Sunday, December 17, 2006

El Juevos Grandes (WARNING- graphic painful truth)

So, I'm not sure why this story was requested, but ugly truths will be told. This story is not for the squeamish. This story is also not recommended if you are considering a vasectomy. Within the community of men I know, I have all but destoyed this industry.

In the spring of 2000, I had just started a new job and had a new baby boy with all requisite fingers and toes. In order to permit my sweetie to go off of birth control (wasn't agreeing with her blood pressure, etc.) I arranged to have the big snip. Now, at this point, I was a diet-control diabetic with a managed heart condition, and was in reasonably good health. I made an appointment with a urology group and scheduled surgery for the long Memorial Day weekend, with the theory that I would be able to recover and return to work that Tuesday afterward. I had some concerns about where exactly the sperm would go after the vasal canals were severed, but it wasn't a big hangup. Otherwise, things seemed sensible to this point, with the promise of unfettered access to nookie as the reward.

So I go to the outpatient surgery and it turns out that the doc in charge is an ex-Army doc who apparently a cowboy with a real thing for Remington bronze sculptures. I remember having mixed emotions about an ex-Army doc in charge. On the one hand, with the kind of volume the Army offers these "doctors", maybe he's learned valuable lessons about his craft, and has it down to a science. On the other hand, Army docs can be butchers and get away with sub-par work. Turns out, dealing with this guy was more like dealing with a large animal veterinarian. He had me sit on a cold metal plate (an electrical gound) as his tools were designed to cauterize with electricial current (sounds appealing, right?). Local anesthesia was applied, and a half inch or so cut was made in the middle of my nutsack. There are two vasal tubes to be severed- one per testicle or something, but with a bit of fishing, they can both be accessed from this central cut. The deal is this- the doc hooks one and pulls it to a point he can work on it, he cuts a length out of the tube and knots each end and then burns them shut. Fffffyowch! So, this is what Dr. Wyatt Earp does for/to me. I wore a jock strap home instead of my then routine, jokey type underwear, per my instructions.

The instructions were illustrated and hilarious. I think the same people that make the airline safety cards make these things. The image that I remember was a 70's looking handsome Dan kind of character sitting on a couch with a blanket over his lap and waving at people bringing him shit. I thought at the time it was ridiculous. No, I didn't go jogging or anything, but I didn't sit and stay put. I got up and did things for myself. Things didn't hurt. I was optimistic.

By Tuesday things were wrong. The package was mighty sore, and swollen. Not one to conceed to my health, I went to work and, as I had just started, met new clients. I was sweating and could only walk like an old woman with a walker/zimmer frame. What these people must have thought of me I can't imagine. It wouldn't have been appropriate to tell them that I was in testicular tauma, so I said nothing. Odd glances were proffered far and wide for the remainder of the week.

I spend the following weekend in bed shivering and fevered. My scrotum had swollen to a size larger than a softball. I went at some point for a follow up to the cowboy doc and was told that it looked painful (yeah- ya think?) and that it still might be okay with rest. No antibiotcs, questions about my diabetes, or the persistent fever. I missed the entire next week at work. I thought surely I'd be fired- missing a full week after only a short week of work? Fuggedaboudit. I spent ten days in bed bored to tears, sweaty and miserable. The next Monday, I tried to work again, but was dizzy and looked terrible. I couldn't keep warm in a heavy coat in the summer. I stood outside in my heaviest winter coat, and it was in the upper 90's, and I finally felt warm. People passing by were staring. My employer at least knew I wasn't bullshitting them. I went back to the cowboy on Tuesday and Schmoopie was with me. I was obviously in shock, and the staff at the cowboy's office were not seeing any of this as signifigant. Schmoopie asked if I shouldn't go to the ER. Well, okay- if you want to they replied. Off to the ER Schmoopie and I went. I'm admitted and am laying on a table in an ER room freezing and crying like a little girl. No one was there (including Schmoopie- I think she was dealing with the admittance Nazi). After 10 minutes or so, a male nurse came along and almost with a sneer asked "what's the matter with you?" You know- like "aww, didums hurt himself, de big burly man?" I didn't answer verbally- I merely pulled the sheet off to reveal my naked-from-the-waist-down anatomy, featuring a canteloupe sized scrotum, and an awkward related swelling that had begun overtaking my penis. This was the moment when having a male nurse made all the difference in the world. He literally shouted at people. One was to bring me morphine, another to bring a heated blanket and additional pillows. Things got into high gear in an instant.

