I figure since TFMD can talk about sticking voodoo pins in her pink, plush uterus, I can talk about rectal exams. If you don't want to read about uteruses (uterii?) or rectal exams, click here and look at some kitties. You've been warned.
I have to make a doctor appointment. Not because anything is acutely wrong, but because I'm now "over 40" and need to start having the ol' prostate checked. That means I need to find a doctor for the job, because, although she's a capable family physician, our family physician is someone with whom we have a lot of interaction, and I would prefer that the doctor I see for that particular examination be someone with whom I do not have a lot of interaction. Preferably a doctor with small, delicate fingers.
This will not necessarily be a new sensation; when I was twenty, I developed bursitis in my left pelvic joint, and everyone in my medical network freaked the hell out. My regular doctor thought I might have a testicular torsion, so she referred me to a urologist. A urologist who graduated medical school in 1692 and all but prescribed a course of leeches. He pulled up his crotch-level stool, grinned a crusty, salacious grin and simply said, "drop 'em," after which I was rolled on my side and probed with what was either his withered, (thankfully) gloved finger or a dry carrot in a condom. I wasn't about to look and see. After pronouncing that I had a hernia, for which he wanted to immediately prep me for surgery, I ran as fast as my inflamed pelvic joint and devirginized poop-chute could manage to a thirtysomething sports medicine doctor for a second opinion. He spent about a minute giving me a basic visual examination and told me I had bursitis, told me what bursitis was, and told me that it would go away in 8-12 weeks (which it did). And he didn't need to stick anything up my butt to figure it out, for which I will be eternally grateful.
As an aside, several years later, I actually did develop an inguinal hernia and had it surgically repaired with high-tech mesh. An inguinal hernia and pelvic bursitis feel totally different, just FYI.
Anyone who knows me is aware that I have a certain level of mistrust when it comes to the American medical system and certain individual doctors (no surprise, given my history and that of certain family members). While I'm sure the vast majority of doctors practice medicine for the benefit of their patients (and have their health as the number one priority), there are some deep flaws and conflicts of interest in how we approach health care and educate new doctors, and patients should of course be smart and discerning when selecting a health care professional.
Hence my jouney begins, to find a doc who a) wasn't educated in the Dark Ages, b) doesn't smile and say, "drop 'em" before reaming me with a carrot, and c) has small, delicate fingers.
Wish me luck.