Don’t Touch Me There: Seeing My Doctor For A Check UpPosted: September 23, 2011
I recently had my yearly get together with my physician. It was a delightful event, as usual.
He flipped through my chart and made small talk with me based on what he had written down there the last time I was in. I am never sure why he does this. I know there is no way he remembers me any more than the next guy who shows up and takes his pants off. I wonder how funny it would be if I brought a folder with his name written on it to my next appointment. I could flip through some pages and say “I see that the last time I was here you put on a rubber glove, then told me to bend over and grab the table.”
I was on a list of people waiting for physicals from my doctor. When I called for an appointment, I was told that he was “finished doing physicals for the year” but that I could get on the waiting list in case an opening became available. I don’t have another doctor to compare him to, but I figure this guy must give the best physical in the land if people wait in line for them.
My lucky number came up last week. A woman from the doctor’s office called me at 8 am on one of my days off and said I was next in line for the mother of all physicals. She asked if I could be there at 2:30, I said I could, she said I shouldn’t eat anything until after the appointment. Wonderful. Had I known I was going to have to go all day without food I would have made a batch of chicken and dumplings at midnight to shorten the time between meals.
By the time I got to the doctor’s office, I was getting the shakes from being so hungry. I considered eating the paperwork they gave me to complete, but thought I’d just wait. I should have eaten the forms. Getting the mother of all physicals is pretty time consuming. I didn’t see daylight until 4:30. I have to remember to not take mid-afternoon physical appointments.
Yes, I’m Turning Fifty. Thanks For Remembering.
Then, as he was making and reviewing some notes in my file, the doctor said “oh, you’re turning fifty this year.”
He wasn’t saying it to wish me a happy birthday. He said it so he could follow it up with a question. “Do you know what that means?” I asked if it meant I could have a big party. That wasn’t the answer he was looking for. Finally, he relented and told me it was time for me to get a colonosocopy.
Keep that in mind in case you and your doctor are playing Jeopardy. If one of you says “Gastroenterology for $400, Alex” and the answer is “oh, you’re turning fifty this year”, the question is “do I need a colonoscopy?”
So apparently I am being set up with the latest and greatest in colonoscopy. It is called an open access colonoscopy. That name disturbs me. They can call it open access all they want, but I am locking the door and not taking visitors during the procedure.
No, I mean that. Do not show up expecting to sit in on my colonoscopy. All guest seating for this event will be in the spacious lobby. Concession stands will provide snacks and t-shirts commemorating the event will be available at the merchandise table.
The Door With My Name On It
The last part of my doctor visit involved me filling up a cup.
A lady from the doctor’s lab walked me into a restroom adjoining the lab. She wrote my name on a cup and asked me to fill it. After she left I looked around. There was a list of instructions on the wall detailing exactly how I was to fill the cup. There were a surprising number of steps to successfully accomplish the cup filling task. The last two steps on the list caught my eye:
Close the lid securely.
Put the cup in the door with your name on it.
I had already planned to close the lid securely. That just seemed like a polite thing to do under the circumstance. There’s no way a person could consider themselves civilized, yet pass unsealed containers of waste to another person. On the other hand, perhaps I expect too much of my fellow man.
Once the cup was secure, I looked for a door with my name on it. There wasn’t one. There was an exit sign on the door I entered through and there was a little door in the wall, but that had the manufacturer’s name on it. I opted for the little door, even though my name is not Metalcraft.
So now I wait. The mother of all physicals always ends with a letter from the doctor listing his conclusions about my health. It usually arrives in an envelope in the mailbox with my name on it. I guess if the letter says “you’re in fine health, but my office smells awful” I will know I picked the wrong door.