“Of course, I’m joking. Everyone knows he’ll need a new liver long before he needs a new kidney. And stop worrying about the kids. They were watching an exciting video of a colonoscopy. I just told them it was yours; it got their attention. Trust me, once you’ve seen one colon, you’ve seen them all. It’s not like they saw you naked or anything. I don’t want to scare them away. But I also don’t want these kids to go through life thinking that there’s something embarrassing about getting a physical exam. I don’t want them to wait 17 years between checkups the way you did. People have got to learn that a physical exam is as natural as breastfeeding a baby on a bus.”
“What bus have you been riding?”
“Don’t be silly, I drive a Jaguar. It was just a figure of speech. You can put your clothes back on now.”
Why bother, I thought. He’s seen places on my body that I haven’t. Maybe more people would get physicals if the doctors had to take off their clothes every time they asked you to take off yours. My nude comfort level is very low. I don’t even wear shorts in the summer.
Doctors wonder why people wait so long to get their problems fixed. I’ll tell them why: I spend half my time at the doctor’s office saying, “You want to do what to my what?!?!” and “You don’t reuse these cups, do you?”
But when you think about it, the doctors are going to examine you once you get sick, and it’s going to be just as embarrassing then as it is when you’re healthy. So you may as well suck up your self-respect and go.
Contact Jim Mullen at JimMullenBooks.com.