Manscaping and other things I learned from surgery

Heading to surgery with complete confidence, although my hair looks a little scared.
Heading to surgery with complete confidence (My hair looks scared, though.)
As many of you know, I had surgery last week to repair a hernia that was in close proximity to my [censored]. Being a man, I realize anything within 10 feet of that area is considered “close proximity.” But in this case, I’m not exaggerating.

About the proximity, I mean.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, then you also know there was a minor complication that required me to stay overnight for observation, which is something I’ve come to expect when getting my annual psych exam for the fire department β€” but not when it comes to surgery.

What most people DON’T know is that I was manscaped by a nurse named Vern.

And no, that wasn’t short for “Laverne.”

Over the last few days, the question “How’d it go?” has been asked by many thoughtful people. I realize they are referring to the surgery in general, and not if I’m “parting my hair” differently after being manscaped. However, this seems like a good jumping off point since, once the electric razor started buzzing, I felt like jumping off the hospital bed. Keep in mind that most people are relatively anonymous when they go in for surgery. But Vern opened our conversation like this:

“You probably thought you could get by without me knowing who you are, but I’ve been faithfully reading your colum for years, Ned… Can I call you Ned?

“You’re the one with the razor, Vern,” I said. “You can call me anything you want.”

“Ha! After all these years of reading your stuff, I feel like I know you!”

“Well Vern,” I said between razor swipes, “you certainly know me now.”

Vern laughed, which I quickly discovered is NOT something you want to have happen when someone is trimming anywhere near your [censored].

To protect the innocent, I will simply show my feet and leave the rest of this process to your imagination.
To protect the innocent, I will simply show my feet and leave the rest of this process to your imagination.

When Vern was done, we shook hands and sealed our friendship with hand sanitizer before he left to prep someone else. That’s when I began to overhear a conversation on the other side of the curtain in the recovery area. Keep in mind the drugs I had been given were starting to take effect. So instead of hearing the doctor say “Well, we managed to get rid of your bulge,” it sounded like “Well, we managed to get rid of your balls…

I don’t remember much after that because I passed out. I’m still not sure if it was from shock or the drugs.

"Sleep well, sweet prince" I heard someone whisper. I really hope it as my wife.
“Sleep well, sweet prince” Someone whispered. I really hope it as my wife.

When I woke up three hours later, I saw my family, smiled at them, and immediately checked for my testicles.

Not necessarily in that order.

My doctor was also there, and explained how I had begun coughing during surgery and aspirated, forcing them to intubate. As a precaution, they wanted to keep me overnight. That’s when I noticed my “E.T.” finger and asked if I could just heal myself with it.


After an awkward silence, Dr. Park told me everything else went really well and, as far as he was concerned, after a few days of rest I could return to work. I briefly considered the idea of getting a second opinion about that last part, but realized it would mean more hospital time β€” so I accepted his prognosis.

Later that evening, I was told not to get out of bed or use the restroom without the help of a nurse. So naturally, in the middle of the night, it felt like I had consumed a 55-gallon drum of Gatorade. There was no time to wait for a nurse. And since I was now hooked up to portable monitors, there was no reason why I couldn’t make it to the commode on my own and take as much time as I wanted. Especially since the A&W chicken fingers, curly fries and large chocolate malt my wife had smuggled in were also ready for departure. Because I knew it could be a while, I also grabbed my iPod so I could listen to music or, if necessary, watch a two-hour documentary on PBS.

As expected, I made it to the restroom unassisted and in the dark without any trouble. With a sigh of relief I locked the door, flipped on the light and immediately discovered why a nurse might’ve been helpful.

Well, it felt like my iPod in the dark...
Well, it felt like my iPod in the dark…

After spending the last few days on the couch, it actually feels good to be back in the newsroom sipping coffee, listening to AC/DC and tapping on the keyboard. In fact, my editor stopped by my desk and, in a rare display of affection, told me it wasn’t the same around here without me.

She then added, “I could get used to that.”

