My wife was down the hall crying. There was a lot of blood. And my young son was screaming at the top of his lungs.
If there was any way I could have switched places with him at that moment I would have. Uh…maybe.
I talk a lot about risk/reward on this blog. It is the basis for success in trading, and if you can’t quantify it, you might as well quit.
Life is full of similar situations. Sometimes you cut down the alley way and risk getting your head kicked in by some outcast OWS protesters for the reward of shaving 5 minutes off of your commute.
I did something that at the time did not seem too risky, but in retrospect probably was; and my poor son had to indirectly suffer the consequences.
It was three years ago yesterday that my eight month pregnant wife and I flew out to Vegas for the weekend. My sister lives out there and I figured it would be the last time we could see her for a while until after the baby was born. Besides I had heard that prego ladies were lucky for shooting craps.
Flying wasn’t the risk.
Despite popular belief, flying while pregnant is not necessarily a risk. The cabin pressure and the altitude don’t affect the baby, nor will they induce labor. Trust me, I Googled it. The issue with a flight is the length of the flight; just in case you happened to go into labor, it’s not the best place to be. Fourteen hour flight to Sydney….out. Fifty minute flight to Vegas….no sweat.
We got into town, settled in at my sister’s place, had a nice meal and went to bed early. The next day we got up and began to discuss what we would do for the day. I suggested the Hoover Dam.
Actually there were three bad risk decisions I made here.
1. Hoover Dam is in a pretty isolated part of an already isolated area.
2. Is was going to clock in at about 108 °F that day.
3. It was a walking tour.
At any one of those points I should have called it. I kept asking my wife if she was up for it, and of course, like the trooper she is, she said she was.
We were only at the dam for about 10 minutes before I got the, “I think we might need to go” look from my wife. Her water had broken. Game on.
Fortunately my sister was familiar with the area, and my brother-in-law is a physician, so she knew which was the closest hospital, and he called ahead to alert them to our impending arrival.
Things proceeded so fast, and so unexpectedly that we still had only narrowed his name choices to three.
I literally had “Cameron,” “Camden,” and “Campbell” written on the nurses whiteboard in the room and my wife was “sounding them out” with me as the epidural was going in.
“Campbell Lund” she would say to me. “No, too Scottish,” I would reply.
We quickly eliminated “Cameron” too as I hated “Titanic” and Camden it was; though my writing was so messy the nurse thought is was “Clamden.” Clamden….really?
Anyway, though he was a month early, and a bit light, he was healthy and seemingly happy, and it looked like we dodged a bullet. I gave myself a pass, figuring “no harm, no foul.”
Then we inquired about when they would be doing the circumcision, and that is when we first found out that in Nevada they don’t do circumcisions in the hospital. In fact, the hospitals in Nevada don’t even stock circumcision kits. In “The Silver State” a circumcision is performed at the first pediatrician visit a few days after leaving the hospital. No problem we figured, we will just have it done when we visit our pediatrician back home in Cali.
Two days later we rented a car and drove back home with 6 lbs, 8 oz of extra baggage. We called our pediatrician and set an appointment up for a few days later.
It was at that appointment that we learned that most Californian pediatricians (including ours) did not do circumcisions out of the hospital anymore. In fact, none of the pediatricians we called or were refered to did them out of the hospital anymore. One top of that, our insurance company told us that since we left the hospital without having the procedure done, we were no longer covered for it.
So because we left the hospital, which didn’t offer the procedure, without having the procedure done, we were no longer covered. Okay, fine I thought. I will just pay for it out of pocket. I mean what could it cost to snip off a bit of foreskin, right? Try $2,500.00….!!!
I just had a very tough year in the market and we had laid out a lot of cash in the “creation” process of our son; if I could avoid paying that $2,500.00 I would rather not. Also, we still didn’t even have a doctor who would do the procedure.
After a lot of back and forth with the insurance company, I finally got them to acknowledge being the assholes that they were, and they approved payment for the procedure. And after an extensive search, I found one of the only pediatricians left in Cali who did circumcisions in his office, which was about an hour away from our house.
But by now my son was six months old. It was a totally different ballgame.
By now he had gotten a chance to be aware of his mini “manhood” and wasn’t numbed in that semi-haze that a freshly popped out babies are for the first few days. How was he going to react to this procedure? I winced myself at the thought of it.
Once I saw this in the doctor’s office, I winced a lot more.
Why did I suggest a trip to Vegas? Why the Hoover Dam? Why didn’t I just call a mohel, drop a nice donation off to his local synagogue, and get this thing done back in hospital in Nevada? All these thoughts were running through my head as I imagined what my son was about to go through thanks to my bad risk analysis.
At this point my wife had to leave the room. It was now up to me to deal with this procedure that I was sure would cause my son to have night terrors well in to his 60′s. And all of it was my fault.
They strapped him on to the “board” and he laughed and smiled at me with his angelic face, and if at that moment Satan himself had appeared and indicated that I deserved a couple of eternities in Hell for being such an A-hole, I would not have protested.
They swabbed a gel on the “area” to numb it, and then came out a needle with which to inject a local anesthetic.
There are certain things in life that just should never be next to each other. “Needle” and “Penis” are pretty much at the top of that list.
He let out a small squeak, and I thought “just maybe” we could get out of this thing relatively pain-free. But then came the clamp, and the cutting, and the blood…….
After all was said and done, it worked out okay. The doctor and his nurses were great. Once he got a bottle in his mouth he calmed down pretty fast and actually fell asleep on the drive home.
Over the next few weeks we had to change the dressing a few times and I have to say it caused me a little bit of stress. The initial aftermath of a circumcision at that age looks a bit “rough.” I worried, “What if he cut too much off?” Or “What if he did it wrong and it mutated like one of those two-headed snakes,” which come to think of it might not have been such a bad thing.
But it turned out fine. A few months later, at his regular check up, his pediatrician, who happens to be a very attractive Latin woman actually remarked, “wow, the doctor really did a good job, it’s beautiful.” “Like father, like son,” I said (in my mind).
My son turned three yesterday. He is no longer a baby, or a toddler, but is turning into a little man. I love him and his sister with all my heart and still cannot figure out what I did to deserve the blessing that they have become in my life.
I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t remember any of the events I described, and that there will not be any residual mental effect from it. But even so, I just wanted to say to him that I am sorry that he had to go through it all just because of my bad judgement.
What bclund is, is the intersection of markets, trading, and life (with some punk rock, pop culture, and off-beat humor mixed in).