Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Playing doctor -- who's on first?

In today's permissive, gross-out movie atmosphere, purportedly focusing more on women's perspectives (although that is an extremely doubtful interpretation of all the "empowering" spank-fantasy Valkyrie-images in films right now), it's a shame nobody has done a movie that really brings home the deadpan hilarity of the Ob/Gyn's office. Okay, so Knocked Up gave it a try... but they mostly missed the ridiculously physical humor that happens every time, and which nobody present is allowed to be the first to laugh at.

My approach is different. I wisecrack wherever I am. It cuts the can't-laugh tension of the exam room. Try it, the next time a medical professional has you in a compromising position. They may not wisecrack back... but they'll laugh.

I had a breast lump right before we went to Peru. I just about died of terror, but my doctors were great. They got me in the next morning for an exam, fine needle aspiration of the lump, a mammogram, and some sonogram imaging. Punchline: it was just a blood clot from a bruise. Gross. But not terrifying.

The whole experience was clothed in a euphoria of terror, but there were some moments of hilarity.

Strongly accented Japanese doctor: "You bwess are weally lumpy!"
Me: "...Oh God."
Doc: "No, the tissue weally lumpy, has nothing to do with lump."
Me: "Um, is that normal?"
Doc: "Is normal, just is weally lumpy."

Me: "Thank you for examining me-- I'm so relieved."
Doc [dismissively]: "Is nothing! Come back if you find lumpy!"
Me: "But I found a lump... that's why I'm here."
Doc [perplexed]: "But that not a lump."

Nurse [helping me wedge myself into a mammogram machine]: "Get right up next to it-- it might hurt, but it shouldn't REALLY hurt."
Me: "Just uncomfortable. And cold."
Nurse : "Sorry about that. You okay?"
Me: "My mom always told me to keep my tits OUT of the wringer."
Nurse: [laughing so hard she doubles over]

The other day, I went for my annual exam. While nothing so dramatic as diagnosing a lump, it was still filled with absurdity.

Doc [leaning forward to listen to my chest]: "Do you have a heart murmur?"
Me: "No! I don't THINK so... If I do, you'll tell me, right?"
Doc: "Shhh. Deep breath."
Me: "Right?!"

Doc: "Okay, I'm just going to do a visual breast exam."
Me: "It's your funeral."
Doc: [laughing]

Doc: "So you want to get rid of the Paragard?"
Me: "Definitely. I'll make an appointment as soon as I..."
Doc: "Pssssh. I'm gonna do it today."
Me: "Today!?"
Doc: "Sure, I'm gonna be in the neighborhood."

Nurse: "You wanna see your Paragard?"
Me: "You know, I do, I really do... is that gross?"
Doc: "I would totally want to see it."
Nurse: "No, it's not gross, it's pretty cool."
Me [looking]: "Neat-o." [saluting] "Thank you for yeoman service, little dude."
Nurse and Doctor: [laughing]

Doc: "Now, you know that as you get older-- NOT that you're OLD-- you are at SLIGHTLY higher risk for diabetes or high blood pressure. But... you'll do fine."


Robert Link said...

Makes me so glad to be a guy. ::turns head right and coughs::

Ducks said...

Guys are supposed to get check ups that are equally embarrassing... it's just that they DON'T. Are men still as doctor-averse as they were in, say, the 70s?

A guy dear to me just had to have a teeny tiny camera on a catheter examining him for kidney stones. I don't think any of us get out of the doc's with our dignity, particularly when it's about our nethers and dainty bits.

Robert Link said...

On the other hand, how much dignity is there in being worm food sooner than necessary. ;)

PMS_Chicago said...

*salutes the Paraguard and wipes away a tear*

Lithium said...

Oh, you ALWAYS make me laugh! Sorry I've been gone for so long. I take your approach of trying to be relaxed (never been scared of doctors, really -- I save that for the dentist).

I remember once when I went in to student health. "What are you here for today?" "I'm pregnant," I answered very matter-of-factly. There was a short pause while the nurse tried to figure out whether or not that was a *good* thing. (It was.)