“If either the absence or the presence of novelty is equally annoying, it would hardly seem that either could be the true cause of despair.”
~ Bertrand Russell
I talked to my snipped friends, did some research and picked the “best” doctor in Ventura, California. I will call him “Dr. Gold.”
Here is my recollection: I arrived on the prescribed day and was prepped before being given a sedative. I was alone on a hospital bed wearing a cloth gown with my junk and jewels proudly displayed and in walked the 14K doctor with a second doctor.
He asked me if it was acceptable if the second doctor assisted him. I said “yes.”
That “yes” was a decision I still regret.
Dr. Gold stood on the one side of the bed and talked his way through as he performed the procedure on the left side and then talked the other doctor, I’ll call him “Dr. Butcher,” through the procedure on the right, allowing Dr. Butcher to actually do the work.
So—the doctor I have researched and selected, the doctor I am paying for, snips my left and someone with limited experience, surgically altered my man macadamia on the right.
A vast difference for my Vas Deferens.
Dr. Gold told me in the pre-procedure meeting that I might have residual pain, possibly for a lifetime. He also said that had never happened to any of his patients.
It happened to me.
Apparently, Dr. Butcher nicked a nerve.
Fun facts: The Cremaster muscle surrounds the testicle and attaches to the internal oblique, contracting for protection. Females have this muscle too, although undeveloped. Cremaster is derived from a Greek verb meaning “I hang.”
It has been 20 years since my vasetomy and rarely does a week go by without some degree of discomfort. Sometimes it is a nagging twinge, sometimes a dull ache and sometimes it is more severe, radiating up into my abdomen, making me nauseous.
In the moments of intense sensation, I long for the twinge. When it is a twinge, I wish to be pain-free.
I deeply resent Dr. Gold for putting me in the position to make a decision 30 seconds before surgery after I had been prepped and medicated.
I am disappointed with my 32-year-old self for not standing up and saying,
“Are you nuts? F#[email protected] no, that’s not okay!”
My 53-year-old self is fearful that the pain is going to continue, get worse or impair my ability to enjoy life’s carnal pleasures. When I am focused, immersed and passionate about what I am doing, the pain is background static, easily ignored, regardless of its intensity.
I have come to understand that I create labels and stories about pain when I am looking for excuses to be distracted.
Subjectify: Proceeding from or taking place in a person’s mind rather than the external world. Formed, as in opinions, based upon a person’s feelings or intuition, not upon observation or reasoning.
Objective pain, subjective label.
Depending on what else is going on in my environment, my testicular pain is either very important, of equal importance, discounted or forgotten.
I subjectify the blame, resentment, self-disappointment, humiliation and guilt.
Compared to nausea, a twinge can be a great thing or something not given much thought. If I have been pain-free, the twinge can be deflating and defeating.
The objective amount of sensation in the twinge is the same regardless of how I value it. I am deciding in every moment how much attention I want to give my current set of sensations.
And that is just as true for everything else in my life.
Pain, pleasure, history, trauma, relationship, future, they all have only the value I choose to give them.
I have the ability to classify my environment according to my intentions and the direction I want to go. I can allow things to diffuse and distract me or I can let them be, without giving them attention.
I have the ball, I can create a chain and clasp the shackle—or I can choose something else, something interesting, fulfilling and fun.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Sanders