All Prepped Up With No Place To Go

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Along with calculus, the Farmer’s Almanac, and the internet, family planning is one of the great changes that distinguishes us from our more willy-nilly ancestors.  We have a responsibility as the most advanced beings on earth to both propagate the species and to procreate within our means.  For our family, that means two children is enough.  Despite the wide variety of options available to women wishing to prevent pregnancy, non-invasive birth control that is controlled by men boils down to condoms or abstinence.

While filling out the paperwork during my pre-op visit to the vasectomist, I couldn’t help but notice the archaic questions on the form (I believe it was copyrighted in the early ’80s).  The literature seemed to indicate that only men over 30 with two or more children should consider a vasectomy.  I strongly believe that being a man who doesn’t want any(more) kids is the proper criteria.  My doctor walked me through the procedure, wrote me a prescription to ease operating room jitters, and encouraged me to schedule an appointment any time after the mandatory 30 day waiting period.  We also discussed the former Winnipeg Jets, Teemu Selanne, and my favorite video game of all time, NHL ’94.

Roughly two months later, the day had arrived: Janelle would take the morning off from work to be my chauffeur and her mom would watch the children.  I was showered and shaved, just about to pop my sedatives and be driven to my destiny, but the mood changed abruptly as  I descended toward the living room.  The clinic had called and the appointment was canceled.  One of the biggest decisions of my life, carefully considered and coordinated on our end, had been dashed on the rocks of bureaucratic bullshit.  According to a decidedly uninvolved medical receptionist, my health insurance (which is subsidized by the state) requires an additional form to be signed.  It was unclear whether the clinic misplaced the form I did sign, or if an additional form should have been presented during my pre-op visit.  I did not receive anything approaching an apology for a human error, but was informed several times that the problem was due to the “form not being signed”.

Once again, the system has failed me.  Dylan received a duplicate vaccination by mistake last year,  my dental insurance is not accepted by any dentists, and now the Dad-ratted doctor won’t cut my vas deferens unless I sign another piece of paper and wait 30 days.  From a business point of view, these outcomes make perfect sense.  Departures from prepared scripts lead to errors, public insurance that pays out less than the cost of a procedure will not be honored, and the haphazard requirements of various private insurers are cumbersome, unnavigable, and inhumane.

So why am I so happy?  In terms of biological success, I had been about to self-destruct and was granted a temporary reprieve.  No wonder the world seems so full of possibility today.

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