Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Don't Need No Doctor

My doctor wants to hook up with me.

I went for a routine physical exam the other day and the doctor found almost nothing wrong. I was hoping for better news. I’m at an age where my contemporaries begin to alternate tales of their highly successful offspring with a litany of maladies and they suffer from and the medicines that sustain them.

I’ve got nothing. Soon our gatherings will consist of my friends sitting around the table sorting their pills into those S M T W T F S containers while describing poor urine flow, with me just rolling my eyes and eating all the foods they can’t digest any more. Meanwhile, I think my doctor covets my healthy body.

I use Metamucil but that’s not a sign of age or even a problem anymore; it’s part of staying healthy and being young. Their new “commercial oozes sophistication … packed with images of hypnotically gliding, smiling young women getting ready for a night on the town… Along with the new campaign has come a drop -- from 55-plus to 35-plus -- in the age of the product's target audience.” Metamucil is starting a youth movement.

I don’t drink alcohol very much. I put that on the checklist. Before the exam I had to go through this list and note that I don’t smoke, I don’t pee too much or too little and I have no sexual dysfunction. I wasn’t sure why I even filled out the form because the doctor repeated most of the questions during the exam; twice I was asked “so… no sexual dysfunctions or any problems there?” Trying to say it in a way that didn’t reveal a non-medical interest.

At the time I just assumed that she gets a kickback from any Viagra/Cialis/Levitra prescriptions she writes. (Did I mention my doctor is a woman?) Looking back later, after the other incidents, I thought she – what? - wanted me to prove it? Was she just confirming that I could perform if she decided to actually hit on me?

I was always bad at reading signs that girls were interested in me. After any chance to react to it had passed, someone would ask me, “Didn’t you know that Shirley likes you?” “Likes me, likes me?” “Yeah.” “Shit! Why didn’t you tell me?”

I eat a lot of blueberries. And cruciferous vegetables. And other good antioxidants and vitamin packed foods. I don’t know if that’s why, but my blood pressure is to be envied and my cholesterol numbers are posted as an example to others of the perfection that can be achieved if they really try. My PSA, the measure of prostate cancer risk, is 0.45 where less than 4.0 is good.

I’m very happy about that. I mean, I’ll take bad cholesterol to get myself into the aging-illness bingo game. But I don’t want cancer. A little swollen prostate might be okay, but I had no luck there either. As an aside, guys, it may be a little embarrassing to have a female doctor check your prostate, but it is more than made up for by the fact that she has slender, feminine fingers. In years past, when I went to a male urologist for this exam, I selected a Vietnamese man because he had tiny exploring digits.

My doctor is a short, thin woman, getting even smaller with age (She’s a bit older than I am and, I think, covets my youthful body). She examined my prostate and then looked at me with a smile and said it was “not enlarged at all - smooth and soft and perfect.”

Here is where I started to detect something uncomfortable – not in my prostate, just in the atmosphere in the examining room. Looking back, I recall that she said that about my prostate like she might tell me “your eyes were as clear and blue as a mountain stream - the ones they get water from to make ice cold beer.” As if she could peer into my soul and see what moved me. But I still didn’t really catch on at that point.

I use sunscreen. Even when I go to LA to hang at the beach for a week. People at work make fun of me because I come back less than tan. That’s one of the reasons that the doctor found a minor problem to tell me about. I have a vitamin D deficiency. She said it’s common in the Midwest. We don’t get enough “good” sun and we use protection. (Was there a huskiness in her voice when she said “use protection”?)

She gave me a prescription for vitamin D. That’s right. There is prescription strength vitamin D. That is so lame. When the guys are sitting around talking about their Flowmax prescriptions, I’m just going to keep that vitamin D thing to myself. I asked her, “Can’t you just prescribe that I need to move to Southern California and live on the beach?” She said, “I can. The insurance company won’t pay for it, though.” She smiled, letting me know she liked my sense of humor and she could keep up.

Then she found the other thing. I have small cyst on the bottom of my right breast. “It appears totally benign,” she assured me; “just a normal, subcutaneous cyst.” I was relieved, but she wasn’t done. “However, you could have somebody check it out, if you want.” I looked at her, letting her know that I was cool, but, sure, I could let somebody check it. “I can send you to my ex-husband. He’s a surgeon. He will probably just remove it.”

She went all that way to not only make me feel vulnerable and like I needed her, but to let me know she was not married. That’s when sitting naked on her examining table with nothing but a thin paper sheet separating us became very awkward. I stared at the brochures about cancer and thought about baseball and dead puppies.

She left the room soon after and I got dressed and went out to get my prescriptions and the referral to her ex-husband. But I couldn’t shake the disturbing feeling.

My doctor wants to hook up with me.


Susan said...

"Metamucil is starting a youth movement." Funny!

verification word: bederst = maybe John's doc will prescribe some for him (and her).

Cali said...

Uhhhh, time for a new doctor?

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