Going under the knife

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I recently had to go under the knife for an operation.

To the best of my recollection this is the first time I have had surgery. For two months prior to my appointment, the range of my emotions went from fearless to terrified and everything in between.

I began looking through my past; there were daily reminders that led me to my decision and I started to wonder if my life would ever be the same.

As the day quickly approached, I began making sure everything in my life was in order.

On the outside, I maintained a cheerful countenance and tried to laugh often, joking about the procedure, the recovery and life in general.

Friends and co-workers, for the most part, did a wonderful job helping me maintain levity to the situation. But occasionally I would run into someone I knew who would share a horror story, and again I would find myself doubting my choices.

The day of my operation, which was scheduled to start shortly after noon, I found myself so nervous I couldn’t eat and I had a hard time sitting still.

When I arrived at the facility and checked in at the front desk a nurse brought me out a small pill to chew so it would absorb and react faster. Did they know I was worried?

After I said goodbye to my loving wife Shannon, they led me back to the room where the procedure would take place. I considered running, but then I realized that would make me look like a coward, so mentally I decided to grit my teeth and bear it.

After stripping myself of my clothes and putting on a gown, they had me lay on the table, and when I looked up I saw the fluorescent lights had been covered with a picture of a cloudy sky that had a kitten, a Pomeranian with his tongue sticking out and some creepy-looking parrot-like bird looking down at me.

Was this some sort of mind game they were playing with me? Did they know I loathe most small dogs, I am not a fan of kittens and parrots are downright annoying? Was I destined to end up in some sort of hell with these animals?

Fortunately, shortly after I noticing the beasts that were looking down on me the doctor walked in — and there was no way I would make a break for it then, leaving my biscuits showing out the backside of the gown as the doctor, with some sort of Vincent Price-ish laugh, heckled me.

After the numbing, or possibly the Xanax they gave me kicked in, I found myself pleasantly relaxed although still creeped out by the beasts looking down from above.

After a short conversation with the doctor and some very slight tugging, the operation was complete. They sent me back out to my wife a mere 30 minutes after I entered the room, with a few prescriptions, a small cup and a set of instructions.

The instructions were the best part of the procedure. I had it — on official paper from the doctor — instructions to do nothing, keep my feet up, and keep a bag of frozen peas on the crown jewels for the weekend.

This was a big deal! With three kids afoot in my house and one on the cusp of learning to crawl, I had on official order — that may as well have been from the Lord himself — that I was to do nothing for the weekend.

The recovery wasn’t so bad, because the horror stories I was told leading up to it painted a very clear picture for me: follow the doctor’s instructions.

In two months, I will head back to the doctor to drop off a sample that will verify if the vasectomy was successful.

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