I Was Poked By Three

COLD, HARD & POINTY THINGS

Four, if we’re counting Nurse Smiley.

Two were pretty little needles.

The first prick – the needle, not the nurse – jacked me up with anti-Tarantula venom, presumably to heighten my already keen Hairy Spiderman senses.

Sorry, I meant Scorpion.

Or, Rattlesnake …

Wait, it might’ve been a tetanus shot.

I wasn’t listening.

NURSE SMILEY IS NEW

To my Physician’s practice, attitudinally austere, and serious as a backed-up latrine in a Lumberjack Camp on Chimichanga Chuesdays.

Her deft, stealth-like maneuvers in a bleached out lab coat make her a menace to track when she vaporizes behind the white door with the ever foreboding Staff Only sign and subtext, “This Means You, Too, Kuch.”

While Smiley’s gone to do her behind-the-scene important nurse things, I think about the old one I like …

Nurse Way-Too-Happy.

“… she radiates the irresistible elixir of freshly baked almond cookies infused with vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon – a hint of talcum powder and spritz of clinical-grade disinfectant solution – and, it couldn’t possibly get any hotter, naughty Auntie Millicent vibe … what with those sensible beige shoes and compression stockings pulled knee high …”

Oh, my.

NURSE SMILEY’S BACK IN A FLASH

And not impressed with me.

Flayed attempts at casting my irritable small talk charm – floating the Its-Never-Worked-Before-So-Why-Should-It-Ever, “Hey, now, what’s going on, hon?” – ended in futility of Epic Fails.

Smiley wasn’t buying what I was pitching.

Elevator or not.

I SUSPECT

She’d just shelled out her last Ef-of-the Day before I’d arrived.

Evidently, Smiley’s special brand of No-Ef’s-to-Give is more popular than a bowl of After Dinner mints at Uncle Ernie’s Halitosis intervention.

And, she wasn’t expecting a refill of her patent-pending Not Giving A Lukewarm Dump prescription until delivering The Death Stare.

Her demeanor suggested a life lived content – without the weighty burden of empathy (to her victims) – and an absence of tolerance over my fussy disposition many others suffer daily.

Stoic perfection, with a gaze less wavering than a Renaissance statue, Smiley delivered it on the rocks, as medical practitioners do whenever in the company of a princess crying grown man whimpering over a needle barely visible to the naked eye.

THIS GOT MY ATTENTION TOUT DE SUITE

Whoa, Now Where’d That Chill Come From?

The second prick sucked 4 vials of blood from my thickly, non-compliant veins, which I was told I’m not getting back.

The third prick – the real butt clencher here – was permanently attached to my doctor’s right hand and covered by latex. 

Perfectly under lubed, as requested.

Doc must’ve been chilling his index finger on ice waiting for me because I’m still shivering, and void of the special feel good sensation I reserve for colonoscopy preps, root canals and tax audits.

AS A BONUS FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR

I had my scrotum debriefed.

Then Doc sashayed into sundry forensic work, investigating the shadowy crevices of my under carriage and uninviting body cavities.

Why all the coughing again?

A grunt or snort, perhaps?

Can’t I just nod while I’m violated?

DOES GETTING AN ANNUAL PHYSICAL EXAM

Always have to be so invasive?

And, humbling?

The short answer is …

Evidently, yes.

In my world.

THE GOOD NEWS ON A RAINY TUESDAY AFTERNOON

My blood pressure – never an issue – is perfectly normal.

So, there, that’s one thing going well.

A slight, but audible sigh of relief.

WHAT I SAID AFTER THE “IT COULD BE WORSE” THING DOC SAID

“Shingles, you’re sh!tting me, right?”

And then …

“You sure ’bout that?”

Crickets.

Nothing.

Okay, not confirmed.

More of a curious speculation – “We should rule it out” – by my Good Doctor.

He never agrees to disagree with me, because he doesn’t play that spiel.

DOC ASKS

“Are you sexually active?”

I thought about lying – wasn’t sure where this was heading – but decided he wouldn’t believe me because I stalled a nanosecond in my mumbled, dumb response.

I spit out some nonsense confession about being a celibate monk for the past two years.

My inner voice trailed off as I referenced a Pornhub subscription for my birthday.

It felt deflating.

I think he was disappointed.

Like a Wing Man when his buddy doesn’t score.

WHAT ELSE?

Oh, for those bean counters keeping score

I’m either 11 lbs lighter – or heavier – but not both, than my last check-up according to my medical records.

“Are you kidding me, Doc?”

We came to an embattled, but fair conclusion:

Amidst minor bantering, because that’s the wonderful Doctor-Patient relationship we have – that my rudimentary math skills and savvy metric conversion ability (Kilograms to Pounds and back again, no problem) is marginally inferior to his obviously more studied, accomplished and trained scientific mind than mine.

I think I’d probably be fair game in Scrabble, too.

Please don’t go there.

Yes, I’m less chunky.

By 5 Kilos.

11 pounds. 

5 Kilos.

So, you know a cheat meal awaits as a reward.

24-HOURS LATER …

I get the call I wasn’t expecting from my doctor’s office. 

Okay, then.

Doc wants to see me to discuss my blood work.

I ask the receptionist booking the appointment, to schedule for the next day if there’s any concern to see me right away.

“No,” she answered. 

A soft, pliable, “No”, I thought could go either way.

Translation: Presumably, it’s exactly what they say to all their patients over the phone, which works exceptionally well to promote a disturbing night of non-sleep and worry, and a clever segue to scripting out a 90-day supply of Lorazepam and Zoloft.

MINUTES LATER …

A 2nd call from another medical office.

What was formerly named The Upper Canada Lower Bowel Clinic – so cool – and now dowdily rebranded as the Digestive Health Clinic, is booking for Autumn Colonoscopies.

Sounds festive.

Its a 10-Year Thing for Guys.

Hey, isn’t it supposed to be Pearls – not deep anal plunging – as a traditional gift after a decade?

FUN FACT DIGRESSION #1

I’m not even being kissed before a medical reach around, Doc.

I’m needy like that.

FUN FACT DIGRESSION #2

I’m not immune to Hepatitis A or B.

Who knew, right?

That’s the big important news I had to drive an hour both ways in what is officially North America’s worst traffic – midday – at the peak of No One Can Drive Worth A Sh!t In This City Season.

Now what?

I’M GETTING MY TWINRIX® ON

Why does this sound like a sugary cereal breakfast substitute in a vial?

Its not.

Another prick in the arm – scratch that – its 3 needles, injecting doses over a span of 6 months.

So, I’ve got that to look forward to.

AND, FOR MORE SH!TS & GIGGLES

I’ve been prescribed another needle …

To ward off pneumonia.

Alright, enough with the pricks already, Doc.