Things used to be different. Yes, youngsters… life was different and it was not very long ago. As I age I notice things from time to time when there seems to be a change. Maybe I notice it more because my routine is pretty much the same every day. Wake up, shower, go to work. Come home for lunch, go back to work. Come home and eat supper, go back to the shop later to either fiddle or tie people up and take pictures of them. Pretty routine stuff just like anyone else.
Living in the same house as a medical professional can be a good thing and also be a pain in the ass. If you actually have a pain in the ass, that medical professional will burn down the internet in an attempt to discover what might possibly be wrong with your ass – or any other part of you. Then, she will drive over to the doctor’s office and make an appointment for you and THEN call you to tell you when you need to show up. Kind of like that… I may have left out a couple of details but you get the idea.
So, I had this slight discomfort in my side which causes me to not sleep so well because being on my back or side (or taking the dog out every 15 minutes to pee) keeps me up at night. Better check it out. Go to the doctor. Turns out, the doctor knows one of my daughters which makes it just that much more weird when I have to flash my junk for inspection. Oh, I know what you just thought… what does my junk have to so with this side pain? Crossed my mind as well. I figure it was simple professional curiosity. Other doctors have also been professionally curious as they poked and prodded things. I’ve never won any awards for this. A certificate or a hug would be nice once in a while.
Perhaps it is a kidney stone. Perhaps it is the massive amounts of pain relievers I take for my crippled shoulder. Perhaps I am full of shit. Turns out, like usual, I may actually be full of shit. Just to be on the safe side, we’ll run a bunch of other tests and because I’m old… time for a colonoscopy… just for kicks. My life is damn exciting.
Here’s what is different in the doctor’s office today: Whenever the time came to turn my head and cough – back in the dinosaur times – Doctor Ward (doctor I grew up with who made house calls and all of that… what’s a house call? Look it up, you’ll be amazed.) would just look at you and tell you to stand up and drop your pants. He would place his tobacco stained fingers in a strategic area and tell you to “turn your head and cough”, and then do it again. You are done, you re-do your pants and there you go. (Doctor Ward was our local town Doc. He had 4 or 5 examination rooms in his office. We always knew where he was at any moment due to the fact that he shuffled his feet along the linoleum floor. There was an ashtray with a burning cigarette in at least 2 or 3 of those exam rooms at all times. Made it easier to just pick up a smoke at any moment, I suppose.)
The doctor reached up into a shelf and pulled out a pair of blue paper shorts and told me to put them on. She would be making me cough in a moment but she would give me some privacy to take off my pants and put these blue paper shorts on. Okay… done. I was sure that this procedure would be some amazing new technique but could not figure out how or why. There was no fly or zipper or opening in these blue paper shorts. “Okay, drop your blue paper shorts.” I did. She did the test and I pulled up my blue paper shorts. I was thinking that this had been quite a time waster and no wonder our medical bills are so damned expensive. Add in more time to de-pants yourself and enter the world of blue paper shorts. Time is money… heat, electricity, occupying an examination room when someone with more important ailments waits in the lounge. Then she suggested that since I was pretty sporty in those blue paper shorts, why not walk all the way down to the other end of the building to get some x-rays.
Yeah, okay. All the way down the carpeted hallway in my socks and blue paper shorts in fucking January. By the time I got there the static cling in my blue paper shorts was freaking me out. I suggested to the x-ray tech that a little Static Guard might help. Of course, this would add to the medical costs right along with the costs of custom fit blue paper shorts.
I also volunteered the information that I felt safe in my house and that we had no guns or any plans to obtain guns in the near future. I told her that I knew she probably could not ask and could not do anything with that information anyway, thanks to the NRA, but I felt compelled to share – like it or not.
Bottom line, I will live.