Thursday, October 30, 2008

Real Men Wear Hospital Gowns

Day 30 - Photo 30. Have you ever wondered why hospital gowns are open in the back? I found out today. It's my birthday. My 50th birthday and I treated myself to a physical exam with my doctor. My wife, Georgia, asked me. "So...why exactly did you decide this was a good idea...on your birthday?" About the time I made this photo I was beginning to wonder why too.

During a routine visit six months ago my doctor and I both decided, since I was turning 50, it'd be a good idea to have a physical, complete with a colorectal screening for cancer. This involves the somewhat invasive sigmoidoscopy (look it up) procedure. After my doctor canceling once and me canceling once, the next available appointment was, today, my birthday. Hey, fate was calling. And I thought how bad could it be? Preparation begins 24 hours in advance and includes a liquid diet and two doses of a rather nasty tasting and cruel acting...ah..."laxative cleanser." Following a restless and fitful night, and my stomach doing its best impersonation of a scene from Alien, I headed out to my doctors.

Sitting in the exam room was my first indication something was wrong. After a short question and answer session with my doctor he asked. "So have you ever had a colorectal screening?" "" I replied, simply thinking he was going to give me the--this is a normal relatively risk free procedure--speech. Instead I was now certain things had gone wrong. "Okay, we'll have to get you scheduled for a sigmoidoscopy." He said. Feeling sort of lost and stupid I wasn't able to muster a response before the doctor was called away for a moment. Next to me was a tray covered by a white sterile looking cloth. Thinking I'd find a cruel looking medieval scope laying there I carefully lifted the cloth to find nothing more insidious looking than a nine inch Q-tip. Now I really felt stupid. As I waited for the doctor's return I scrambling to find the right questions. After all I didn't want to seem to eager. When he eventually returned I stated my case. He looked at me incredulously and said. "I don't do that exam, I haven't for years. I just make the referral, you have to schedule the appointment. And besides...that's just not my idea of a good time." "And like it's mine!" I replied. "You didn't do all the prep (referring to the laxative) work did you?" He asked. "Yes...and believe me...that's wasn't my idea of a good time."

We eventually got it straightened out, it was my fault. We had a good laugh, he laughed more then me. And we proceed with the exam.

So the transition to 50th was "relatively normal risk free procedeurer." And I remembered why hospital gowns are open in the back. I'm just hoping "doc" will call me. Or, maybe send flowers?

1 comment:

cheryl21 said...

Happy Birthday, yesterday. Welcome to the over-50 world.