After almost six months without a post here on Roamin’ Gnomials, I knew I’d need some momentous occasion if I was going to come back with a splash.
My trip to the dick doctor just might have provided it.
I kept it a secret from almost everyone, but for some weeks I’d been having a spot of trouble down in the old waterworks, and eventually decided I’d better get it checked out. My general practitioner sent me to a dick doctor, who first ordered a CT scan, which was relatively quick and painless.
My instructions were then to return to the urologist for a second test, which didn’t sound quite so jolly.
I arrived on time for this second appointment and sat nervously in the waiting room until my name was called. By now I was used to the drill and had drunk a bottle of water on my way to the office and was able to gift the lab techs with a fresh specimen.
From the bathroom I was ushered to a different room, and it was there that I saw a thing no man should ever have to see: an exam table with stirrups. Beside the table were two normal chairs, both adorned with pink waterproof pads. That would have been unsettling enough if I hadn’t already been unmanned by the stirrups.
I sat demurely in one of the chairs while a nurse went through her spiel, finishing with a flourish and the presentation of some papers for me to sign, giving the doctor permission to have his way with me.
“Okay, strip from the waist down and put on that gown,” she said. “It ties in the back.”
Suddenly I knew the purpose of the pink pads, as some customers evidently chose to don their open-backed gowns before settling their glistening pink rumps back into one of the chairs.
With a deep sigh of resignation, I shucked my pants and grabbed for my gown, which proved to be made of paper. The ties naturally broke in half while I fumbled in manlike confusion, trying unsuccessfully to tie a bow behind my back.
“Fuck it,” I said to myself, and just climbed between the stirrups and plopped myself onto the exam table, trying to assume a countenance of nonchalance despite my complete vulnerability and the fact that my heart was hammering like a jungle tom-tom.
Of course I knew what was in store, the doctor had warned me weeks ago that it was coming, but I’d tried to put it out of my head as any sensible man would. A cystoscopy, the doctor explained, was basically having a camera shoved up your cock for the purpose of returning live video of your bladder.
“Sounds painful” I said at the time, and he told me that it’s “really not so bad.” But of course I already knew how doctors lie.
Now three weeks later and waiting in the empty exam room, I had a chance to check out the equipment, and I wasn’t liking what I saw. To my wondering eyes, the business end of the scope looked about the diameter of a pencil, and I’m not talking about a pencil like you or I would use, but one of those fat things first-graders hold in their chubby fists while learning how to scribble their name.
I was seconds away from grabbing my britches and running for the door when the knob rattled and the doctor walked in.
Too late, story of my life.
After firing up the machine, the doctor told me to lay back and “do your best to relax.” I liked that, at least he didn’t have any unrealistic expectations. Before I knew it, he and the ever-present nurse had loaded my legs into the stirrups and it was time to party.
From somewhere I hadn’t seen, the doctor produced a steel rod that looked like it was about two feet long, ending with a nasty buttonhook. Straight out of the Tower of London, I thought, and horror of horrors, the doctor was lubing it up.
But before I had time to be thankful that I apparently wouldn’t have to take it dry, the doctor produced a syringe from somewhere else and said he was going to pump some lidocaine “up my channel.”
I might have started blubbering questions about the doctor’s qualifications at that point, but before I could finish I saw the business end of the buttonhook rod moving with purpose toward the center of my being, but thankfully it dipped out of sight behind the stretched blue of my paper gown.
“Now here comes some pressure,” the doctor said. Have you ever noticed how doctors always use words like “pressure” or “pinch” when what they really mean to say is, “this is gonna hurt like a sonofabitch!” Well, my thoughts at the time were, “Holy shit, if that wasn’t ‘pressure’ I felt before with the lidocaine, how much more ‘pressure’ can I possibly take?”
I was about to find out the answer to that question, however.
After a word from the doctor, the nurse opened a valve, suddenly flooding my works with about 25 gallons of normal saline. “We have to expand the bladder so we can see once we get in there,” the doctor explained as I gritted my teeth, the salty overflow leaking from the corners of my eyes.
Meanwhile, the doctor was just getting warmed up. “Another push here as we go past the prostate,” he said, and suddenly I was talking in falsetto, “Let me know if you find Jimmy Hoffa up there.”
I thought it was a pretty good line, but it didn’t earn more than a smirk from the doctor, who seemed intent on his work, now leaning into it like you see some video gamers do when they’re working their joysticks and go zooming through the turns. The big difference here was that it was my stick he was working, and it wasn’t bringing me a whole lot of joy.
“Okay we’re all the way in now,” the doctor said, “and I’m looking around your bladder. Want to see?”
“Sure,” I squeaked, “I guess this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I don’t want to miss.”
The nurse turned the monitor so I could see, and suddenly the doctor took on the role of tour guide, like some demented park ranger pointing out the features of the Papoose Room in Carlsbad Caverns.
Meanwhile, with all that saline solution sloshing around, I needed to piss like a racehorse and was ready for the guided tour to end, but the doc kept twisting the scope to find a different panorama. It felt like a rattail file grinding away in a place where no rattail file was ever meant to grind.
Finally, show and tell was over, and the doctor started backing out, which looked on the monitor like the view when the Millennium Falcon goes into hyperdrive. He said I’d done well, which probably meant that my screams hadn’t been quite loud enough to penetrate the soundproof walls. He then said that he and the nurse would go away for a few minutes for me to compose myself, pee and get dressed.
Well, the fun part of this post is now over, so you can stop reading if having fun is all you’re about.
Of course procedures like CT scans and cystoscopies are done for serious reasons, and I was fortunate that no cancer was found. My CT scan showed one small kidney stone, and the doctor said he is confident my issues were caused by a similar stone that I apparently passed some weeks ago.
Before you accuse me of being flippant about a serious subject, understand that cancer runs in my family. Both parents died from cancer and my only sister was touched by it some years ago, though she survived her encounter. As the youngest member of my family, I’ve always felt that my turn is coming some day, so it was a big relief to hear that my scans were clean.
I was seriously stressed out in the weeks leading up to yesterday’s test, though I did a pretty good job of hiding it from most people. Humor is how I deal with stress, and I like to think that even if my news had been bad, I’d have handled it the same way, with a little gallows humor, because really, what else can you do?
When I got home yesterday I was shaky, not from the procedure so much as the sudden release of all that tension I’d been holding onto for weeks. The procedure wasn’t pleasant, but knowing there’s nothing seriously wrong with me is a big relief.
With so much cancer all around me, I seriously thought for a time that maybe it would be better not to know. But today, after receiving good news, I feel certain that isn’t the right approach.
If you have a problem, get yourself checked out, and whether the news is good or bad, face up to it as best you can with the professionals who are there to help you every step of the way.