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THE EXAM

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“Now, most days…”

 

Dateline:   Where The Sun Don’t Shine

I lie, on new patient forms.

I lie, on most forms.

Except for the IRS 1040 form of which I tell the absolute truth on it all the time.

My lies begin with me.

I always check, Native American.   Being that of course, I am.   I was born in Buffalo, NY, which makes me a native of Buffalo, NY which is in America.

Native American.   Me.

I do this, as a protest.   I do it, because as of yet I’ve never seen a box that said simply … human.   Which I would check, honestly.

Why you need to know where I came from to fix my broken arm is beyond me.

I came from Mom and Dad, they were in America when I happened, I am as Native American as you can get.

Quit asking.

My lies begin with me.

Sometimes I draw in my box.

I always label that box…Beige.

I do that to be honest…I am not white, unless I’m really sick, and then I’m pretty much just, pale.

I’m not any of the other colors they want me to be.

So, in forms all over America…I’m a Beige Native American.   Proud of it.

I figure I’m going to keep messing with those forms until people stop asking.

Or have a box, called, Human.

My lies begin with me.

I take the “write in” approach to forms.

I have written in, “Saturday night,” for the sex box.   I’ve also written in “Yes.”   Even, “Please.”

For my prostate exam, I checked female.

I never check any of the boxes asking me what I’m there for.   If it is a new doc, and I’m not sure about him yet, we’ll see how good he is, no hints from me.

If he can tell me what I’m there for, he becomes my new doc.

If he can’t, I go somewhere else and fill out more forms.

I believe, New Patient forms, are my first line of defense.

 

“…I spend like a child…”

 

On my new patient form in the section that wondered why I was sitting in the waiting room and why I was here today I wrote this: “Prostrate.”

I wrote that because I’m just a working stiff writer, not a medical doctor.   I have no idea why I’m here other than some PSA numbers said I better get to the Urologist quick.

Now I’m sure some medical coder somewhere will see that and make some crack about, “the moron can’t spell,” and as you know, the medical coder would be right, except that even if I can’t spell the word, I know exactly what the word means.

Form Question: “Why are you seeing the doctor today.”

Form answer by me: “Prostrate.”

Because I know for a fact that in a few minutes I’m going to be laying face down with my boxers around my ankles.   Pretty much the exact definition for the word, Prostrate…except maybe the boxers part.

 

“…who’s afraid of ghosts in my mind…”

 

“Okay Mr. Barone, we’ll see you at 10:15 am on Monday, just make sure you prep 2 hours before hand.”

PREP!

I hang up the phone and turn to Barb and say exactly this, “I’m not going.”

Barb says nothing, which means exactly this, “Why…and yes you are.”

“I have to PREP!

I’m not going!”

I know this word PREP! It’s medical code for PREPARE to sacrifice, or worse, PREPARE to be humiliated.

PREP! It’s why I don’t go to those who want me PREPARED in the first place.

If I can’t just show up and you surprise the hell out of me, I want no part of it because I’m telling you, PREP means coming attractions, and if the preview sucks … the show is going to be worse.

You know I’m right on this.

PREP! is the leading cause of bad things happening.

So here is how I’m supposed to PREPARE…Fleet Enema.

“Fleet” being the key word there.

Here’s the problem…I live in a small town.

A VERY small town.

A town you might say that is “Fleet” of gossip.

So, there is no way I’m going down the street to the local CVS, picking up a box of Enema, Fleet or Not, and then going up to the cash register and handing it to our ex-babysitter to ring me out.

Ain’t going to happen.

So I do what any small town person with PREP issues does, AMAZON.com it.

Search … PREP … ENEMA … UNMARKED BOX.

Bingo.   Lots of small towns in America.   So I hit the instant order button, two days later it is sitting on my front porch for all my neighbors to see how much of an educated reader I am.

I pick it up, tell Riley the dog in my outside voice how much I have been looking to read this, and bring it inside.

Unwrap it, and find myself staring at 12 BOXES, two to a box, of Fleet Enema – 24 Fleets in all.

Seems I didn’t see the “Wholesale Lot” part of the description.

Email me if your PREP calls for 23 of these things.

 

“…I know, there aint nothing out there…”

 

I’m in the “examining” room, never good for the examinee.   Here’s my “examining” room PREP:   “Take your pants off.”

I expected this being that I figured I had something like tonsillitis of the bottom area and that at some point I was going to have open wide and say, “ahhhhhhh.”

I didn’t expect any woman but my wife to ever say that to me though.

So this is what I say, “Okay.”

And then I stand there.

As does she.

So I stand there.

As does she.

So I stand there, and she says to me, “Is there a problem,” and I nod my head yes, and she says, “What’s the problem,” and I say….”You.”

Ma’am I don’t really care if you are a career Urology nurse/doctor’s assistant and that to you this is “nothing,” but to me it is really “SOMETHING,” and these pants ain’t coming off with you standing there looking at me.

And so you know … she isn’t holding that apron thing that your butt hangs out of, she isn’t holding a towel, she isn’t holding a blanket.

She’s holding a pen.

And the room isn’t that cold.

So I say this, “Not to be rude, but you are a stranger, a WOMAN stranger, I know this is old hat to you, but not to me, so you understand, I’ll take my pants off if you take your top off.”

At which point she left the room, and I took my pants off.

Prostate comes from the Greek word, Prostates, which to the ancient Greeks meant “standing in front of.”

A couple thousand years ago I’m assuming if you were meeting someone at the local baths you would tell them, “Hey when the sundial hits IX I’ll be prostates the towel rack.

We have “medicalized†it to mean, standing in front of the bladder.   A guy’s bladder.

So as I’m Prostates with my doctor he explains to me what a biopsy is … an ultrasound and ten needles.

“I’ll numb it first, and then all you will feel is some pressure and a snap.   Takes about 10 minutes.”

I just nod my head yes, not mentioning that, no offense new doc dude, but before I came here I downed 4 Margaritas and a handful of ibuprofen.

No offense, but that’s how I PREP.   Just, in case.   You know, the miracle of modern margaritas.

But here’s what you need to know, it’s no big deal.

It’s uncomfortable, but I can’t say it was painful.

Death, is painful.

A needle up your butt for a couple of minutes, is not.

An ultrasound wand up your butt for a couple of minutes, is not.

I’m not going to volunteer to have it done again anytime soon, but that 10 minutes … SAVED MY FREAKING LIFE.

About 2 minutes after I had the procedure done, the government comes out with some sort of announcement saying that maybe having your PSA tested is not needed.

The government is wrong.

Don’t buy the cost of the test stuff.   My PSA test cost $71…about four pizzas with everything in my neighborhood.

I don’t care what the government says, on most things, but especially on this, and here’s why: we guys are for the most part, knuckleheads, and you know as much as I do, if one knucklehead hears what the government says and takes that to mean he doesn’t need to be tested, or that the test doesn’t work, he bags it and doesn’t get tested. Then he dies from it. If that’s what they think, we need to overthrow the government.

I’ll stop getting tested when my Congressmen and Senators stop getting tested.

I’ll have no problem with my insurance not paying for it when my Congressmen and Senators government insurance stops paying for theirs.

Tit for Tat my rulers, tit for tat.

Get tested … in spite of the feds.

Get tested for your family.

I’m a wimp, and I survived the EXAM and you will too.

No test in my life has ever been as important.

No exam in my life has been as important.

Do it.

 

“…I’m still afraid to turn on the lights…”

Arms of a Woman

Amos Lee

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