Thursday, September 3, 2009

Small Town Vasectomy, Where Everybody Knows Your Pain

Shortly after my daughter Susan was born, I decided that with 2 kids in 2 years it was time for me to get “fixed”. I figured, magnanimously, that seeing as how my wife was the one who had given birth, and it was my “equipment” that caused it, that maybe I was the one who should get “taken care of”.

Anyway, the surgery was outpatient, at the Kossuth County Hospital and only took about a half hour. It was scheduled for a Friday afternoon so that I could rest up over the weekend and be “back to normal” on Monday.

Kossuth County Hospital

At the appointed time, I checked in and was shown where the surgery would take place, changed into a gown and climbed onto the table. An orderly came in (male) and gave me a bit of a rundown on what was going to happen. Basically, 2 tiny incisions, snipping, stretching and tying. Didn’t sound too bad. Then he shaved me “down there”. Still no big problem.

A few minutes later the surgeon came in. I knew him pretty well from around town and my job running the local chamber of commerce. He was smoking a cigarette (that was when you could still do stuff like that). “Hey,” I exclaimed, “If you can have a cigarette why can’t I have one?”

So he gave me one of his, I lit up and we smoked. I think that he was just making sure that I was relaxed. Then, he had me lay down again, put on a mask, picked up a syringe and pulled the gown up to my waist, asking “are you ready for this?” To make this long story a bit shorter, it only took about 20 minutes and he was done. But I did discover that LaMaze breathing techniques help when you’ve got something going on that gets you a bit nervous and threatens hyperventilation.
Not quite the way it's done, but....

So I headed home, walking just a bit gingerly because the local anesthetic was starting to wear off. Everything went OK that evening although I mainly just sat in my recliner taking it easy. My wife helped out making sure that 2 year old Mike didn’t hop on my lap.

Obviously, this story isn’t quite told. Saturday was grocery store day. I had taken some ibuprofen and felt good. So, I took off for the local HyVee grocery store with Mikey, my 2 year old. I figured I’d only have to lift him up once to get in the cart and once to get back out and that there’d be no problem. Yeah, right!
Hy Vee, the main grocery chain in Iowa

We’re in the store, picking up the things on our list. Mike and I are carrying on a conversation like we always do in the store. I’m not moving really fast but I’m moving.

Have you ever noticed where a 2 year old’s feet hang when they’re sitting in a grocery cart? And have you ever noticed how they kind of like to swing their feet back and forth? Oh, yeah. He got me. Right where I was sore and tender. I saw it coming too. You know, in slow motion like in movie action scenes. I was like Jean Claude Van Damme when he’s fighting in slow motion and saying “Yeeee-Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh”.

And all of a sudden, I’m doubled over right in the middle of the aisle in HyVee. It was the freezer section. The kind where the freezers are waist high and open. I ended up boosting myself up and hanging my butt over it into the freezer just to try to cool off the pain. People were walking by me looking at me like I’m some kind of weirdo. Mikey thought it was funny and was laughing. All I could do is scrunch up my face and groan.
Please note the relative position of the kid's feet to the Dad's "groin"

Someone helped me out of the freezer. I stood with my hands on my knees panting like someone who’s just finished running a 440. Mikey reached out to me offering to share a well gummed, half eaten cookie. I smile and croaked out, “no thanks”.

I slowly, slowly like an octogenarian finished the last little bit of shopping pushing the cart with my arms extended as far in front of myself as possible to stay clear of the little guy's deadly feet.

We checked out, the bagger helped load the car and I drove home.

As soon as I pulled into the driveway, my wife came out of the house. “Are you all right,” she asked? “Sure, why?” was my response as we let Mike out of the car and went inside, groceries temporarily ignored. (They walked inside, I shuffled).

“Well, I’ve had 3 phone calls in the last 10 minutes from people asking me if you’re all right and saying that you had some kind of accident at HyVee.” (Bear in mind that this was before cell phones).

Looking up, I said, “Well, Mikey got me.”

“What do you mean he got you?”

“He accidentally kicked me and I ended up hanging my balls over the edge of a freezer,” was my response.

By now she’s trying not to laugh. The phone rang. She picked it up listened for a few seconds and said, “Here, it’s for you”.

“Walt, this is Al.” was what greeted me. Al was the general manager of HyVee in Algona. “Heard you had a problem in the store today, are you OK?”

“Yeah,” I replied, “I just got kicked by my son while he was in the cart.”

“Oh, that’s right. You had your vasectomy yesterday. Doc told me about it…..”

So, I spent the rest of the weekend resting up my “parts”. Skipped church the next morning and got ready to hear about my “incident” at HyVee incessantly on Monday. The only thing I could do was laugh!

And that’s life in a small town. Everybody knows you. Everybody knows your business. You know, if I had to choose, I guess I’d choose that rather than the impersonal anonymity that seems to be the norm today where no one knows you, or cares to know you.

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