Grump wrote this Trilogy a few yeas ago but he feels it has just as much import today as it did then. Too many of Grump’s friends and family were avoiding their dreaded annual physical and, if they were over 40 and male, the digital rectal prostrate exam. Men, as you know, are notorious white coat procrastinators, avoiding Doctors as if they were as deadly as the plague. This is Grumpy’s attempt to add a little humour to that big moment. It is his hope that in reading this, more men will take the plunge (bad choice of words) and get screened for one of the most common cancers found in old guys.
Grumpy’s Date With Doctor Paul: PART ONE
Mark it down, Tuesday, April 28th, 2009; Grumpy had a date with Doctor Paul. Even though this wasn’t a “date” in the classical sense, it surely did felt like one. You see, once you become an old timer like me, the annual physical becomes an up close and personal encounter of the “Third Kind”.
Let me explain.
First of all you must understand that this isn’t your typical ten minute fully clothed oral consultation. We’re talking about a full thirty minutes of intimate probing along with a detailed diagnostic examination. The subject (me) sits/lays and bends half naked before his inquisitor, all the while wondering what indignities will come next.
One must prepare for this experience much as one would prepare for any intimate encounter. So, when I said “a date with my Doctor”, I’m talking about the same kind of attention to personal hygiene and cleanliness required for intimacy with your significant other.
Getting ready for the appointment has become somewhat ritualistic for me. First of all there is the trimming of the toenails; a chore I abhor, mainly because my toe nails have become as tough as shoe leather and as brittle as stale beef jerky. Each snip of brittle nail results in the launch of a lethal projectile. The thought of wearing safety glasses has crossed my mind but, for now, the prudent defense is a simple turn of the head and tightly closed eyes. I won’t even go into how difficult it is to get the clippers to those nails, given the state of my midriff.
The long bath takes care of the outer coverings while special attention to body cavities insures that the “peek and pokes” are pristine and odorless. I do notice that things that once floated in the tub no longer have their natural buoyancy. Such is life!
As I go through these machinations I constantly question my motives and more than once I call aloud, “This is not prep for a rendezvous with a woman for God’s sake. What are you thinking, man? ”
The question of cologne or no cologne always comes up and I have yet to find a solution. Cologne may mask other odors but what signal does it send to the good Doc? I think Doctor Paul once said that he had allergies. Maybe the expensive stuff with those pheromones will set him to sneezing. Hell, what if the scent itself gives him other ideas. Neither reaction would be good for my fully exposed near naked body. I decide to go without.
Who wants to be sitting on the examination table with that froth that forms when you sweat running down out your pits? There are glands that have to be probed there, my friend. Standing before the wash basin, I fill the bowl and give the pits a second scrub. There will be no deodorant.
And then there are the questions the meander through my mind.
Will he think I look fat?
Will I lie when he asks how many drinks I have a week?
Will I feel my usual discomfort when we chat, me sitting there in my skivvies, he in a suit?
Will the snap of the rubber gloves cause me to whine like a little girl?
The funny thing is that after all of my preparation, these questions are causing me to break out in a drenching full body sweat. A glance at the clock tells me that there will be no time to jump in the shower for a quick “scrotal scrub”. Doctor Paul will have to “take me” as I am. (I know, that’s a poor choice of words!)
But, I am proud of myself. Not once have I let my mind drift to the good Doc’s favorite attempt at humor. “Well, Grumpy, now it’s time for your favorite part of the examination!”Did I mention my reaction to the snap of those rubber gloves? My sphincter quivers with the very thought of it!
As I step out into the crisp April air, I’m thinking that, if I left the house in this pristine condition every day of the week, my wife would be accusing me of having some kind of dalliance with a loose woman. I wonder what she’ll be thinking after I respond, “Don’t worry hon. I just have a date with my Doctor”.