Friday, November 22, 2013

Dear Diary - Let's Get (A) Physical II: Electric Boogaloo

November 19, 2013

Dear Diary:

The day began like any other, which is to say with a heaping helping of awesome washed down with a tall glass of adorable.  I had a bounce in my step and a stella in my grooveback.  “Why so perky?” I asked my nipples as I headed into the bathroom.  The question was, of course, rhetorical.  For, you see, I knew the answer, and my nipples had not yet gained the power of speech…not yet.  But one day…one glorious day…

After 15 minutes of staring into space contemplating the power that a man with talking nipples could wield over an unsuspecting populace, I continued my preparation for a day that had been coming since that fateful September morn (Editor’s note: afternoon) when I promised a scared 19-year old that, if she got a mammogram, I would go in for my physical.  My full physical…The one that included a hernia check and prostate exam.  The one in which a lucky medical professional would get me both coming and going…”The Co-Go”.  It wasn’t the first promise I had made to a 19-year old girl, and it wouldn’t be the last.  (Editor’s Note: Actually, for reasons of legality and moral decency, it probably would be…or at least should be.)

Upon finishing a hot shower and dental cleansing, I headed to the closet to get dressed.  But what to wear?  This was my first prostate exam.  What was the protocol?  I wanted to appear relaxed, but not disrespectfully so; professional, but not uptight.  Something that said, “I’m a professional; you’re a professional.  Let’s take this slowly and enjoy one another’s company on this journey to medical enlightenment.”  Should I bring a gift?  Seemed rude not to; seemed creepy to.  After much deliberation, I decided on no gift.  I was creepy enough…and I didn’t need any additional entries in my HR file.  Yes, this was being conducted at my place of employ.  Why not make this as awkward as possible?  Besides, it was one of the few times I was allowed to “drop trou” at my workplace.  (Editor’s Note: The key word is “allowed”.)  I decided to bring gum.  I’m not an animal.

My appointment was for 10:30am.  I had a meeting from 10:00 – 10:30.  The knowledge that I would be bent over a table in T-30 minutes, however, made it difficult to remain fully engaged.  When the meeting adjourned, I headed toward the Health Center.  When I reached the door to the facility, I took a deep breath, turned the knob, and headed inside.

“May I help you?” the woman at the window asked
“I have a 10:30 appointment for a physical.”

“Sorry, our computers are down.  Could you sign in please?  And put your pants back on?”

(Ed’s Note: This next part is true.) “Hello, Damion” a second woman said.  “I had a dream about you last night.  I must’ve known you were coming in today.  Isn’t that crazy?”

“Yes it is,” I replied, because it was.  “I’m used to it though, because…you get it.”  I said whilst motioning toward my manly physique (man-sique?).  It was an attempt to diffuse the awkwardness through humor.  It did not work.  (Ed’s Note: Anyone who’s mind immediately went to Johnny Depp in “Dark Shadows” wins a prize.  The prize of knowing that your mind works similarly to mine own.  You may want to get yourself checked.  By the way, this also signifies the end of "This next part is true.")

“Mr. McCloud, can you come with me?” a third woman asked.  It appeared as though only women worked at this Health Center, which was both comforting and not.

I followed her through the door.

“What are you doing?” she asked seemingly confused.

“Getting undressed?” I responded similarly confused.

“I’m just taking your blood pressure.”


“So, put your pants back on.”

“If you insist.”

She handed me some paperwork to fill out.  Once completed, I handed it back to her.

“Mr. McCloud?”


“I’m pretty sure that ‘sexy’ is neither a valid height nor weight.”

“What about age?”


“I’m going to need another sheet.”

Once the sheet was completed –this time with numerical values—I moved onto the eye exam and was then led into a back room.  (Wasn’t the first time I had been led into a back room, and it probably wouldn’t be the last.)

“Take all your clothes off; leave your underwear on; take off your socks; and put on the gown with the front open…like my coat.”  She gave that last instruction while tugging on her lab coat.  As though she were dealing with a child.

“Okay, but, for the record, it’s a bit cold in here.”

“Why would that matter?”

“I would just like that fact put on my chart if it wouldn’t be too much trouble...if you don’t mind.”

