Tag Archives: vasectomy reversal

A couple of things

screenshot.13

Sorry if the pic bothers anyone. It’s just a relief to see so many more in such a short time. If you’d rather not see it, just comment and I can remove it.

For a long time I’ve called this 30-something guy’s journal – mostly about bipolar II. In less than a month I’ll no longer be in my 30’s and I don’t write mainly about Bipolar II anymore, so I need to come up with a new name for this little space on the net’.

On another note, my wife and I have been trying to conceive based on her fertility tests and we’ve been doing pretty regular checks to see if I have any sperm with the microscope. Tonight was the first night I didn’t need to hunt to see sperm, but they were all dead. I’ve read up on it, and this apparently isn’t unusual. If I were to guess, in the 11 minutes I looked at the slide, I saw well over 200 sperm, which is a huge improvement from a week ago when 20-40 minutes of searching showed only a few. For proper lab testing we need a centrifuge and an incubator. Neither of those items are cost prohibitive. I’ll talk with my wife and see if she’s willing to wait long enough to just decide to go the IVF route to make the extra lab equipment worth the investment. It’d get used after this.

If someone did a tag search and found this blog about having a vasectomy reversal, please feel free to contact me to talk about the process. I did have one of the top surgeons in the country perform mine, even after 18 years of the original vasectomy. I can tall you about recovery times, pain, other things to expect and at least what the cost was for us (it was not covered under insurance and required general anesthesia). I know when I was researching online most of everything I found was very clinical in nature, but didn’t get into the actual reality of the procedure and recovery.

So, this is real. This is going to happen. Even if I can’t produce naturally, the surgeon that performed the reversal said as far as production and quality of sperm I may as well be in my 20’s. Extracting it would be less than pleasant, but nothing I’m not willing to endure to move the process forward. This is really happening, and likely within the next year, barring any complications. I’m equally excited about it and terrified at the same time. The terrified part is mostly the reasonable things people that are going to have a first child have. To summarize; I just don’t want to fuck up too much and to be a good father. The other part that scares me though is the crippling depression that I go so very often. I’m high-functioning when I’m depressed and to help with focus I have Adderall which has been a godsend. Out of the group of 20 of my position in the country, only two other perform consistently at my level with errors being extremely rare and missing deadlines being unheard of.

I’ve been researching online again to see if I can find a therapist that we kind of hit it off as far as being a good fit for working together that can allow me Skype sessions when I’m traveling. Our health insurance will cover it, but there’s a specific code that needs to be used and I need to see the therapist in person every so often as well. It’s the suicidal ideation and urge that I need help with. It’s a constant. I’m used to it. I’m in no danger, but it’s a constant thing running through my mind. I feel guilty about it. How shitty would it be to everyone around me if I were to check out early? How shitty would it be for me now that I’m living a life that I never thought possible? Why won’t this constant nagging desire..no..need, go away?

I go through the mental gymnastics centering around that and starting a family. I can live with the depression. It’s tolerable with medications. I’ve no doubt I could endure well into old age. But would having a depressive parent be selfish, even if I’m good at compartmentalizing it? I don;t know.. It’s late and I put in 70 hours this week. There are things I should work on this weekend, but I think I’m going to go do some photography with an old friend. If time allows for work I’ll do it, but I need downtime. I’ve earned it.

Advertisements

On a lighter note

IMG_20170703-191509-705

This is the first sperm seen since my vasectomy reversal. When I had gone to the fertility clinic a couple of weeks ago the count was 0. Disappointing, but not uncommon. Sometimes it can take up to a year. My wife is a biology nerd and I’m a bit of a nerd myself. Since science stuff interests us both, we decided to get a microscope with a camera to be able to test at home between the visits that are frankly expensive, and months apart from each other. We can’t do all of the tests that can be done in a lab, but we can check to see if they are indeed there, if they are alive and healthy. This little guy wasn’t, but the fact that a few made it through is a very good sign. We’ll continue to check every week or two. Once a decent amount of live ones are seen we’ll schedule a formal test that accounts for motility and a number of other things. Either way, this was good news today. We’re giving things another few months, then going to do IVF if need be.

A long overdue update

This will contain what may be considered NSFW as it relates to my vasectomy reversal procedure performed not two months ago.

Continue reading A long overdue update

Week 4 post-op

3 1/2 weeks ago I had a vasectomy reversal. It was performed by the professor at a well known university who has been teaching current methodology and techniques for the last 25 years. He does roughly 50 reversals per year and has a 98% success rate, so I’m feeling very confident that barring any physiological problems, we should be able to conceive within the next few months.