As you can see, things around here have pretty much returned to normal.

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

117 thoughts on “Manscaping and other things I learned from surgery”

    1. I appreciate that, Robyn. But I can’t take the credit for my fashionable socks. It was the hospital image consutant. Or maybe the janitor felt sorry for me β€” I’m not sure which.

  1. Love the pictures, they add to the story perfectly,min as much as I am laughing all the more thanks to them. I always find any medical situation is helped by humour, even if I have a sour-faced nurse having none of it, I’ll laugh at my own jokes anyway! Glad it’s all over for you though.

    – sonmi upon the Cloud.

  2. YAY! Thanks for the update and glad to know that you are doing well. As a former post-surgical and ICU dietitian, my mind was running crazy with what “complications” could mean. Thankfully, my imagination is wilder than those sweet socks and it’s good to know you’re back where you belong.

  3. Four things…

    1. I like your hair… you look much younger than I think you are πŸ˜‰

    2. Is it worse for you, a man, to be shaved by a male nurse or a pregnant woman? (Not a personal story. .. TMI… I had my babies in a bathtub but my friend was modified when a cute male nurse had to shave her during labor)

    3. Your wife is awesome!

    4. I’m glad you’re doing well!!

    1. 1) I’m not sure if No. 1 was a compliment or not, but thanks either way

      2) I suppose it would be worse being shaved by a female nurse β€” pregnant or otherwise β€” especially if I was drugged and Mr. Happy woke up because of all the handling. No, I take that back. Mr. Happy waking up while being handled by a male nurse would be much worse.

      3) You’re SO RIGHT!

      4) Me too πŸ˜‰

  4. I’ll block this out so when my son mentions going into nursing again, I don’t accidentally mention this and ruin his entire career track.

    Glad you are mending!

  5. I met my husband’s cousin while having my pubes shaved prior to my first c-section. I think there are some processes/services which should require absolute silence. It’s not like they’re stylists in a salon…..geez.

      1. I didn’t want to ask, but I was thinking the same thing. It’s like the time I had a dental assistant check my testicles before having my teeth cleaned. I’m still suspicious about that…

  6. Ned: your 2nd biggest fan in Florida here. I am so remiss. I just heard you had surgery, you slacker, why didn’t you let me know? I, too, had surgery. I met an Ogre Nurse. They put an alarm on my bed to imprison me. And they thought I had Staff and put me in isolation. But I did throw up on Ogre Nurse– that chocolate pudding that never needs refrigeration. You had a what, a Brazilian? I had a semi. I don’t understand because it was a total knee replacement. Hope you are well and as sassy as ever. Lucy

  7. When I had my heart ablation, I was given close to a Brazilian! Glad you survived.

    Looks like you may be rockin a new hairdo on your head too! Instead of bed head I’d call it Ned head…

    1. I don’t know exactly what a heart ablation is, but I do wonder why they felt it necessary to shave your hoo-hah area? Did the doctor at least take you to dinner first? (And not the hospital cafeteria)

  8. Glad all went well. I was in the hospital for 70 days and can identify with how much fun you had. One thing we (a fellow patient) did since I was not allowed out of bed was to save the blueberry pie from dinner and then call for a bedpan. Before the orderly came back to get the pan my partner in crime put the pie in the pan. The orderly’s are required to look at what is in there so at that exact moment I said “You know, some people say my s–t looks good enough to eat.” The head nurse immediately gave a long lecture about waisting staff time (and a shot of demerol I recall)

  9. What the hell, Ned? I go play hide n seek with the BlackDog for a bit and when I finally decide I’ve given him the slip it turns out you’re less the man than you once were…I’m still not gonna ask for my money back though. So, is it true, do chicks really dig scars?

    1. Lol! No worries, Red, I still have all my manly parts, and a nice 4-inch scar that I’ve already decided “came from that time I was jumped by ninjas in China Town.”