I was given morphine (which by the way I recommend to the full- I LOVE morphine) and admitted. FInally the doctors were paying attention to my fever and blood sugar, which were horrible. Antibiotics were introduced and insulin four times daily. I'm now certain that I'd be sacked. I spent a week in the hospital without working. The thing about male genitals is that they are plumbed in such a way that fluids can flow to them more rapidly than away from them (this isn't just about erections, but it's a generalization that might shed some light on how my miserable scrotum could have become an inflated novelty item). So, part of the problem was literally the pressure. Enter Dr. Understatement. Dr. U has been coming in to keep tabs on my package, but short of looking for progress, hasn't been engaged. After two or three days in the hospital, the point of incision looked stretched to the point that it might reopen with a pop. More alarmingly to me, was that it was started leaking something that really freaked me out. It was fairly watery and the color of thousand island dressing (which I didn't like before this event). In my serioulsy drugged up state, I told the nurse that something was really wrong and could Dr. U be found in a hurry pretty please? He turned up shortly thereafter and said (no shit) "Oh look- it's weeping" Weeping? I'm weeping, I know, but what's the orangy shit leaking out of my grapefruit sized nutsack? There were other levels of worry that morphine hadn't put down too. The swelling was so severe that my penis had become engulfed in swollen tissue to the extent that when I needed to urinate, I had to make efforts to locate the end of my penis and hold back hot and tender tissue. It was like being uncircumcised and my foreskin was a water ballon. I was seriously worried at this point that I'd be unemployed and never able to have sex or urinate normally (if you call what I like to do "normal") again. Additionally, the morphine was sedating me to the point where I'd stop breating- sleeping or awake, which would be reflected in my pulse/ox reading and would lead to this sinewy German nurse running into my room and shaking the bejeezus out of me shouting "BREATHE!"

So, Dr. U announces that it's weeping, and he seems strangely chipper about all of this and wanders off to collect some things on the small metal TV dinner tray that they use in hospitals. Upon his return, he has a large syringe without a needle- just the plastic taper to where the needle would attach (think pneumatic squirt gun), some iodine (or betadine), and some hydrogen peroxide. I recognize all of these things, but couldn't imagine what he was up to. He mixed the iodine and hydrogen peroxide and then loaded up his syring with the mix. As a window into my thoughts at the time- who among us knows wat hydrogen peroxide does when applied to infected tissue? Yeah- I knew too, and could not believe what happened next. Dr. U lines up the needleless syringe to the barely-closed incision and SQUIRTS IT INTO ME. Well, for a half a second- nothing, then my scrotum inflated like a novelty baloon and I started shouting like I was on fire (despite the morphine). Then, as I'm shouting, the levee breaks, and a combination of thousand Island dressing, hydrogen peroxide, and iodine launch out of me like an overshaken two liter of soda. It shot out laterally and upward, covering Dr. U (good, he fucking deserved it for not telling me what the hell he was doing), the nurse, the wall, the television, the sheets, the floor- honest to God, it was everywhere. And it smelled too. Not badly, necessarily, but that it had a unique smell made matters worse in my mind.

Okay, so now I've got more to worry about, since my scrotum has split open and erupted. I couldn't tell you at that point if my testicles were still within me. They were on top of the television for all I knew. So, after cleaning up, Dr. U starts soaking a length of gauze in his potion of hydrogen peroxide and iodine and then starts SHOVING IT INTO ME. Something like six feet of 1" wide gauze, and then he leaves three inches or so hanging out. Fucking kill me now. I can't handle this. He calls this a "wick" and says it's important to keep the wound open and to draw the toxins out. Schmoopie was going to have to remove and replace this daily. Credit to her- she didn't flinch. I however fliched and then some. As a male. I guess I had some impressions of my anatomy rooted in how it feels (versus, say consulting an anatomy tome) and chiefly among them was that there shouldn't be opening in my scrotum into which things get stored. Would my balls fall out? Would squirrels take up residence in there? This was psychologically very upsetting.


So after my "wick" was installed, I was back to softball size and was sent home with drugs. Plus, to add insult to injury, they took away the morphine. So one more week at home and several wick changes later, I'm starting to mend. My penis is revealed to me again, as the tissue swelling subsides, and the persistent fever is gone. It was at this point I should mention that That Guy emails me a video of a woman in high heels violently stomping the shit out of some guys scrotum. There's a friend, huh? This and after my first month of employment, I had worked four days. While I didn't get paid, I also didn't get sacked. Four weeks after my start date I was finally ready to CAREFULLY return to work.

