After accepting a promotion, I moved my wife and three small children to San Antonio. We were still settling in when my District Manager dropped by my office. Striding past me, yanking his tie loose and unbuttoning his collar, he headed for the break room. He was barely civil. I joined him as he was pouring two cups of coffee, black, no sugar.
“I’ve just come from my annual physical” he said, wilting into a chair. “If you haven’t found a family doctor yet, I’ve got some advice for you. If he has large hands, find another one.”
My laughter brought a scowl to his face. He was serious. To me, the thought of an invasive body probe seemed hilarious. Ahhh ---- those were the days of youth.
The PSA test number was higher than normal, the number of nighttime wake-ups, excessive. The doctor recommended a biopsy. He did not have small hands.
“The opening goes in the back” Nurse Goodbody said, handing me a pale blue gown. “Leave a urine sample in the bathroom down the hall on the left and write your name on the bottle. Then go into the room across the hall.”
Hanging my pants on the hook in the locker, I slammed the door and put on the gown. Boy! Was it ever open? Scurrying down the hall, I prayed no one stepped out behind me.
It’s enough to worry about having this procedure. Knowing it will be several days before the results are known didn’t help. Nurse Goodbody assisting the doctor made me question his judgment. That wasn’t her name, of course, but she never introduced herself and she didn’t wear a name tag.
She was a Mae West clone in a pale-gold dress stretched banjo string tight. The fabric between the buttons puckered open from her knees to her chin, threatening to shear at any moment. No man could understand how she had buttoned it. If a button popped, anyone in its way would get transported by EMS. She had the personality of a Marine drill sergeant.
When I streaked into the exam room, she was waiting. “Up here” she said, patting the exam table. “Lay on your right side.” As I sank upon the paper covered cold brown vinyl she tugged my gown up around my waist, leaving my southern hemisphere exposed. A chilling breeze from the air conditioner vents washed over me. My skin tone quickly matched my gown.
The doctor, a no-nonsense middle-aged guy entered the room, hooked a stool with a shoe toe to position it and sank from my view. “This may sting a little.”
He inserted a rude instrument and poked around, giving me a wealth of unpleasant feelings. ‘Ka-pow’ It sounded like someone behind me fired a .22 pistol. Something pinched, stinging where the sun don’t shine.
Seeing me flinch, Nurse Goodbody patted my bare flank as she might a frightened show cat. If she thought she was helping, she wasn’t. I didn’t purr.
Four more shots were fired before I was dismissed to get dressed. I couldn’t leave quick enough.
“Mail’s come” my wife announced, returning from the mail box. “This must be your doctor’s report. I’ll open in.”
I cringed. It couldn’t be good. Biopsies aren’t done on a whim. Well, maybe they are – how many women have hysterectomies that don’t need them?
My wife frowned and squared around to face me. She waved her hands. Like I really wanted to play charades. She shook her head sideways.
“No? You’re saying, no?”
She shook her head up and down.
“Yes. Yes, its no?” She nodded affirmatively. I hate this game.
She curled her arms, one hand held high, one held low, with a gap between them, leaning sideways. I wiggled my fingers, palms toward me, begging for more. She makes a motion I interpret to mean ‘sounds like’.
“C?” She nods, beaming.
“Si? Spanish? Yes? Yes, Yes?”
She shakes her head, getting exasperated but she’s got a long ways to go to catch up. Again she does the sideways leaning bit.
“C?” She nods, beaming. “No C? No cancer? … NO CANCER!”
Exhaling a long whoosh, I fell back in the recliner. “No C. Do you know what that means? Do you?”
She leaned over and kissed my bald spot. “Sure, Tiger. You can quit worrying. Miss Goodbody isn’t going to get another peak at you.”
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