“Fine.  Whatever.”

She returned shortly after to check on my progress and administer yet another test.  This time it was an EKG.  As I lay on the examination table feeling vulnerable (and a bit cold), the nurse placed a series of discs on my ankles, my chest, and under my arms.  She then pulled out a set of wires.

“Are those nipple clamps?”


“So, I’m not going to need a ‘safe word’?”

“No, and you can take off that zippered mask.”

“I’d rather not.”

“Suit yourself.”

She printed out two copies of my EKG readings.  One for their records and one, I assume, for “The New England Journal of Medicine”.

“The doctor will be in shortly.”

During my last physical, the one before the recommended age for having your prostate exam, the doctor offered up the following medical advice while still cradling my “manhood” a.k.a. “A Tribe Called Quest” a.k.a. “Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch” a.k.a. “Hall & Oates” a.k.a. “Prince and the Revolution”(Ed’s Note: Again, true story.): “You know you need to get your prostate checked next time…I have small hands.  So, I’m your girl.”  When she first said that, I was weirded out.  Now, a year and a half later, I was oddly comforted.

So, you can imagine my lack of comfort (my un-comfort?) when the doctor that walked through the door was not a diminutive lady with small hands and a gentle touch, but rather a stocky, heavy-set woman with plump fingers and a firm handshake.  Somewhere, God was laughing…and He was laughing a lot.

“Mr. McCloud, I have the results from your lab work.  First of all, I would just like to say, these are beautiful numbers.  Your cholesterol, your glucose, your liver and kidney functions…everything is…amazing!  Astounding really.  I feel as though I can drop the mic and walk out, because I have seen perfection and its name is ‘Damion’…”

“That’s good news.”

“Damn right, it is.  I would like to use you to recalibrate our instruments; to put you in a time capsule so that future generations can see what’s possible; to flash freeze you in carbonite and give you to a bounty hunter...”

“That last one didn’t make any sense.”

“Sorry, I recently finished watching ‘Empire’.”

“Lando Calrissian…Billy Dee.”

“Billy Dee!”

She then asked me a series of questions and issued the following verdict: “Good news, Mr. McCloud.  
Based on your lab results, the tests we’ve conducted today, and your answers to the questions I just posed, you don’t have to get a prostate exam nor a hernia exam.”

“Wait.  What?!?!”

“You don’t need an exam.”


“You seem disappointed.”

“Disappointed?  No, it’s just that—Well, I ‘manscaped’.”

“Wow…Is that The Nativity Scene?”

“Yes, I wanted to make things festive.  I was going to go with a ‘The Last Supper’ / ‘The First Thanksgiving’ crossover theme, but my detail trimmers weren’t fully charged.”

“I understand…Is that The Baby Jesus?”

“Yes, I was trying to put him in a place that wouldn’t be blasphemous.”

“Don’t think there is one in that particular region, but that seems like as good a place as any.  You know, you’re probably going to Hell, right?”

“I think we can remove ‘probably’,” I said while bursting into nervous laughter.

{the nurse echoes my laughter}

“Ahhh…Eternal Damnation…Good stuff…Good stuff."

"On the bright side, it appears it's no longer cold in here."

"Pardon me."

"I read your chart."

"I see...I brought some ‘mood music’ and everything.”

“’Gimme What I Don’t Know (I Want)’ by Justin Timberlake.  Can’t say I’m familiar with this song, but, based on the title, it seems wholly inappropriate.”

“You wanna hear it?”

“I’m gonna go with ‘No’….No.”

“Okay then.”

“OOOO-KAAAYYYY thennnn…Well, you can put your pants on, and the nurse will be in to give you your tetanus booster.”



I got dressed, still in disbelief that the one time I wanted to bend over for this company, I wasn’t allowed to.  A few minutes later, “Nurse McDreamsaboutme” came in to administer the shot.

“Why did you put your shirt on?  How am I supposed to give you a shot with your dress shirt on?”

“Listen, when a woman tells me that someone is coming and instructs me to put my pants on, putting my shirt on is just a natural reflex.  You’re lucky there aren’t any windows; else I wouldn’t be here right now.”

“Just take your shirt off.”

“Fine…Do you like Timberlake?”