Medical Notes

I went to the doctor’s the other week. It seems a strange thing to be writing, given that I never saw the inside of a doctor’s office for three years at one point. My health was just as crappy then; I just never bothered taking any of my ailments to get sorted. In my third year at university, I had to actually take some notice of my collapsing health (don’t worry, I’m nowhere near death’s door yet) and found myself registering at the university’s medical practice. I’ve been in and out of doctors’ offices ever since.

These days, I go to a practice that’s been in the same building for about a century. It used to be a nice little country practice, until Birmingham swallowed the area into a suburb. It’s still a nice atmosphere to be treated in and still has the feel of a traditional practice. To be frank, I find modern general practice buildings to be a bit sterile – in the bad sense. I like to relax in nice surroundings when I’m ill – I can do without the featureless, beech-trimmed corridors that are fashionable in public buildings now.

Anyway, I knew what was wrong with me last week. It’s wrong to self-diagnose, but I’ve taken the same symptoms to doctors a few times and they’ve voiced their suspicions; they’ve just never investigated and made certain. So I brought my ailment in one final time, wanting a proper diagnosis and knowing what was required to make it. So I marched into the office and demanded that the doctor stick a finger up my bottom.

Actually, that’s an exaggeration. I gave him the list of symptoms and he suggested the same thing everyone else has before prescribing me some medicine and telling me that he might need to take a look up there at a later date.

“I’ve had this for several years now,” I said. “I was hoping you’d take a look now.”

“Well, if you’re mentally prepared, I’ll do it,” he said. “Do you want a chaperone?”

It saddens me that our society knee-jerks so much to isolated incidents that our sense of trust in professionals is undermined like this. I’d only just met him but, so far as I’m concerned, a doctor is a doctor. So, as requested, I removed the bottom half of my clothing and lay on the couch with my knees against my chest while he donned the glove and lubricant.

As I lay in the foetal position, naked from the waist down, one thought crossed my mind. Where is this chaperone supposed to come from? I’d come alone, so it wouldn’t be anyone I know. It would very probably be another member of staff at the practice. Which begs the question as to why the system assumes that I might feel more comfortable with a complete stranger who has nothing to contribute to the proceedings watching me lie in this undignified position with a doctor’s hand up my arse…

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~ by Scary Rob on 17 February, 2009.

One Response to “Medical Notes”

  1. Let me guess… inflamed prostate? Not that it’s any of my business, but a lot of guys seem to catch it around me, and when they talk about it, the finger scene is always depicted in great detail. I’m so glad I don’t have one 😉

    That chaperone thing is new, though. And funny. It seems like doctors in Birmingham are really a bit inhibited. When I had to fill out that NHS paper at the beginning of my stay, I asked a doctor what a “smear test” was, and he blushed and told me I had to ask one of the female nurses… whereupon he didn’t have to explain it any more. XD

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