Doctors and Beer

It has been a while since I went to the doctor, and I couldn’t put it off any longer. My wife has been encouraging, no not bugging, me to go.  “You have to make an appointment with the doctor. I’m too busy to worry about you going to the doctor too.”  Yes dear, she was right, this time.  I wasn’t consciously avoiding an appointment but wasn’t rushing either. I had plenty of excuses: nobody around here takes our insurance, I feel fine, I don’t have time, etc, etc. 

After reviewing the paperwork (which had been mailed to me beforehand), the receptionist sent me to billing. I was told, “You know the doctor does not accept your insurance.”  Yes I knew and with that I was instructed to take a seat in the large near empty waiting room.  The wait was brief, as promised, and I was led in to a room by a nurse. She did the standards: took my pulse, weighed me, and then told me to take off my shirt and she would be back in a moment.  “Tee shirt too?” I asked. “Yes.”  I sat in the waiting room feeling a bit awkward and cold. After the EKG was taken (and some chest hairs removed), I was told the doctor would be in to see me shortly. The nurse handed me a gown and told me to undress. “Everything,” I asked trying not to let me disbelief and discomfort come through. “No, you can leave on your underwear.” Good.   

After stripping down (and getting back on the scale – I knew that number was too high), and changing into the gown, I waited.  The doctor came in to the room – calm and casual.  “Aren’t you supposed to be wearing the gown?”   I’m the patient. “No, I’m not even wearing a tie.  I don’t bother with the gown. It makes the patients nervous.” He asked the usual questions about family history.  He also asked about my sleep patterns and then talked about his own. He asked about my family and talked about his own. He asked if I exercise and then talked about his regimen.  This guy was cool. I did feel relaxed. We actually had a conversation. I thought to myself I wouldn’t mind having a beer with this guy.

After explaining the process that he has his patients go through, he said there was one more thing he had to do. He said it was a little awkward, but I was at that age, and he had to check. He instructed me to lie on my side with my rear end facing him. Ohh, that’s not pleasant. He pronounced the prostate fine. I smiled, said thanks, and left the office. I don’t think I would want to have a beer with him anymore.

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