Monday, June 26, 2006

This Friday, I'm having a vasectomy, or as I like to call it the Big Snip. That's actually a misnomer, since there are two snips involved, but my testicles are a package deal, so I think the singular is justified.

The first medical professional I asked about this was my GP at my checkup a month ago. He told me that fewer and fewer GPs are doing vasectomies. He said he had done one once and that I definitely did not want him to do mine. This was my first appointment with this doctor, and I found his candor refreshing. I have a feeling that my previous doctor, a grandfatherly type who often teetered on the precipice between folksy and dottering, would have told me he was able to do them, regardless of where the technique resided in his skill set. Give me a doctor that knows his limitations any day.

Before you can get a vasectomy, you have to go in for a consultation. First, they want to make absolutely sure that you really want to do this. They tell you repeatedly that, reversal procedures notwithstanding, you should consider this a permanent change. Next comes the video.

My favorite part of the video was the scene where a bunch of guys are hanging out at a pizza joint after a (heh) softball game. Our hero mentions that he's thinking about having a vasectomy. His buddies then proceed to bust his chops mercilessly, impugning his masculinity, asking if he's having a sex change, etc. Seriously, who does this? Who would have the (heh) balls to do this? Clearly, the video is meant to address the fears men may have about the reactions of their friends and family, but all the video managed to do was momentarily insert fears where there were no fears before.

Are guys really worried about a vasectomy somehow making them less of a man? I suppose there must be. I don't see it myself -- if anybody ever implied that to me, I'd just say, I'm going to have a doctor make incisions in my scrotum, slice the tubes inside, tie them off, and stitch up the wounds. Then I fully expect to spend the weekend with my testicles the size of grapefruits -- and that makes me a wuss how?

Look, if you really want to make men feel better about it, how about offering to let them get a tattoo at the same time? Flames? 8-balls? I'd go for fuzzy dice myself. Of course, they'd just have to tattoo the dice -- the fuzzy part kind of takes care of itself. Not that I would need that anyway. I'm completely cool with my masculinity before, during and after this. Moreso even.

Hell, for the first time in over twenty years, I'm going to wear an athletic supporter. I haven't done that since the first week of high school gym.

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