The long term affects of all of this were not insignificant. I became a full fleged diabetic after this- damage had been done to my pancreas presumably from the fever or infection. Welcome to the world of insulin and needles. That in turn led to some other issues with weight and a bevy of rotten side effects from the oral meds for diabetes. Ever since that surgery, I'm a boxers man. Jockey shorts might've seemed appealing given the support they can provide, but when you're toting around a grapefruit, you'll want the space more than the support. And realistically, the support is only of real value if you say, run somewhere. I only ran when it was from the cops, and that hasn't applied since I was underage. So, this was a sea change in my undergarment preferences. On the plus side, my genitals still function and the vasectomy was successful. I was supposed to go in twice and jerk off into a petri dish so they could look for spermazoa. I did this once, but all the Nurse Ratchett types there refused to lend a hand, so I only went once. I figured, if there was not any sperm in the first batch, the odds of any in the second would be effectively nil. Plus, if it didn't "take" there was no way hell I was going to repeat this process.

I knew other men who were considering vasectomies and they (I think) all declined after learning about my experience. In one instance I know that this led to friction between a husband and wife, because she wanted him to have one, and I permanently changed his mind (just by revealing details- not by lobbying). As a matter of fact, I wouldn't actively discourage any man from having one, but I would stress that they take it easy afterwards, even if they feel fine.

The moral of this story? Men will do anything if they believe it will lead to frequent, consequence-free, spontaneous sex.


Blogger Hammer said...


That sounds awful. Medical malpractice runs amok.

My dad had the cantalope scrotum after his vasectomy. The doc kept telling him mo problem.

I was about 4 years old, I put on my dad's work boots walked out into the living room and kicked him in the nuts.

I have never seen my dad cry before or since. Mom had to rush him to the hospital and I was scared shitless that I had killed my dad.

They fixed him up ok but he still tells me to this day not to let a doctor touch perfectly good nuts.

12:08 AM  
Blogger Hammer said...

PS: That was so well written that I cannot sleep. Everytime I close my eyes I see that foamy juice shooting across the room. Blarg!

12:43 AM  
Blogger La Cremiere said...

Goodness! I had no idea. I imagined that it was a painless walk-in and out surgery. I guess I would not ask my hubby to do that afterall.

6:50 AM  
Blogger Steven Novak said...

I read it...and I feel sorry for you...

But I'm gonna be honest...

You really didn't need to post that pic...


Not cool. ;)


7:34 AM  
Blogger Schmoopie said...

Um. After reading that I feel guilty for asking you to do that. Hindsight is 20/20. The frequent, consequence-free, spontaneous sex is wonderful though! You are a trooper!

10:13 AM  
Blogger Otis said...

Man oh man...I followed the link from Hammer.

May I say that I've seen a lot of shat and I've heard about a lot of shat but never, never, never ever, have I seen or heard of any shat like that with the peroxide injection.

My man you were full of pus. Please tell me at some point he put a drain in.

There are a sub-class of doctors that susbscribe to the theory that it's better to be lucky than good and I think this guy was a prime example.

Ask me about my Army Dentist...

10:23 AM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

OMG~~ What a fiasco! Hubby and I [after 5 kids] and losing our 6th..finally figured out what caused them and decided it was time to remedy the situation. Due to me being in the treatments for the big C... we went the route of his going in for the little snip snip. Our Dr. is an absolute NUT CASE [in a good funny haha way] and played a HORRIBLE trick on him lol.... I was sent to the waiting room altho I could hear all going on... tapes up hubbys manhood to his belly .. does the deed and then states to Bob... "ok here comes the hardest part"... RIPS the tape off... Cripes TALK ABOUT A MAN HOWLING.. I freekin PANIC and go running in... but by this time they are BOTH cracking up...sometimes I just don't get men/

10:26 AM  
Blogger Jeannie said...

My husband's ordeal was nowhere near what yours was. Doc turned out to be gay. He yanked the tube way further than it had to be. The husband was extremely sore after. But we had a fine GP who came to the house and gave him a shot of demerol and left a prescription for tylenol 3's. He lived. He refused to go for the sperm check but we haven't had any more kids anyway.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Kirsten N. Namskau said...

