Posted by: joha5 | January 5, 2011

Youthful Reversion: Awkward Moments at the Doctor’s Office

I think everybody enjoys reverting to their younger selves from time to time.  I don’t do it often but when I do I really enjoy it.  I know you know what I mean.  I’m talking about doing stuff like eating ice cream right out of the tub, staying up all night even though you still have a ton of stuff to do the next day, playing pranks on your friends even though you know they won’t find it nearly as amusing as you do.  I think I enjoy it because it’s nice to know that I still have that silly and irreverent side somewhere deep down inside of me (and probably more than I care to admit).

However, there are times when I revert to being younger and it isn’t comforting, reassuring, or cute.   It’s just awful and embarrassing.  I usually can avoid it but there is one situation that I just simply cannot help myself: the doctor’s office. 

There is absolutely nothing about the doctor’s office that lends itself to me acting like a mature and intelligent young man.  I either get really nervous or I get really anxious and they both have totally opposite – but equally as catastrophic – results.  When I get nervous, I tense up.  But when I get anxious, I laugh…a lot.  I am sure my doctor’s are used to difficult or strange patients but I just really wish that I could act in a normal way so that I wasn’t one of them.

Awkward and Awful.

The part that makes me the most anxious is the examination process.  It doesn’t matter what they are examining: ears, chest, back, face, feet, whatever.  All of it is just cringeworthy.  I know it’s harmless and I know that the doctor is just doing their job but everything about it is just infinitely awkward.  There is just too much poking and prodding and staring and pushing for me not to laugh.  I have recently been spending a lot of time at my Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor (ENT) and it has not been pleasant.  This guy delves so deep into my face that it feels like he is reaching deep into my soul to exorcise some tiny demons that live back there.  Of course the tools at his disposal certainly add to the mystique of what exactly he is doing back there.  He has tiny pipes, he has some sort of sucking machine that looks like it belongs to the Ghostbusters, he has cameras and grabbers and tweezers and blowers and anything and everything in between.  The best part is that I try to have conversations with him while he is using these things on my face.  I think he enjoys talking to me and telling me what he is doing but every time he answers any query that I have I realize that I never really wanted to know what he was doing in the first place. 

All you need to know is that these tools are going into your face. NEVER ask what they do...EVER.

Of course, sometimes they tell you what they are going to do whether you want to know or not.  I recently had a test done to me called ‘Bleeding Time’.  The nurse seemed to revel in the fact that it was called ‘Bleeding Time’ and was chanting the name in a strange little song as she came and sat down.  When I heard that I would be undergoing a process called ‘Bleeding Time’ I envisioned them stringing me up somewhere and draining blood from me like I was a moose carcass on Sarah Palin’s Alaska on the Discovery Channel.  It turns out it was nothing like that at all…kind of.  All they do is take a sharp utensil, stab you in the arm quickly, and wait to see how long it takes for your blood to coagulate and clot.  It didn’t hurt as much as you would think but it wasn’t that pleasant either.  This test was administered to me 4-6 weeks ago and the scar – albeit tiny – still remains.  That’s a fun one to explain to people when they ask where I got that scar from.

In the end, however, I trust my doctor’s implicitly and have a very good relationship with each and every one of them.  Maybe they love the fact that I laugh and am awkward and ask too many questions or maybe they hate it.  Thanks to the Hippocratic Oath and the ethics of modern medicine, I will never know.  I just can’t help but feel like they give a little eye roll when they come in on the morning of my visit and see my name on the roster of the day’s patients.  Oh God.  Him again?!

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