I figured I’d write about the surgery from a patient perspective. Most of what you can find via a Google search is all of the same pre-op and post-op info. My surgery went well and he was able to do a traditional reversal, meaning he could reconnect the vas deferens as the side with the testicle was able to push sperm through once the end of the previous surgery was removed. The alternative would have been to put the outgoing side of the vas deferens directly into the epididymis, which is a far more complex surgery and has an 89% success rate.

Going home from the surgery was with very mild pain. Think of a bruise that’s about a week old and just about healed. I was feeling pretty good about this and thought it was overkill for the surgeon to prescribe 40 high-dose hydrocodone pills at up to 8 per day if one followed the instructions. Days 2-4 were hellishly painful, even with the hydrocodone. Swelling was up to the size of a decent sized orange and remained as such for over two weeks. Urination was difficult during that time. Sitting to do the other duty in the bathroom was also extremely painful and difficult as you weren’t to use your abdominal muscles for two weeks as it could cause damage. With the swelling you couldn’t point down. If you get the surgery done, get a portrait urinal from the pharmacy or a surgical supply place. Urination in that first week is difficult. Be prepared to stand there awhile. Three swelling makes it incredibly difficult to start or maintain a stream until your bladder is empty. 

After a week the swelling starts to go down. In my case, which isn’t common, because of the rather extreme swelling, some of the stitches at the top of each incision points bust, spreading to where the inner layer of stitches were. This is as painful as it sounds. After a short notice revisit to the surgeon’s office, they put me on antibiotics and a steroid to cut down inflammation. The bad thing about steroids is that they often slow wound healing. They opted not to redo the stitches as that would produce a pocket of skin ideal for bacterial infection. By the end of week 3 the pain where the incision points started didn’t hurt anymore.

The incisions themselves are about 2 1/2″ per side. Each has 20 internal stitches and 21 external stitches. There are two sizes for the incisions that are possible. Given that it had been almost 20 years since my vasectomy, he needed more room to work. That and the techniques then were…a bit destructive. After all – it’s meant to be a permanent surgery.

The stitches themselves are self-dissolving. For anyone that’s never had these, they do eventually come out on their own. They have a texture similar to fishing line. If you’re wondering, yes, from a profile view it appears that someone else’s manhood was attached by none other than Dr Frankenstein himself. It will heal with minimal scarring, though. Not that I’m looking for a scrotum to have a beautiful lift as a bonus or anything, but he said it’d barely bee noticeable. At 3 1/2 weeks, the external stitches haven’t fallen off or out yet. 

It’s fairly major surgery. Your under anesthesia for anywhere from 2 1/2 hours to 4 hours. I was under for 4. I do well with waking up and becoming alert after having been under anesthesia, so we left about 45 minutes afterward. You’ll need someone to drive you afterward. 

When they say you’ll need supportive underwear, they aren’t kidding. Get some briefs and breathe. Adidas brand athletic underwear works well for this. It keeps moisture down and offers support below. 

We’re in Key West right now for vacation. We had assumed I’d be all healed up and we’d be starting to try to get pregnant this weekend. I’m still on a no sex restriction and frankly, the thought of trying right now is fear of pain. We’ll see how the next follow-up visit goes. That’s in 3 weeks. 

What is still painful is that it feels like either a small sting or pinching on the skin on the underside of the scrotum. It’s not bad if you aren’t moving around, but if you are out walking, it’s uncomfortable after about 1/2 hour. Good supportive underwear helps greatly with this. 

So, I guess my story is one of if there are minor complications post-op. It’s not terrible, but if you have a non-labor job, take a week off. If you have a labor job, take off longer. If you heal quickly, well, you get an extra day or two to chill, which is rarely ever a bad thing. 

I’ll update again in a couple of weeks. I’ll write a separate post about my life in general as I’ve not posted in a really long time. Work has soaked up most of my time. I’m working on two time sensitive million dollar implementations Abd I’ve a lot of programming and training to do for both after extensive testing. 

Scheduled 

Well, the vasectomy reversal is now officially scheduled for March 2nd. My wife is healthy with no potential complications from any existing medical abnormalities in her reproductive syste. Barring anything going wrong with pregnancy, I expect we’ll be parents at some point in the next 18 months. If for some reason we can’t conceive, IVF is covered by our insurance. 