What an experience...I'm glad you survivled.

1:30 PM  
Blogger That Guy said...

you know, the next time you tell that story them balls will be as big as a soccer ball :P I remember the story and they might have gotten as big as a softball :)

and in my defense you hadn't told me the whole thing and I had already sent off the S&M vid prior to the whole story being told. I do feel bad... sorta.

I also got my V done, a few years after you and had no where near the trauma, although I had a nice egor like limp walk for the better part of a week while I recovered. I did however scare some friends over for a BBQ when I told them why we had lots of peas.... (a joke, very bad joke)

for whats its worth (be it 8 years late), sorry :)

1:33 PM  
Blogger Phoenix Ravenflame said...

There are rare occaisions that even I have no words for the situation... but AC-DC does:

I've got big balls
I've got big balls
They're such big balls
And they're dirty big balls
And he's got big balls
And she's got big balls
But we've got the biggest balls of them all

1:46 PM  
Blogger Stucco said...

Hammer- Thanks for the post of the week honors. At least something good came out of that miserable tale :P I hope no one was a fan of thousand island dressing prior to reading.

Helene- if you send a man down this path, take the extra effort to immobilize him for something like 72 hours afterwards. Promise him crazy monkey lovin' or whatever works for you, but keep him sedentary and things should turn out considerably better than they did for me.

Steven- I can see your point, but there were PLENTY of choices more inclined to disturb. I considered that one a good "fair warning" for the subject matter.

Schmoopie- All worthwhile my dear, although knowing what I know now, I think I'd stick to condoms :) Heh, that sounds funny- stick to condoms.

Otis- yes, this only reinforced my impression of Army docs. I really wonder what Dr. Understatement was expecting though. Here I am with a perspective uncorrupted by years of medical school and I saw that one coming... The drain you refer to was the "wick" left dangling through the original incision. Feh.

Cheesy- I really don't know what to think of ou ex or the doc. By any chance were either of them English?

Jeannie- I don't know but I might have chosen a gay urologist first- I mean, say whatever else you wish but a gay urologist could be assumed to respect the equipment. I too had the painful stretching of ligaments or tibes, and that actually lingered into the fall. I'd walk outside and the cold air would eventally get down there causing shrinkage, which in turn would make me cry and walk funny. I can sympathize with your spouse.

Kirsten- "That which does not kill us makes us stronger" or a diabetic. No one goes through life unscarred, although I think most people's scars are less icky. :)

TG- no worries. If you've got to be kicked when you're down, best that it's from a friend. :)

Phoenix- once upon a time, I may have had the big ball title, but thankfully it was fleeting. Big balls are only fun when they are metaphorical. :)

8:01 PM  
Blogger Scott from Oregon said...

You know, stucco, every time I look at your picture on your "avatar" I try to imagine what circumstance would give you that expression.

Now I know...

8:01 PM  
Blogger Nancy Dancehall said...

And O still wonders why I won't let him get one...

Hey, welcome home! How was Boston?

10:10 PM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

Hubby wasn't,,, he was Portuguese...Dr. is just plain evil!

11:04 PM  
Blogger Lexcen said...

Wow. You are one unlucky guy. I had the operation without any problems or complications. Just as well it was well before I read your article.
I even found the sex to be better afterwards. Truly sorry to hear what you had to go through.

12:45 AM  
Blogger Judith said...

I can understand what you where going through somewhat after my second child I had a section they cut my stiches with a scisscors which was produced from the top of the doctors pocket and as a result got an infection from hell (it poured out of me like stewed apple) the infection had me hospitalised for two weeks after, I got that 'wick' business until the 'hole' closed which took nearly 10 weeks and I had the top microbiologist of the hospital frantically searching for the right combination of antibiotics to ward of the infection, I was picking things up like a giraffe for six months!

2:27 AM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

I sense that this story will be haunting a future salad bowl of mine. Thanks!

9:56 PM  
Blogger slaghammer said...

It is alarming when things that are supposed to be inside your body end up on the outside. The moral to this story is, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” If I ever find myself with high fever, blimpy cods and oozing abscesses, there’s going to be some serious squeaking going on.

11:08 PM  
Blogger it's the little things... said...

Ugh...I'm over here from Scott. Though I don't have a scrotum, I'm feeling some awful pain where it would be if I had one.
You poor thing!

8:00 AM  

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