Friday, April 24, 2009

Doc, It Hurts Me When I Blog Like This

Yesterday was my annual physical that I'm sure to get every three years, and I just have to share, as you would have known if you saw me in my little gown. Speaking of those, they really need to rethink the gown colors. The one I had to pretend I wore--c'mon, they rip off faster than costumes for a road show version of The Full Monty--was some dull tan print which simply isn't flattering. You want to look your best when a professional is judging your health.

Speaking of that, if the doctor is so smart, why does he have to ask so many questions? Deduce, my man--what is my HMO paying you for? If I were a smoker, wouldn't he be able to tell by listening to my be-cruded lungs? wouldn't the flat-out cancer-defying sexiness of my Leonard Cohen-like rasp be a hint? Now, I don't smoke, but I did have to answer when it came to drinking, which regular readers know I have been known to do (the worst part about a steady job is there's all this time you can't be drinking). Alas, this isn't like confessions back in my Catholicism days, when I'd say I disobeyed my parents and the priest would say don't do that and for your penance say 5 Hail Marys. I mean, it wouldn't hurt the Doc to say, "For your penance drink 5 Bloody Marys." I admitted Amy and I often share a bottle of wine an evening starting with our dinner. He asks, "Three glasses? two glasses?" I say, "How big a glass do you pour, Doc?" He doesn't find me funny. I mean, geez, it's my liver and brain, er, what's it you call them little brain parts you lose from drinking?

Speaking of questions, they leave a "review of systems questionnaire" for you while you undress, I guess to distract you from not being covered by the not-flattering gown. First, I don't like being a "system." If someone's going to hold a sensitive part of my body and ask me to cough, we might as well relate on a level more personal than system-to-system. This questionnaire runs through the usual red flags you don't want to have as the doctor will say they mean bad things, including the buried in a sentence "other concerns that should be discusses such as physical or sexual abuse." Guess they figure if they just sneak that in with the insomnia, you might blurt something out.

The questionnaire ends, however, with two different directions to go, one for men, one for women. Here's the whole section verbatim:

For Men:
Troubles with erection or sex, decreased urinary flow, dribbling, losing your urine, waking up frequently at night to urinate

For Women:
Breast lumps or pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding (spotting between periods, extremely heavy bleeding, or bleeding after menopause), painful sex or other sexual problems

First, is "troubles with sex" like the Irish Troubles? Is not getting enough sex trouble, or just bothersome? They really need some definitions here, or perhaps visual aids. Second, I'm pretty sure "losing your urine" is a mental problem, some sort of odd Alzheimer's--"Honey, do you know where I put my urine? I mean, I took a piss, but lord knows where I left it after that." But the most striking thing is this--the men, right up top (no pun intended) are drilled (no pun intended) about their sexual problems. Can't get it up, modern medicine, and everyone who advertises during sporting events on TV, wants to help. For women it's all about the health first. Nothing like reinforcing the notion that women are from Venus, men are from penis.

Last, there's the joy of the final moments of a check-up (and I mean up) if you're male and over 40. I'm not as very good patient in general, assuming a doctor can only tell you something's wrong, so even a physical makes me a bit nervous. Plus I have this habit of instantly assuming I have whatever sickness people talk about, so being near the sick isn't easy for me (I'm just too empathetic, with or without the "em"). So I admitted the doctor's office isn't my favorite place. Doc, finding a sense of humor (maybe it's in the glove he was suddenly wearing), says, "C'mon, this is like Disneyland! Now put your elbows on your knees."

I'm never going to Disneyland again.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Smitty said...

Though I'm younger than you, I assume, I still get that "awful last few minutes" of the physical early due to family history. Stupid family.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Dental Salinas said...

Genes, yeah. Some diseases are present because it "runs" in the family. I hope they can do about this.

6:30 PM  

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