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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Doctor

This is  not going to be a nature blog entry so to speak, but going to the doctor can be a freak of nature. In this blog entry, I am going to outline why I hate going to the doctor.

Waiting and Waiting
I have to admit, that I find this less of a problem than it used to be, but it is still an issue.  Upon entering the doctor's office it becomes immediately clear that you are not in Kansas anymore.  The smell of disinfectant, the look of despair on the faces of the people in the waiting room tells the story of what is to come.

So I sit down on the less than comfortable chairs (as much as we pay they should have theater recliners).  I occasionally look around the room at the poor other souls waiting for their turn.  I wonder if they are thinking the same thing I am.  What seems like years later, I hear the ominous sound "Matthew."  No one calls me Matthew except for nurses, and maybe my Mom from time to time.  So, I rise to my feet and put on the fake smile which really means, "Oh crap, here we go!"

The Scales
The nurse leads me to a scales and asks me to step up onto it.  At 44 years old, the battle of the bulge is constantly an issue and the last thing I need, is to be weighed like a steer being led to auction.  Of course it is 4 lbs heavier than it is at home.  Of course I dismiss this as being caused by the extra clothing I  am wearing.  At least that excuse provides some comfort in this terrible time of need.

The Torture Chamber (AKA The Examination Room)
The nurse, trying to be somewhat chipper, but obviously tired of trying, opens the door to the examination room.  I grab a seat.  The room is almost always either much too hot or much too cold.  This is the room where middle aged men fear to tread.  It is room where all manner of tests are done, and where additional tests are ordered.  It is a room which has a cloud of anxiety hanging over it. Any number of things can go wrong here, but the following is a list of things that happen to me...

  • Inevitably my blood pressure will be up significantly while being in this room, which then makes the doctor think I need more blood pressure meds.
  • Personal questions are asked here such as:  are you sexually active?  Do you smoke?  Do you drink?  Have you had an STD?
  • Prostate exams happen here and you never know when will be the day.  I don't think I need to explain why these give me a bad day!
  • Throat cultures happen in this room!  Also known as the gag stick!
  • I am forced to take off my clothing and put on a gown.  No one knows how much clothing to take off, but one thing is for certain, people will get a view through the crack in the back.  Trust me, this is not a great view.
  • The doctor is sure to complain about high cholesterol, BP and my weight.  This, of course, brings my self concept down to rock bottom.  It will take at least 50 compliments to get me back to where I was over the course of the next six months. And then the cycle will start again on the next visit.
  • The last time I was in this room, I ended up apologizing for having two different socks on.  Oh the embarrassment. ugh.
  • No matter what I say to the doctor he gives me a look like I have no idea what I am talking about.
  • I always end up with nurse ratchet even though I see about three pretty nurses on the way in.
  • Oh did I mention I am nervous the entire time.  I am either convinced he is going to find something terrible or worried he will schedule me for some endoscopy in some bodily orifice. Again, being middle aged any number of procedures are available at the doctor's whim.
  • Now that I am middle aged, every visit to this room involves the ordering of a blood test (more on that later).
  • The testicular exam.  My doctor is a female, so she has to call a male nurse in to watch her go through the procedure.  So I have a 45 year old woman and a gay man looking at my junk.  Things could not get any worse than this!  I try not to think about what they are thinking.  I know that I am thinking, "God, please get me out of here!"

The Vampire
After leaving the torture chamber I am ALWAYS ushered to the "the lab", where I again sit and wait for some poor sap in front of me to get his work done.  A few minutes later, I am called into another room and asked to sit down.

 Upon sitting down in the chair, I look forward and there is a sign which say "relax, it is only a blood draw."  Now, for the average person this might be "only a blood draw", but for me, the man who apparently has no veins, this is a nightmare.

Once, I had one of the vampires tap my left arm, right arm, and hand.  And the result was no blood in the tube.  I had blood running out of my arm from them ripping my skin apart for five minutes, but I guess that blood was tainted. 

Generally, the doctor's office is a thing of cruelty, but I guess I am better off for it.  Sometimes I honestly wonder, but I know they are doing their best (I think).  I guess part of me thinks we should have Star Trek quality medicine at this point, but maybe that is too much to ask for.

Frankly, I would rather work overtime for a month than go to the doctor for a physical.

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