Painfully Hot Air

The End Of Western Medicine

That’s it. I’ve had it. I’m starting a campaign against western medicine.

For years I’ve thought those who rail and moan against medicine as practiced in this holy land are as in touch with reality as people who visit palm readers. The anti-allopaths push dozens of varieties of snake oil — homeopathy, ayurvedic, magnetic bracelets, reiki, the list goes on. Not a one is based on any rational, fact-based body of thought.

Magnetic Therapy

This Is Costume Jewelry, Not A Medical Procedure

Still, people swear by those things.

I’ve kept my distance from these fabulists for as long as I can. No more.

I’m with you, folks! Down with doctors! Fie on medicine!

My visit yesterday to the doctor pushed me over the edge. I woke up Monday morning certain I had contracted a bladder infection. Search me how it happened. Apparently as one gets on in years, bladder infections, among countless other tortures inflicted upon the human race by a caring, loving god, become commoner. Great. I can’t wait to hit my 60s and 70s.

As I described my symptoms to the doctor, she nodded her head knowingly. “Classic case,” she said. “We’ll take some tests but there’s no doubt you’ve got a bladder infection.”

Cool, right? I figured she’d write off a quick prescription, I’d high-tail it out of there, and be back to micturating fewer than six dozen times a day.

Now, a little background about men of a certain age and the visit to the doctor’s office. We don’t like to do it. You know that already. Non-males like to speculate that it’s because we’re hard-heads or just trying to be tough guys. You’re wrong.

Here’s why we put off going to the doctor’s office until our limp carcasses are dragged in: the dreaded prostate exam.

There is nothing in this world worse than the prostate exam. When that rugby team’s plane crashed in the snowy Andes some 40 years ago and the survivors had to resort to cannibalism in order to remain alive, they comforted themselves by reminding each other that they weren’t undergoing prostate exams. They didn’t show that part in the movie.

I had one doctor who was smart enough not to tell me he was going to do the exam. He simply started putting on the latex glove. I’d grumble and grimace at him and undo my belt. The poor man — I called him every name in the book every time he reached into me to gauge the size and consistency of that most pain in the ass gland. Often I’d coin names to call him. He told me once he considered me quite an imaginative verbal abuser.

Latex Glove

My doctor yesterday — as I’ve indicated, she’s a woman — just isn’t as sympathetic to the male’s delicate sensitivities to the procedure. She dropped the bomb on me. “Well,” she said, “We’re going to have to check your prostate.”

This kind of advance warning doesn’t do a man any good. It gave me too much time to think about how much I’d rather crawl bare-chested over broken glass. She took her sweet time, typing a note or two into her laptop, washing her hands, drying them carefully, asking me to drop my trousers, telling me it wouldn’t be all that bad (Hah!)

By the time I bent over the exam table, I was in a state of panic. I was drenched with sweat. My heart rate approached 200. I became convinced that I loathed this poor doctor more than anyone I’d ever met in my life.

“I’ll make it quick,” she said as she assumed the position behind me.

Sure, I thought, quick. That’s what they say to guys who stand before the firing squad.

I will say this for the doctor: Her digits were not as massive as those of the average male medic. I remember one doctor whose fingers, I became convinced, were the girth of the average man’s forearm.

The next time I have to suffer the dreaded prostate exam again, I’ll insist it be performed by a female doctor.

On the other hand, I doubt if I’ll really have to endure this peculiar torture ever again. Like I said, I’m starting my own private, personal campaign against western medicine. American medical practitioners seem to have a fixation with the prostate exam. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised one day to see a paramedic slipping on the dreaded latex glove at an accident scene where one or more middle-aged-plus men are involved.

Is it just me, or does anyone else get the sense that every time a doctor sees a man aged, say, 57, he gets a gleam in his eye and rubs his hands together evilly? Is the prostate exam some kind of karmic justice visited upon males for their history of warfare, slavery, and rape?

Well, I’ve had it. No more! I never started any wars. I owned no slaves. I never raped a soul. There’s no reason why I should have to suffer the dreaded prostate exam ever again.

Death to the latex glove!

3 thoughts on “Painfully Hot Air

  1. A Mariner on this Sea of Madness says:

    After mine I felt so used and ashamed, the next day no card, no phone call, nothing!

  2. Susan Sandberg says:

    Hey, gents, PAP exams are no cakewalk either, you know! And would you like us to describe in detail the infamous tortures of childbirth? Too early in the morning for that.

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