the phone rang, and it was my doc.
Understand that, by this time, I was so frustrated with the process (who’d have thought “clearing the tubes” would be such a chore!) and tired of waiting to even get done because of the epididymitis, having to buy 6 boxes of condoms instead of only the two I’d thought I’d need, that when he said “You’re good to go!” it took a while to register. “You mean, I’m clear? I’m done?” I repeated that a couple of times. He laughed! Am sure they heard me whoop and holler for miles around.
A year after the vasectomy
Almost a year later, it’s like none of what I’ve written ever happened. It’s all been so surreal. Performance has been great. No fear of pregnancy a huge load off the mind. Undetectable scar. I still have the rare epididymis twinge, but it’s rare, and hardly noticeable compared to what it used to be.
My thanks to all the guys in the chat room who were of huge moral support to me-knowingly or unknowingly-through this adventure. My advice to any guy looking into this is to do your homework, insist on what you want, take valium before you go in, and look after yourself!
Update: May 29, 2011
It’s four years to the day that I took 20 minutes out of my morning to do “the deed” – this after what seemed to be a never-ending fiasco disproportionate to the event’s significance, as I wrote in my original submission.
After four years I have to stop and remember what it was like to ever have to be “careful”, with everything that entailed (i.e. condoms). Since getting done, my epididymitis episodes have been few and far between (purely psychosomatic? Perhaps, but I really don’t care – it’s great to be pain-free!) and have had none of the anxiety that overshadowed each new relationship, which makes it easier to even think of starting a new relationship.
I have two nieces and three nephews and am the coolest uncle on the face of the earth. And when they have an attitude, snotty noses, and dirty diapers I am more than happy to return them to their respective parents and return to my childfree life with great anticipation. Sterility totally rocks for me.
While the decision to take yourself out of the breeding pool shouldn’t be taken lightly, it was the best decision for me. I’ve never given it a second thought, never had a moment’s regret, nor wondered if I should have done it. The process of getting to that point was somewhat convoluted and complex, actually having it done and enjoying the results afterward has made it all worthwhile.
To all those guys out there who are, like me, somewhat less than paternal, once you’ve made the decision and are snipped, the finality puts your mind to rest and you can rest easy and really enjoy yourself.
Submitted by Tim
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