When I made my appointment for my annual exam with my internist I found out she has left and another woman doctor has taken her place. I know you are probably groaning with pain at the thought. Not again you are saying. How many times do I have to go through this orientation of the new doctor? Annually it seems. Well I am not as weak-willed as you and I welcome the challenge. I break out my checklist of breaking in a new doctor and get to work. My appointment was today. As I know you are a medical maven you might be interested in my experience.
I always like to start off my first meeting with a new doctor with a real riddler of a problem to see what they will do. You know, to test their mettle so to speak. This way I get a preview of how they will behave in the unlikely event that I become actually ill. I like to be prepared. Maybe I won’t like their style. What if their outfits are ugly? Or even worse what if their hair isn’t cute? I find it best to know now and cut my losses while I am still strong and healthy rather than wait until I am weak and sick. Who wants to find a new doctor then, much too tiring.
Plus I like to catch them off guard with a little unexpected nudity. That is always a great icebreaker. You should try it. Just pick the most personal body part you have and ask them to take a close look at it. As you may recall I have used this in the past. Remember the shingles on my breast with my first visit to Dr. Marvin Goldman? That was a good one. Little advice though, only do this once per doctor. You don’t want to do this repeatedly as you might appear to be a nut rather than the informed consumer that you truly are.
To this end as I was showering this morning I was reminded of this lump I have in my groin. Yep it is still there I happily note to myself. How handy. I decide to have the doctor “take a look at it” during my yearly physical.
To make a long story short, all goes well at my appointment. Blood pressure good, temperature normal, breathe in and out etc, etc. I am fully clothed sitting on the exam table as she peppers me with questions about my health. She nods without expression at most of what I am saying; probably disappointed by my healthy responses. No doctor fun there. Next is the how old are you question. Well actually date of birth. After my stated birth date she says, ” Oh 50, you win the prize of a colonoscopy.” Being busy with my checklist I hardly notice and sort of ignore her. Check off box: Good at Math
Now she says “Can you show me this lump by just pulling down your pants or do you need to take them off?” So you see this is not her first time at the rodeo. Of course I reply, “I need to take them off”. Remember a little nudity never really replaces total nudity so don’t fall for this one. She hands me a sheet and steps outside while I disrobe. Check off box: Can be Stealthy
Upon her return she dons gloves and begins the surprisingly unsuccessful search for my lump. She says, “ I can’t see it. Can you show me where it is?” Ugh this is not working out so great. I say, “Well let me try” and I hop off the table, dragging my sheet with me to try to find it myself. I sashay around trying to replicate my shower stance of this morning, which is not that easy to do in the small confines of an exam room while simultaneously holding the modesty sheet around my lower half all the while under the persistent gaze of a medical professional. So after futilely searching around downtown myself for a moment or two I had to concede defeat. “Okay maybe it’s gone”, I lamely say. Although, “How the hell did that happen?” I think, as it was just there this morning. Check off box: Can Perform Miracle Cures
“If we can’t find it that’s probably good”, she says happily. Wow, nothing bothers her. Check off box: Can Tolerate Inane Behavior.
“Let’s just watch it and if it gets bigger, let me know”, she adds. Hmm this seems a little strange, but okay. Check off box: Optomistic Prognostician.
In conclusion, she cheerfully says to me, “Well at this point it is all about prevention. Don’t smoke, drink only moderately, wear a seatbelt and have a colonoscopy”. Jeesh again with the colonoscopy. And anyway couldn’t I have gotten these sage medical words from reading “Women’s Day” with all my clothes in place in my comfortable home?
Everybody wants to sell the colonoscopy. First my husband’s doctor, then my brother’s doctor who even recruits out-of-town family patients, now my doctor. I swear they must be earning frequent flyer points for every colonoscopy referral. By the gleam in her eye as she handed me the referral information, I deduced that she may be just one patient away from a trip to Bermuda. In fairness to her, I have heard the beaches there are to die for. Check off box: Can be Bought
By the way, I currently have a cold and not one word is mentioned by her about that. I guess Sudafed has dropped their “Dollar Bills for our Pills” program. Check off box: Easily Distracted
“A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health.” Proverbs 15:30