It took us a year, but we’ve finally signed on with a new insurance. We actually managed all this a few months ago, but opted to remain on our current COBRA insurance for a little longer. The change date has provided some motivation to attend to some business.
It was one of those business needs that brought us into the appointment where I sat and watched a young female doctor feel up my husband.
Talk about awkward.
We were counseled over and over again about the procedure. “It’s considered permanent,” we were reminded. “How many kids do you have now?” they asked again. Finally I showed them a video of Kate, one where she is Very Upset because we’ve asked her not to eat raisins out of the trash can. And followed it up with a recording of Will talking about Ninjas from Chinese who taught firemen to fight dragons (“they’re real, you know, really.”) in the 1740s.
“Right,” they said, “but who knows? You may want something different two or three years from now?”
*sigh* Look. We have eenie and meenie and Mama don’t want no mo’. Okay?
So they made the appointment. It was last Thursday. After a week of recovery, I’ve been granted permission to discuss it as long as I don’t use photographs.
What’s it been like? Well, ladies, in the 5 days following his procedure, my darling husband has made dinner 3 times, cleaned up the house twice, helped out with several loads of laundry, done the dishes repeatedly, and brought home flowers. Trade virility for dinner, clean laundry, and flowers? Yes, please!
As for the actual procedure, I wasn’t allowed in the room. The report from the nurses was that he spent the whole time chatting and laughing with the doctor.
Oh, THE DOCTOR!! The urologist! The guy who does exams and surgeries and consultations on men’s most sensitive bits?
So Dr. Woo worked on Paul’s wee whilst everyone cracked jokes and laughed away.
I sat in the waiting area, yapping on the phone to my friends who called all morning to check in on Paul. The conversations, I’m embarrassed to admit, involved a lot of giggling.
Guys, I’m sorry to laugh. It’s not that women don’t believe that this procedure involves discomfort. But the bottom line is that we child-bearing women don’t exactly feel that this particular duty of yours is all that big of a deal, comparatively speaking. We’ve spread our legs quite a bit more. I mean, you have this micro-procedure and then spend a few days sitting comfortably, blissed out on pain meds, with complete control over the remote (for the love, Discovery Channel! Do you really need to air Mythbusters 18 hours a day?!) By comparison, women go through our reproductive responsibilities with much greater wounds to heal, including whole organs and systems of organs to reshape and reposition. PLUS, at the end of it all, there is a tiny person who is either crying, pooping, or clamping down on our sensitive bits at 2 hour intervals 24 hours a day. Let us feel like we’re evening out the score a bit by giving us that giggle at your snip-snip. (I’m not heartless, you can still have the remote.)
But back to Paul. He had taken a few valium before reporting to urology but was still nervous. The nerves turned him conversational. He chatted with the doctor, Doctor Woo – and oh, the details one can discover! The wonders of the scrotal muscle and other random details, “hey, check this out, I know that feels weird in your back… if I pull harder, it’ll make you nauseous!” They even let Paul see the section of vas removed. The whole thing took maybe a half hour.
When I walked in, Paul wasn’t there. There was iodine on the chair and a small, tiny, practically microscopic drop of blood. Cauliflower started to grow in my ears. My poor Paul! Where was he?! I stepped to the side to hold onto the counter.
Then Paul strode in chipper and happy from the bathroom. We got our discharge instructions and were on our way. He practically waltzed out of the building. I remained dizzy and had to take a few deep breaths before driving home.
He made a lot of jokes about needing to buy a sports car immediately upon leaving the hospital.
Unfortunately, his discomfort set in after a few hours. It was easily managed with rest and drugs. He was a trooper over the next two days, as I had two back-to-back 10+ hour days of workshops – while he was alone with the kids. It’s now day 10 and he’s still pretty bruised, particularly along his left side where the vas was “deep,” according to Dr. Woo. But Paul is definitely healing. If he does a lot of walking and bending he gets sore, but feels better in the morning. He is concerned about some of the pain that remains and a potential difficulty with healing at the incision site (if the situation doesn’t change or worsens, he’ll call the doc back Monday or Tuesday). But all in all, it barely put him out of commission (a day or so) and the discomfort, even though it’s still hanging around, has not impacted our lives much at all.
It’s not over. First, we need to make sure that the whole discomfort thing (identified by Paul as muscle related and extending up into his left side) is a non-issue. Second, we need to make sure that he is, in fact, sterile. After 15 emissions we have to take in a sample to be sure he’s free of little X and/or Ys. A friend thought that it required ONE HUNDRED emissions before such test, and although Paul perked up a bit at this possibility, I confirmed: 15 is more than enough.
The most memorable moment for me was when Dr. Woo, kind and gentle Dr. Woo, clapped a hand on Paul’s arm before the procedure and said, “I’ve had it done. And I can say, man to man, that’s it’s no big deal.”
So there you have it. Dr. Woo, the Wee specialist, says it’s no big deal. And from our perspective, at least so far, we have to concur.
UPDATE, Nov. 2nd: Wound opened up to (stop now if you’re already into TMI territory) blood and puss. Paul called the good doc and they called in an antibiotic. No worries still, but at least Paul is feeling less like “man who called wolf” — hopefully incision site will continue to heal now.
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