Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday's Words #3


I am a private person. Even with my partner, fantasies are drastically censured. The closest others see my genitals outside of intimacy is in the exam room or in day surgery. This is about those visits, to the doctor.

There is a shift from modesty to clinical indifference once the door is closed. Usually.

My first experience with prostate exams was with a doctor who preferred me on my side, on the table, in a one-knee-high position. To this day every exam I don’t recall the doctor’s desired position is predicated with “what position do you want me in?” This question has elicited a couple chuckles. The first doctor is the only one who wanted anything other than the military ‘spread those cheeks’. Rather, all, but one, who will be discussed later.

The biggest embarrassment in this procedure was cleaning up the lube, afterwards. Yuk! I learned to accept the proffered single tissue and grab the box in the same motion. I also, know that anal sex is no fantasy. Remotely, perhaps, a prostate exam during bedroom-bath games will drift into dreams.

With age grew the concern for cancer. Father and grandfather, suffered the consequences of prostate cancer. My grandfather was my first experience in witnessing the process of dying. At the age of eight, I was primed for a lifetime of death. I share the same concerns every female has with breast cancer. Supposedly, medical advances minimize physical issues with incontinence, but it was me who collected all the catheters, drain tubes, and penal clamps my father needed for fifteen years after his prostate surgery. The full annual regimen began at age 35 for me.

But cancer isn’t the subject, here; just a catalyzing agent.

The exam includes the two coughs (if there are two testicles) and proverbial inspection of the moles on the glans. I’m covered toe to scalp, even there with moles. Wait, the cough goes with a physical.

Okay, now the exceptions. Two female doctors; well, one was a third-year student, have dealt with my package. Both convince me that the opposite sex need not be involved with the physical manifestations of my various problems in the crotch area.

The first, a looker, lanced a boil right next to the perineum. She even made me go through a special surgical appointment for the next day. It felt like her intent was transsexual modification. She was draped in scrubs, mask and protective eyewear. I was lying, draped in sterile paper sheets; one precariously balanced on the personal jewels. I had the added embarrassment of a hospital gown. Why do female nurses want men in hospital gowns? Just drop the drawers at the necessary moment.

Well, scrotum, then pole would not cooperate and insisted on falling between my legs and concealing the presumed object of her intentions. The paper drifted into several places. Her nurse, also female, also sterile, made a couple modest attempts to realign the miscreants after Doctor realized she needed two hands to perform the operation.

Finally, when I thought I might start laughing instead of finding the scene irritating, I grabbed the sheet, adjusted it, and pulled the intruders away from the action.  Fear of sharp implements near the jewels is a permanent given. I was also fearful of a pending fart adding further complications.

The lance job was only half-assed. Neither Doc nor attendant caught a drop of bloody puss, and I was sent home after several minutes of amateurish bandaging. Several months later the boil went away, after a few lancings on my own.

A few years later, under another provider, PA Rich took care of a mirror image boil. He snapped on some nitrile gloves and opened up an exacto knife while I dropped my drawers. “Hold your package away.” Cold alcohol, then a sting with immediate relief completed the procedure. I wore a Kotex pad home. No tape was involved.

The third-year student I could understand. Other than personal flings, she was learning, training to handle the clinical aspects of opposite gender genitals. The provider was a university group and I had a rapidly growing, itchy thing right at the cusp of number two pucker. I couldn’t see it, so I killed a work day, went into the big City, finally found my destination among a mile long train of medical buildings, and signed a consent form to have students look in on my personal problems, or shadow the doctor.

The doctor introduced his blond companion, all business-like. Other than the gorgeous Asian Dr. who dripped sex and had me desperately controlling male urges when diagnosing TMJ a month earlier, this girl had me really nervous. I was in a huge room wearing a glorified apron (gown), while she and Doc probed, discussed, and had me roll several times on the table. Finally, Doc announced “a wart!”, only in gibberish. They left the room, closing the door.

A minute later, Blondie returned wearing gloves and holding a tube of KY jelly. She furtively commenced an anal inspection with me fully exposed to the 15-foot wide hallway. I dismissed a thought to advance her education by pointing out my double sized prostate. I thought she might consider it male bravado.

Doctor interrupted the exam, sat down to discuss further visits; then saw the hallway with the steady stream of staff and patients. Blondie blushed and yanked the curtain. I pulled it to the wall until I couldn’t see the hall. She remembered her gloves while I wiped the paper tissue on the table. I was gushing while they talked, then we talked, then they left. I found the box of tissues, in a drawer before dressing.

Two weeks later I had a new primary doctor far away from any school program. A month later, the itchy wart disappeared.

I am destined to deal with female doctors as more sexist barriers are toppled, but I’ll vigorously defend my own sexism in special areas of the medical profession.