      However, considering where the scar is, I already married the only woman who’s ever going to see it. And hopefully the scar won’t be used as a size comparison.. πŸ˜‰

  10. Had laproscopic double inguinal hernia surgery a year and a half ago. I was “lucky” (until I got the bill, that is); I was able to go home that day. The HR guy at work had the same thing done a few months later, and asked me “How did you manage recovery, living by yourself?” I thanked him for reminding me that I couldn’t find a wife, then told him that I had laid in a supply of Chunky soup, tv dinners, sweat pants and Miralax ahead of time. “How did you get up from the couch by yourself?” I didn’t; I rolled off it onto the floor then pulled myself up using a footstool. Big fun. No manscaping, though.
    Glad you made it through okay.

    1. It was definitely your foresight that made the difference. I have to say, I’ve managed to get by on Ibuprophine (Don’t check my spelling…) and haven’t had to use pain killers. I figure I’ll save those for bigger things, like stubbing my toe on the way to the bathroom at night.

    1. Yeah, Vern pretty much blew “No Shave November” for me. Oh, and apparently he quit the hospital this morning after I passed along your message. He left with his shaving kit and is headed your way. You might want to get something for razor burn…

  11. I am nominating you for the most humorous but Traumatic blogger award you BedHead, you! That took guts. Apparently they left those intact. To accept the award, all you have to do is write a sentence for each of the three pieces of hospital equipment that would talk about you if it could. Forget personification… This is Medification at its best. Make that Nedification.

    1. HaHaHaHa! I humbly accept this most prestigious fictitious award! *cries at podium*

      1) Bed urinal: “Someone should’ve explained the difference between a urinal and bed pan to this guy. Although I have to applaude his dexterity.”

      2) Hospital bed: “It made me kind of sad watching him try to change the TV channel with his codeine release button. At least until he passed out.”

      3) Surgery prep razor: “He must shower with Axe body wash. I’m never going to get that taste out of my mouth. Ech!”

      1. You ARE so good! I can’t get over how your each and every response to a comment I leave rivals the humor of your original post! Buy Now you’ve done it! Started a precedent by accepting my challenges…..wait till till you see what awaits….. πŸ˜‰

        1. Some would say rivaling the humor of my original posts isn’t all that hard πŸ˜‰

          And why do I feel like I just let the genie out of the bottle? Or opened Pandora’s box? Or knocked over the Diaper Genie? Or something like that… πŸ˜‰

      1. You should remember not to say these things in public, Ned. You know he reads your blog, right? Hell, god forbid, if you ever need a manscaping again… *shudder*

        1. Haha! I think I’m safe. He doesn’t really strike me as the blogging type. Then again, if I met him on the street, he wouldn’t strike me as a [censored] shaver.

  12. Ned I’m sorry but your surgical adventures and mishaps have me laughing so hard my gut hurts! Now keep up with the manscaping and don’t cough during surgery. Then you’re good to go!

    Glad it mostly went well.

  13. Oh man! You had me in stitches!! Cripes, did I just say that?? The photos along with the writing had me laughing so loudly I think my neighbors might be worried I’m convulsing or something. They called 911 when I didn’t answer the phone and then my door, it’s true, I wrote about it in my blog, that means it’s gospel truth :p

  14. So glad you are doing better and still have all your stuff. I think I probably laughed the hardest at Vern…”Can I call you Ned?” Knowing my husband he would have made a special request to have a hot nurse do the manscaping. He would have used the logic that it would be the only time another woman could get near his [censored] and it wouldn’t involve homicide.

    1. Thanks, Sandy! Everything’s coming along nicely, plus I have a cool scar to make upstories about. Of course, considering where it’s located, the only people who will see it are my wife and doctor. And maybe Vern again some day.

      I have to say, I understand your husband’s logic, but I’d be too afraid something might betray me by pointing north…

  15. That was great. I needed the laugh! I’m still not sure how I got here though…glad I did. “Manscaping” and your 55-gal gatorade and impending food *departure* references…superb. Hope all went well. Cheers!

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