Holy shit.. I’m going to be a dad. At 40.

It’s official, the appointment has been made.

I researched a ton of fertility clinics. There’s one out in Massachusetts that I may go to for a second opinion. He’s the one the pioneered vasectomy reversals and other surgical options. That said, I’ve made the appointment with a more local clinic that offers many surgical options for males that have had a vasectomy more than 15 years ago. For the record, after 15 years, there’s a 2% chance of the reversal working and it can apparently take up to a year to have any positive results. As fun as that sounds between the sheets, making a baby is the focus. So, this place can do more… invasive techniques. The cost for such a process is staggering, but they have a 98% success rate, so I’m guessing it will be money well spent.

If that doesn’t work out, option two is donor sperm. A lot of guys seem to have an issue with the idea. I don’t. I don’t need a biological link to love a child. 

Option 3, adoption. My wife would want a baby. I’m more leaning toward a slightly older child because they need homes too and we still have many formative years left to work with. We’ll discuss that option further. I’m not digging my heels in on my stance, but want to be fair to kids that may have a harder time getting adopted. 

Because I’m terrified of being a father, but not much beyond what’s normal, I’ve find a therapist to work with to go through some of my childhood issues and get some direction on some things. I literally have no good frame of reference as to what a healthy family looks like from day to day. This therapist can do sessions via Skype and insurance will cover it, so I can see her on a regular basis regardless of my brutal work travel schedule. 

5:30 A.M.

Long post ahead – feel free to skip.

So, here it is, 5:30 A.M. in a random hotel room in Pittsburgh. In spite of me taking enough Klonopin to knock over a small horse to get to sleep last night, I’ve been laying awake for about 45 minutes now. I’d ask my doctor for Ambien, but I used to do strange things on Ambien. For example, I’d get up and write really dark stuff, then leave it up on the computer to be found. I’d have full conversations with my ex girlfriend, and later my wife after we married. I was totally honest while on it. If there is such a thing as truth serum, that’s it. I was also completely uninhibited. I finally stopped taking it after I got up in the middle of the night, drive 5 miles to the nearby 24 hour grocery store and purchased¬†10 frozen pizzas, drove home, placed them on the counter and went back to sleep. The fun part about Ambien for me? I’d not remember anything from about two hours before going to sleep or anything that I’d do while on it. So.. No Ambien for me. Lunesta kind of works, but I get dry mouth from hell. It leaves me with insatiable thirst throughout the day. Trazadone kind of helps, but I feel like my heavy drinking days the next morning that I’d experience in my 20’s.

What’s on my mind at this hour? Aside from planning out my work day and all of the stuff I need to somehow get done, I’m thinking about my wife and I having a child or children. I had a vasectomy at 22, so a reversal at this point is unlikely to be successful. Surgically though, they can extract sperm, I can take a few days off from work afterward and sit with frozen bags of peas on my nether regions to keep swelling down and to dull the pain. A vasectomy is a pretty simple procedure. Extraction of sperm is far more involved.

Here’s the thing.. I have health problems. Some of which are definitely genetic. My wife also has some genetic health problems. It stands to reason that if we were to have a child that some of that would be passed down. I also have the carrier gene for hemochromatosis, which isn’t something I’d want to pass on. My main concern would be though, that my wife and I both suffer from horrible depression. On one hand, we get it, so there’s no fights about it. On the other hand, it’d be terribly selfish to risk having a child that might get whatever chemical imbalance we have, mainly mine. Since bipolar is chemical in nature, it’s kind of unavoidable if it’s passed on. We’ve gone round and round about all this and still do at times.

I’d be totally fine with adoption. I have no preference of race or gender. The child wouldn’t necessarily have to be a newborn, either. I’m not one of those guys who wants a kid to be his own genetic lineage. If we were to have a child, regardless of natural birth or adoption my wife would likely stop working to take care of the child until they reach school age, then likely return to work part time. We can afford to live off from my income, so it’s a viable option. My fear is that I’d be the father that’s not there with all of the work travel. Also, both of us grew up in abusive or neglectful homes, so we don’t know how parenting should work. We’d be winging it.

Decisions, decisions..I think I’ll bring up the topic this weekend. She made a passing comment that having a child is on her mind constantly of late last week. It’s something we should talk about. If we decide to go the route of trying to have our own, I’ll have to make an appointment with a surgeon and a fertility doctor as it’d be in vitro.