My son was circumcised yesterday. I was not at the hospital at the time (appropriately enough, I was playing golf), but the doctor told my wife that Charlie didn’t cry a bit.
As a human being equipped with my own penis, I assured my wife that this was not true. Perhaps he did not wail as much as one might if an arm or a leg were completely severed, but there were cries of pain. That, I said, was a certainty.
It turns out that I was correct. The nurse who was present at the circumcision popped into my wife’s hospital room minutes before we were to leave to say goodbye, and she reiterated this fairy tale about the painless circumcision to me.
“He didn’t cry at all?” I asked.
“Not at all. But he was numbed before the doctor began the procedure, so he didn’t feel a thing.”
“How did he feel about the needle you injected into his penis? Did he cry then?’”
“Well, yeah,” she admitted. “He cried then.”
I was going to point pout that differentiating between the pain associated with the anesthesia and the pain associated with the actual procedure doesn’t mean much to the person who is dealing with the pain, but I decided to remain silent. I was trilled to be bringing our son home, and I did not want to spoil the moment with unnecessary oration.
But I wasn’t surprised by this fairy tale circumcision. I have enormous respect for doctors and nurses, but when it comes to describing pain, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
They cannot be trusted.