How I Knew I Was Ready For A Vasectomy

Most black men or any man will hear the word vasectomy and the first thing they do is groan and run away. Why is that? Here I was sitting and thinking about getting that procedure done and terrified at the same time. As kids we were taught that getting hit between the legs meant immeasurable pain. Luckily, I never had to learn that lesson the hard way. Here I am at the age of 32, getting a vasectomy.

            I arrived at this decision based off a few factors: age, health, risks, and benefits. I have two children, a girl and a boy in that order. My wife and I had the discussion about kids early in our dating phase. She wanted two and I said that’s how many I want! Winner winner! We wanted one of each gender and God blessed us with both. Now had we had two girls I think we both would’ve been on the fence for trying a 3rd time to get our boy. God heard our hearts and delivered the most beautiful children to us.

            Both pregnancies were very similar in most ways, but the woman’s body is very resilient. My wife carried both for nine months and I was there to see all the ups and downs, along with the aches and pains. Something I really didn’t have a worry for in terms of myself as I wasn’t bearing our children. I did gain some weight the first time around, but overall, not much of anything changed for me physically or mentally. Other than realizing a whole human is about to change your lifestyle it was all a waiting game. Both deliveries were problem free. Labor was long the first time and the second was about half the first. I watched my wife push out two tiny humans and gather the strength to walk back up the stairs to our home a few days later. All I could think was wow! Just imagine how much repair the female body has to do in a short amount of time to get back in a mobile state. You carry so much extra weight during the pregnancy, give birth and now have to return to “normal”.

            The woman’s body is never the same after pregnancy and delivery. All I could do is help her move around, try to make her comfortable and help bathe her. I took pride in helping my wife and mother of my children get back to a new normal. Thus, the question comes to mind, are we done having children? It took three to four months of attempts before we conceived Juliette and just shy of 4 weeks for Jesse to be conceived. If we played the infamous pull-out game, I’m 100% confident that my flawless record would be smashed if we played that again after she healed from the second delivery. So, what did we do? We talked, we bought condoms and we were both on the same page. We are blessed with two beautiful healthy children, we are good. All I could think about was would she want to go through pregnancy a third time because, during various stages of her trimester’s things seemed to be worse than pushing the child out. Few times at random I would ask are you sure your fine with two children? She would say, “Yes babe, I’m sure I’m done.” Now that we know were on the same page.

How can we take better steps towards an unplanned pregnancy?

            There are many options for the woman. There’s birth control in the form of pills, Depo Provera (the shot) and the IUD. For the man you have condoms or vasectomy. Instantly we went for the condoms but then I thought there’s still a chance. Vasectomy was something I heard about, knew the process of and quite frankly was somewhat scared of. So, it was time to do some research! I called my dad and spoke with him on his experience and it was pleasant. I spoke with another good friend of mine and he had a great experience as well. Next, I browsed a few reddit forums and came across mostly positive reviews very few had bad experiences. Then, I consulted with good ole YouTube to watch a few videos of the procedures. I came across the no-needle, no-scalpel method vs needle/incision method. After all my research I was ready. Normally, Tiarra sets up all my appointments, but for this she told me that I needed to do it for myself so I couldn’t say, “You made me do it!” Thus, I set an appointment with my general physician and he referred me to Dr. Joseph Pazona in Nashville, TN.

            The first appointment was just a simple consultation to see if I was a good candidate. Of course, in my mind it was just going to be some questions and a health check. He explained that he does a no-needle, no-scalpel procedure.  Right before it was over, he said ok drop ‘em and let me see. I obliged while trying not to make eye contact and he said, “You are in great condition so I’ll ask one more time. Are you sure?” I nodded and then we set up the appointment to have the procedure done. Dr. Pazona answered all of my questions no matter how minute it could’ve been. He made me feel comfortable that he would be very careful and effective when the time came.

  The date was set on a Friday, in order to have the weekend to recover. I bought bags of frozen peas and I spent the whole week psyching myself out. I kept busy by working on things to get the jitters out. Friday is now here; my wife dropped me off and in I went. I had on my jock strap in preparation to hold my soon to be injured jewels! I speak with the receptionist and I’m signed in.  A few moments later Dr. Pazona asks me to come to the counter. He explained this is day 28 not day 30. The appointment was supposed to be set 30 days from the consultation date per insurance requirements for it to be covered. Now it was rescheduled for Monday. Of course, I’m slightly annoyed, but more so relieved. However, now I can enjoy Father’s Day weekend not stuck to a couch. At this point my mind is going two different directions. Is this a sign that it’s not meant to be done? Or is this just a minor blip in scheduling? One thing was for sure, all the nervousness I had on that Friday was gone by Sunday. As I went to sleep Sunday night to awake Monday for the procedure, I was more ready than ever to get this done.

