Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Collection Services

The wife and I have been seeing a specialist about the lack of children running around our house.  We’ve been looking for a tax deduction and it hasn’t come it yet.  So, we thought a specialist could help.

As expected, we were referred out of Navy Medicine to a place friends of ours have found success with.  The first appointment went well, I thought.  We were told about the basic tests that need to be done before we could set out a plan for fertility.  The wife has plenty of follow up appointments.  And I will be there for as many of those as I’m allowed.  I have leave for something and this is a good reason to use them if needed. 

Naturally, for the male part of the equation, I only have one requirement.  A deposit.  An appointment for a collection. 

I’ve been calling it a donation.  And, for some odd reason, I’ve been looking forward to making my contribution to the fertile baseline analysis.

Well, success.  Deposit made.  And I’ve been crushed.  My illusion (heavily influenced by Jeff Foxworthy’s comedy sketch) included more than there was.  I built up an image in my mind that out did the reality.

To begin with, we—I keep saying “we” but it really should be “I” because the wife doesn’t supply this part of the test—I was given a six ounce sample cup in a small white bag with directions for “semen collection at home.”  Yes, at home

My imagination went wild . . . got to rated R before this question popped into my head, “how do we get the ‘sample’ to the urological doctor for analysis?”  The Doctor’s response was we need to keep it at body temperature.  “Keep it in your armpit,” she said.  Uh . . . I can think of a few other places that may keep it warm too and be a little more comfortable.  I was just imagining driving like a bat out of hell (maybe 10 miles over, almost like a Rhodes Island native—they usually drive 20 over the speed limit) with the wife sitting shotgun with a 6 ounce cup of little swimmers held tight between her legs.  What do I tell the cop who pulls me over?  “Sorry, officer, I’ve got a time limit before the little guys begin fading away.  This is a pre-pregnancy emergency!  My sperm is going to die if you don’t let me get them to the doctor to be analyzed!”  Not looking good for the home collection.  On the more practical side, a 45 minute drive, not including finding the correct office, which would put us into the Danger Zone (before the sample is no good for analysis).  Home collection is out.

With the idea of home collection out, I moved onto the second, more realistic option—collection at the urology office.  I called, made an appointment, and asked the studious question, “What is the process?”  I was trying to allude to what restrictions there were and materials available.  This is probably the one part that lived up to Jeff Foxworthy’s sketch—there would be some videos and magazines.

Finally, the day arrives.  We abstained for a few days (not an easy feat), and I arrived (only a little late—I had a 2 hour window I could come in) ready to perform.  (Is that a pun?  Oops.)

The attendant, a 20-something blonde about average height, called me back and led me to the collection room, explained the process, pointed to the materials, and told me to mark the time the “sample” was collected, and finally she left.  First off, the “collection” room was just like any other examination room; it was falsely sterile, totally uncomfortable, and not conducive to . . . collection.

She was nervous and uncomfortable, and that was making me both amused and nervous.  I kept thinking to myself: No need to be nervous, you’re not going to be tested here.  You’re not going to stay and watch—why are you so nervous?  Oh, jeez, I hope you’re not staying.  Are you judging me for coming in for a deposit?  Does porn and masturbation make you uncomfortable?  Am I being a jerk or is she?  Does that make her a medical jerk? 

Finally she left.  And I immediately flipped through the magazines, which they covered with some sheet of paper with a description of what not to do.  I never realized Hustler had actual articles and ads in them.  Less visuals than I expected.  There were a couple of dvds, but the thought of popping those in just make me feel more like a pervert.  In hindsight I realized I was in a rare instance where society accepts the reality, and demands completion, of masturbation, which is generally hidden, joked about, and ridiculed.  The fact that society generally frowns upon this kind of self-attention results in most people rushing through it and not taking the time to actually understand their bodies. 

Afterwards (you didn’t think I’d give details here) I kept wondering to myself, did I provide enough?  Is my sample good?  Was there a minimum that they needed?  Who do I tell that I’m done?  Does anyone really provide a 6 ounce sample?  Do I get a lollipop or something for getting the job done?

I left the room.  Wondered around for a minute or two until the lady who checked me told me to have a nice day.

That was it?  Have a nice day?  No call you for a second date or exchange of phone numbers.  I felt so . . . odd.  This was kind of surreal.

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