Normally I try to put in a photo or two related to the blog topic, to add some colour. Not this time. Be thankful. Be very thankful.
I recently had to undergo a series of x-rays after a slip-and-fall on black ice at work. The x-ray tech was a nice, professional lady about my age, but that day she was only the teacher, the mentor. Assisting her and doing her practicum was a SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) Radiology Technician student who barely came up to the shoulder she was x-raying. She was cute as a button and very professional, and since I still had all my clothes on, I was perfectly at ease.
Such was not the case the first time one of my body parts was knowingly used as a teaching tool.
Since I turned 42 I’ve been having the annual, er anal, no, annual, exam to ensure my prostate is healthy. It was during my last exam that my doctor put forth the idea that the Nurse Practitioner student who was shadowing him for the week observe the procedure. I don’t think he liked her.
For those of you unfamiliar with a prostate exam, let me give you the gist of it:
- Strip to your underwear.
- Climb onto the paper-covered examining table without tearing the paper or slipping off onto your head.
- Pull your underwear down to your knees, thankful that you planned for this event and wore ones without too many holes.
- Face the wall. Never face a window. Then again, never face away from a window, either.
- Pull your knees up to your chest.
- Expose to harsh fluorescent lighting the one single part of you that should never even see sunshine.
- Close your eyes and try not to flinch at the sound of the snapping latex glove as the doctor ‘suits up’.
- Ignore the glooping sound as the kind-hearted doctor dips his arm up to the elbow in the industrial-sized tub of room-temperature-only hypoallergenic jelly.
- Try not to flinch at the cold touch of two gloved-and-lubed fingers of a nearly seventy-year-old doctor as he ‘goes for the gold’.
Having had this life-affirming exam before, I was mentally if not emotionally prepared for the necessary violation of my nether region. What I was not and could not be prepared for was a 5’8″ blonde, 25-year-old cheerleader-hot Nurse Practitioner student seeing my Worst Side Story.
To give my doctor credit, he did ask for my permission before inviting her into the examining room. At that point my head was bombarded with questions from the inside.
- How do I say ‘yes’ to my prostate teaching a hottie a lesson?
- How do I say ‘no’?
- How do I face the student after it’s all done?
- How do I tell my doctor that I now want a female doctor because I just wasn’t comfortable with a man finding the spot that makes me say “Gee, that’s an interesting sensation; how about we try it again, say after cocktails and sushi?”
So, did I say ‘yes’ to becoming an educational instrument…
- because I wasn’t embarrassed at all?
- because it was no big deal?
- or because I didn’t want the cute blonde to think I wasn’t “man” enough? (is that a stoopid reason, or what?!)
To be honest, I have no effing idea why I said ‘yes’, other than the fact that I didn’t want to piss off the man who was about to stick his lubed and gloved digits in my bum and make me his finger puppet of the day. Achmed the Dead Terrorist had it easier! (See YouTube if you have no idea what I’m talking about!)
When I have my underwear down to my knees and I’m curled up in a ball facing the wall, I’m pretty much defenceless. Keep the man happy and live to see another day, I say.
I would love to see the student’s summary of her week with Doc Oc. Or maybe I wouldn’t.
Next week, something less invasive, I promise.
Ciao for now,
Okay, one photo. Thank God it’s only symbolic.
Ya know, men have it easy in that they only have to start with that exam later in their lives. It’s something else when you’re a teenager and have to start going in for pap exam yearly and for other reasons, biannually for a short time until you die… nothing is more humiliating at that age. Even now, bravado only goes so far.
And since most doctors are men, another MUST be in the room with you watching everything, so there is no privacy. Then comes the jelly and the steel device right up to the cervix that let’s me know that having kids is not in my future. *shudder*
You’re so right, Leaha. I don’t envy women at all. From paps to mammograms to stirrups… I’ll take the two fingers up the bum once a year, thank you.