Procedure Day

             I arrived to the office and check in. The nurse called me back to begin prep. I laid on the table, the nurse covers me up and lays a really warm towel on me. First thing I said, which I probably could’ve kept to myself, “You see all the crazy stuff huh?” She let out a small laugh and set up the laughing gas for myself to get started. I took a few deep breaths of the laughing gas and thought to myself,” Man this laughing gas is probably a waste of money. I’m not laughing at all.” Then I let out a big HA! Then I laughed at myself.

            Dr. Pazona enters the room and now its go time. I asked how his day was so far and he was in good spirits. For me, the laughing gas didn’t do much to make me laugh. However, it did relax my mind. In the background he had a satellite radio playing some soft rock. Some ACDC, Aerosmith, and Heart. I began basically interrogating Dr. Pazona as he started.

            First, he stamped on some numbing solution and began to make a small break in the skin. During the procedure we had a whole conversation about how he got to this point. From his education, he worked under another doctor and eventually got his own practice. Recently he took a trip with his wife to renew their vows. When he talked about his urology practice, it was said with a great amount of pride and passion. He truly cared about what he does and his results with all his clients. I asked if he had a vasectomy done himself and to my surprise he said no! He said that he wouldn’t do it on himself, but he knew of a doctor who did perform it on himself. It would be quite hard to sit crouched over performing that on yourself I’d imagine. He said unless he finds a doctor as good as him, he likely wouldn’t have it done. I probably talked the whole procedure just to keep my mind off of it. During the severing of the vans deferens, I never really felt any actual pain. It was more of an uncomfortable tug in the groin area, but not enough for me to want to jump off the table. Then, after about 3 songs he was all done. Followed with a quick cleanup, a goodie bag with an ice pack, some homework and I was ready to go! I thanked him and the nurse and walked back out to the car as if nothing had even happened.         

The ride home was fine, I’m assuming due to the numbing medication. I walked up the stairs and gently sat on the reclining couch. I relaxed with the ice pack and just enjoyed some tv. There wasn’t any pain at all, just a bit of uncomfortableness when moving. Throughout the day I just took sessions of the frozen peas to just keep it numb. I had some pain medication Dr. Pazona prescribed, which made me drowsy and to go to sleep. As some of you may know I’m a severe night owl and my mind will keep me from sleeping. So, the three days in recovery was probably the best rest I’ve had in quite a while. Tiarra tended to my every need and even Juliette helped! Doing normal tasks like using the bathroom and showering wasn’t bad at all. If you ease in to it then you’ll be fine. There may have been some minor swelling since it was a procedure, but overall, I’d say it was a 3/10 on the pain scale. The following week I took it very easy because leading into the vasectomy I was already dealing with a sciatic nerve flare. I resumed activity after about 9 days and in about 30 days everything felt 100% back to normal. After completing the assigned homework, I sent in a sample and got the all-clear confirmation. At the time of me typing this blog it’s been around three months post op and everything is as normal as before.

  

Tiarra made me a get-well bag with all my favorite snacks to enjoy over the weekend.
She had jokes as well!

         As a man who had the ultimate form of birth control implemented, I implore more men to get it done as well. There’s a lot of information available about it and it doesn’t mean the end of your manhood. There’s lots of stigma and more misinformation about side effects (if any) that causes many to not even consider it. Our women go through so much during pregnancy, that at the very least we can do our part. They go through 9 months of carrying a child, hours of labor, and countless hormonal changes. A vasectomy is an under 20-minute procedure with little to no down time. I’d say it’s a more than fair trade off to having your significant other on birth control. Now for those who aren’t sure please continue to practice safe sex. If you and your mate are sure that you are done having children, please get the procedure done. Few days of rest for a lifetime of assurance. I have no regrets having it done and if it were a repeat process, I’d do it again. 10/10 recommend.  

Here’s links to Dr.Pazona’s website (Nashville, TN based), and for more information plus a video (mature audiences only) of the procedure he does click here.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to reach out.

Thanks for reading!

J.P.

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