01 February 2007

He Gave Me The Finger

I went in to see Dr. Acree for a bronchial infection and congestion, and while I was at it, a long overdue complete physical--it had been five years. I just left the doctor's office. So, a recap:

I woke up late. After rushing to feed Doris and Billie and make a pot of coffee, I showered. Because it's been like the North Pole here lately I've exhausted my supply of thermal underwear. I wore the white Union Suit. Mistake, just for the record.

I get to the doctors office. The nurse weighs me with all of this extra clothing (car coat, scarf, fleece pullover, jeans, boots, thermal socks, union suit, belt). Not happy about her reading, I was consoled by the doctor who said "don't forget about all the clothes." Guess he knows that I usually weigh myself after I am completely naked and digestively weightless in the mornings.

After the temperature check (98.0) and blood pressure test (normal), I was given directions to the restroom and a plastic cup. I told the nurse I wasn't sure I'd be able to participate since I had gone right before I'd left the house a half-hour earlier. As I placed the nearly filled cup on the table I was kind of embarrassed when she said "Look how much!"

As I sat and waited for the doctor I looked around the room. I watched this woman pace back and forth on the sidewalk about 20 feet away from the window. She ducked and bobbed, clearly trying to see something. I just watched her. She eventually walked away. I looked at the chart that explained how HIV progresses from infection state to full-blown AIDS. I studied the chart that explained the muscular system and how each relates to one another. Boring. I continued occupying my time looking around. Biohazard. Sharps disposal. Sphygmomanometer. OK. I know how to pronounce this word, but I haven't had to in years. Phonics works. Do they still teach it in school?

The doctor came in and went over my chart. And because it had been so long since my last physical he asked a battery of questions to update my records. Then it was time for the stethoscope and breathing. Then an external abdominal exam. He checked my ears and my throat. Then it was time.

He tells me to lower my trousers. This is when I realize that the Union suit is sort of in the way. Junk hanging out in the front, he explains to me what I should be looking for during a testicular self-exam. I get the exam. Then it's time to turn to each side, "cover your mouth and cough."

Flap open in the back for the prostate/stool exam, I'm trying to figure out how to button up the front while keeping things moving along. I want to laugh out loud at what this might look like to a fly on the wall. Thank God he closed the blinds when he came in, otherwise, Ms. Thing would be getting quite a show by now. Elbows on the table, I take a deep breath as instructed.

Yeeoww. You'd think, because I'm a bog ol' homo, that this wouldn't be a "thing." But, it is. Trust me.

"We're done." He is explaining what happens next while grabbing several tissues to help me get rid of the "cool jelly" used to invade my "grocery hole" (thanks, GBoogie for that phrase -- makes me laugh every time I think of it). Prostate exam: good. Stool sample: good. A different nurse comes in to administer an EKG. Results: good. I walk from the exam room with my jeans back up and buttoned, union suit unbuttoned with sleeves dangling below my waist to the X-ray area.

Then it's on to the nurse who explains that she's "been here for 17 years". Stabbing and twisting the needle in my vein after she'd already taken two vials of blood, she made me wonder exactly what she was trying to do other than leave a hideous purple and black hemorrhage in the crook of my arm.

So far, the results are that everything looks great and I am supposed to call in a week for the report on my blood tests. I am on my way to pick up my prescriptions for a bronchial infection and congestion. Z-pack is my friend.

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