Recently, I decided to have a spot of body modification done. Just a bit of work, not a lot. A nip here, maybe a tuck there, a stitch to hold things together. It's all the rage apparently, and lots of men have it done. Less women, for some reason.
I've had a vasectomy.
When I was in my twenties, I had a friend who was so adamant he didn't and never would want kids that he decided to get an 'ecotmy under his belt. He was a bit miffed that he had to undergo a few months of therapy and counselling to be certain he was one hundred percent sure, until the medical authorities responsible reluctantly agreed and allowed him the procedure.
This led to many years of hedonistic sex with a variety of interesting people, of which we as his peers were understandably envious. Ultimately, his newly acquired freedom resulted in a rather nasty dose of an STD that finally turned him into quite the advocate for condom use.
I wonder if the irony was a painful as the pustules.
So, as I approached my GP with my request, I had my arguments and rationale all sorted out in my head, rehearsed and prepared. The subsequent conversation went like this.
Me: "I'd like a vasectomy please."
GP: "Okay." Gets paper out of drawer. "Sign that consent form and I'll book you in."
Apparently, being forty with two kids does not elicit the concern warranted to younger testicles with more breeding potential.
So, last Friday, newly shaved and proud as a naked mole rat with a particularly good bean bag, I visited the surgery to be met by Nigel, a doctor I have spoken to at work on many occasions, who shook my hand and then fondled my nuts.
And this was just in the waiting room! Aha!
I went into the little side room where a nurse asked me to strip from the waist down, which I duly did. I also took off my socks, although I'm not sure why. Then Dr Nigel came in, talked me through everything and off we went.
And that was it. The initial injection smarted a bit, but after that it was simply a bit of tugging (not in the good way) and the very odd feeling of being able to watch bits of my own innards being exposed, cut and cauterised whilst I propped myself up on my elbows for a good view. It was all less traumatic than I thought it would be.
Nigel pointed out that I would be battered and bruised for a week or two, and to do absolutely nothing for the next couple of days. The nurse was very, very strict about this, lamenting the time she went to Tesco's after work and found a man who had had a vasectomy not two hours before doing his weekly shop.
Apparently, his whole lower body from the nipples down withered and died as a result, leaving him but a sad husk of a man, disconsolately wheeling his torso around on a skateboard muttering the word "plums" over and over again and being unable to satisfy his wife.
I suspect exaggeration, but I wasn't going to take any chances, setting myself up with baby sitters for a couple of days who were invaluable, allowing me do little else except watch films, look at Twitter and read blogs and words on my Kindle, which are a bit like books only made of electric.
I had also planned to do some blogging myself, but the combination of pain-killers and lethargy just isn't conducive to any sort of creative thinking or artistic endeavour, hence the dearth of posts over the last three weeks or so.
Four days later, and I took the single stitch out, realised the wound hadn't completely closed yet and glued it shut again. I've now got a bit of an ache and am still walking like I've lost my horse, but in general things seem okay, especially with the copious ingestion of over the counter analgesics.
So far, so good and, although the bruising is a bit disconcerting, I'm glad I've had it done. Seems only right that a chap take charge of his fertility after years of relying on prophylactics, female responsibility and brewer's droop to prevent babies.
What's that? You want to know about the bruising?
Of course you do. Everyone does.
Well, I like to think of myself as a subtle writer, delicately weaving gentle strands of description, using misty metaphor and ephemeral prose to entice the reader into using their own imagination to get my message across. I feel this is a skill I can transfer to the pictorial realm, and I shall bring such an abstract photograph to you now to describe the results of my procedure:
Do not worry if you don't "get" it at first. Dali had similar problems, but if you mull it over a few times, maybe discuss it with an educated friend or intellectual colleague you will, in time, understand my allusion, and your appreciation of it will be all the greater for having had to work at it.
In conclusion, ball ache is such a ball ache.