“Well,” start I, “it all started when we decided we wanted to start a family. We’d been married for a few years, we were pushing thirty and we both wanted children; so, we stopped using birth control. We weren’t, ‘trying to have a family,’ all in caps, but rather figured we’d let nature take her course. So, we did. And we waited, and we waited, and then we waited some more.
“After a year Pat says, ‘I was talking to Ehrlich,’ that was her OBGYN back in Atlanta, ‘and he wants you to bring in a sperm sample.’ I’ll leave out the details on that part,” I add with a smile. “Suffice it to say that when he examined my little donation under a microscope he discovered that I had both a low count and what few I had were terrible swimmers; very poor motility. Doc Ehrlich tells Pat that I should see a urologist and so she sets up an appointment for me.
“I’m a kept man, by the way,” add I as an aside. “She does all the heavy lifting.
“The Urologist, I have no idea what his name was, this was early in 1990, whole lot of water under that bridge! Examines me and tells me that I have hydroceph- wait! No! Not That! I started to say hydrocephaly! I mean a vein wrapped around my testicle that heats things up too much which makes for a low count and bad swimmers. The solution is to operate.”
“Varicocele!” hollers window seat.
“Bingo!” holler I. “Thank you. Somehow the word just went away. By the way, we could play tic-tac-toe on my groin. Varicocele, I also had a hydrocele when I was an infant and two, count ‘em! Two hernias! But the hernias were later. So, anyway, the doctor starts to explain the surgery. And as I said, this is 1990 and of course laparoscopic, minimally invasive is just getting started. He tells me that most people do the surgery under local anesthesia and then he starts describing what he’ll have to do. Using pictures. And charts. And I literally tell him to stop and lie down on the floor of his office.”
“You are kidding!”
“No! I think my blood pressure must have dropped to like forty over ten or so. So, for me, we will definitely do general.
I change to a slower pace and ask in a conspiratorial tone, “Have you ever had a tranquilizer?”
“Well, up to that point I never had. Pat drives me to hospital, we check in and I’m given a tranq. Oh. My. God. Amazing! I swear to God that all my troubles went away. If I’d known about tranquilizers I wouldn’t have been worried. Hell! I could have performed my own surgery! ‘Okay, doc. Just draw a line where you need me to cut and I’ll get right to it.’ I swear that if someone had told me that they had to execute me my reaction would have been, ‘Bummer. But, I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.’ No wonder people get hooked on drugs.”
“No wonder indeed,” agrees window.
“So, I kiss my darling goodbye, get wheeled away on the gurney, get gassed and then an unknowable span of time later I begin to crawl out of the fog. Usual post-op stuff. The incision was big, the recovery went fine but was painful and Pat pushed me to get up and move, move, move; which I did even though it hurt, hurt, hurt. By the way, never go see a comedy after surgery. We went to see “Look Who’s Talking” with a friend? Incisions, stitches and staples do not make for pleasurable laughing.
“So, time passes and Pat says to me, ‘You are not going to believe this. I think I’m pregnant.’ Now that may seem like the surgery was exactly what the doctor ordered, because it was, except for one itty-bitty little detail. I was under a strict post-surgery no-fly regulation. My little sweetie and I had not had sex since the surgery which means, dot-da-da! That she got pregnant the night before the surgery! How’s that for irony?”
“Wait,” says window, “really?”
“Yep. Doc never said impossible, just highly unlikely. The good part is we got son number two out of the deal; he may never have come along if I hadn’t gone under the knife.”