I’ve never had a steady doctor here in New Orleans, for a variety of reasons, not least among them the fortunate fact that I’ve been in remarkably good health ever since I moved here eight years ago.
Still, I’ve always heard that once you turn 40 you should get annual checkups as a matter of course. So I went to the website for my employer’s health plan, punched in my address, and found a physician just two blocks from our house.
But my appointment yesterday left something to be desired. The doctor did not inspire confidence. Her manner was so awkward and uncertain and diffident that it made me uncomfortable. Also, the idea that I was just coming for a checkup, out of general principle without any specific complaint, did not seem to compute.
There’s something else that puzzles me. I keep hearing references in the popular culture to a certain procedure that’s conducted on males at the doctor’s office. I think it’s related to checking the prostate. Do I have to spell it out? OK, I’m talking about where the doctor sticks a finger up your asshole. There, I said it.
I have never had this done to me. What I don’t understand is, why? If all my fellow American men are getting goosed on a regular basis, why have I been spared? Is my ass somehow repellent to the medical community? I thought maybe, now that I’m 40, I would finally be subjected to this indignity, but no. I didn’t even have to take my pants off. And I couldn’t hardly bring myself to ask about it. “Aren’t you going to stick your finger up my asshole?” I don’t think so.
For the record, I do not crave having a finger (or anything else) inserted into my rectum. I really would rather avoid it if at all possible.