Many of the men I know are terrible about going to the Doctor unless a limb is detached. As I was growing up my entire immediate male adult role models were that way. So twenty years ago at the age of 35, three years married and planning on having a child I realized that I had not had a medical checkup since High School and thus had no attending Physician. I knew this was not a good idea and being very health conscious I decided to stop the cycle of denial, establish myself with a good doctor, get a comprehensive physical, and begin the process of regular maintenance on a most important element of my life my body. Life is definitely more enjoyable when your body is well maintained. A complete physical costs me about 3 to 4 hundred bucks at the most. Hell I spend more than that annually on basic maintenance on my used Honda Civic and if my body goes down the Civic is useless to me. I don’t even want to compare my body to a Civic I know it’s not a Lamborghini but at least a Ford Mustang. Ok maybe not the Mach 1 or Cobra but at least a GT 260hp V8 give me that please. I’ll compare that car to my body as fun, comfortable, sporty, colorful, sexy (in a Mustang kind of way), relatively powerful with good response. I would make sure I maintained this piece of equipment so as to be able to easily shift it into fifth gear and let everyone along for the ride enjoy the exhilaration of full throttle McStang.
So I got a recommendation for a good Internist and made an appointment for a complete physical tip to tip. The nice lady who set the appointment let me know that there would be two visits to complete the exam. The first visit I would not see the doctor but would simply come in for blood work and x rays. The second visit I would see the doctor, go over the results of the first visit and have his personal exam. Which we all know is very personal. I am prepared. She then informs me to remember that part of the second exam is a colorectal exam. Well OK I understand that is part of tip to tip and I am thinking of the digit rectum exam that I had only had once before in my life. I think for most young men it happens either when you go into the military, after they shave your head, to make sure you are completely humiliated. Or when you get your physical for a high school sports program, at least that’s what they told me. This is not a high point in your life, but it is something you don’t forget. It’s one of those life experiences that stick with ya. But I am a grown man and I understand why this is necessary, I think, and I am ready. So I have the first exam and on the way out the nurse reminded me that the next exam will include colorectal. I let her know I was already told and mentally ready to take on the challenge. Then the nice office lady calls me to confirm my appearance at the second exam and for now the third time and now before she says it I hear ominous music in my head just before she voices the phrase of doom, “Remember there will be a colorectal exam.” At this point I feel like they are treating me like a child so my response is, “I know and I’m looking forward to it! I can’t get it out of my head. I’m having dreams about it. I even made up a little song to the tune of Frère Jacques now sing along- Colorectal Colorectal it is near it is near digit in my rectum digit in my rectum please use lube please use lube”.
I get to the second appointment and I am asked to slip into the hospital gown with no back in it. How long must we continue to wear this piece of humiliation? That garment is just to make the doctor feel more powerful. They could give us a cute little short number with everything covered and then we just hike it up when we need to expose, but noooo we have to sit on our cold cheeks waiting for Saint Index to arrive.
The doctor comes in and is actually very nice. We go over everything and do a little touching, tapping, pumping, prodding, poking, listening, and looking. Everything is a-ok in tip top shape to this point leaving only one part unattended and we all know what’s coming because now we can’t get the song out of our head. So about the time I am mentally preparing myself for digital exploration there is a weird almost uncomfortable few moments of absolute silence between the doc and myself. Then the doctor, who is standing over me as I am seated on the examine table, says in kind of an ominous voice. Now we need to go into another room for your colorectal exam. I didn’t say anything but I am thinking, “We have to go into another room for you to put your finger in my rectum”? It seemed odd but he’s Saint Physician blessed by Apollo and few other pagan Greek Gods. Who am I to question Mount Olympus? So I go to the other room and there is an examine table almost like the one I just hopped my jolly ass off of with one important difference, kneeling pads. The doctor says, ‘Please kneel on the pads which we will adjust so the table is waist high so you can then lay forward onto the table.” Well I still don’t question. I do as I am told thinking this is really elaborate for a finger. I assume the position and then the first of several events happens that takes me totally by surprise. The table starts to elevate lifting my reverse L shaped body towards the ceiling. After I reach a certain apex the table then tilts. My head is now moving towards the floor and my rosy red rump simultaneously towards the ceiling. The table stops. The blood is rushing to my head. My butt feels like it is at a 45 degree angle and within moments, still in relative shock, I feel about a half pound of KY Jelly hit the back of my ass! I am thinking, “Something is awry”. And something started to invade my Boudoir and twas not a finga!” Oh I saw something laying on the tray next to the table, I saw it when I arrived in the room, but never in my wildest dreams not my most bizarre imagination did I think it was going to become part of me. It was what I later came to know as a proctoscope. A rigid proctoscope, oh there is a flexible proctoscope but I guess the first time they like to break you in with the rigid one. It’s about 12 inches long, about an inch or two in diameter, cold hard steel, with a pistol grip. This thing is quickly about half way inside me, I assume. I don’t possess the proper sensory depth perception to know exactly where this thing is but I am hoping to God we are half way there and I am also praying for this to be a quick procedure, in, out, over. No he gets it in and then I find out what that handy little pistol grip is for, he starts pumping me up full of air. He’s pumping me up like a Macy’s Day Float and then says to me, “Would you like to see what I’m seeing? There’s a camera on the end and the monitor is to your left”. I say curtly, “I would not! Not unless you have spotted Leprechauns up there trying to shove a pot of gold out of my disposal tunnel I don’t want to see crap, literally, just get this over”! He pulled it out, the air immediately escaped, KY Jelly went EVERYWHERE! Well Well Well just writing this right now and I still realize I’m not totally over this experience. At that point of my life I realized I have a rock solid character flaw. I don’t ask enough questions. That won’t happen again, either one. The Rigid Sigmoidoscopy has now been exposed properly as an unnecessary procedure first introduced during the Spanish Inquisition unlike the modernly humane Colonoscopy in which you are knocked out and spend the remainder of the day after relaxing on the coach eating chocolate pudding. And now I question everything especially authority figures when my backside is exposed. Take my advice and please do likewise.
Comedy Tip: Embarrassing stories are always a hit. They empower the listener with a false sense of righteousness which endears you to most of the audience. Yet there will be a small percentage of the audience that just thinks you’re and idiot.