My favorite track by the great 2Pac,
A gem from the Above The Rim soundtrack,
Now we meet one of the key players,
Helped this man reclaim his swagger,
So a round of applause to the one and only,
A good woman that we’ll call Dr. G.
June 6, 2018
On the very next day after my post-dinner confession my father and I visited the medical center where my mother’s doctor worked. It was a good ten to fifteen minute drive away from our home and we arrived half an hour early, giving me enough time to take a seat at the waiting lounge and fill in some paperwork. Seated around my father and I were patients whose problems were obvious; people whose legs or arms were held in a cast, some wheelchair bound or reliant on crutches; an elderly patient with a vacant expression on her face, signs of a mind that has deteriorated, seated on a wheelchair beside her carer; pregnant women with their partners, people undergoing rehab etc. They were certainly a far more varied bunch than the folks that I had encountered at the other clinic the previous day.
After passing the time by watching the morning news on the TV screen at the front of the room and playing with my phone, the doctor called me in.
Let’s call her ‘Dr. G’.
Dr. G was a fast-talking bespectacled Filipina woman, probably in her late 50s to early 60s. She was quite tall and had short hair that was dyed a caramel-brown color. She also counted my aunt and uncle as patients and I had crossed paths with her during a family gathering at their place a couple of years ago but she didn’t seem to remember me.
With all due respect to the doctor that I had spoken to the previous day Dr. G was much easier to open up to. She had an upbeat and vibrant personality and she looked at the problem from all angles before coming to conclusions and wasn’t afraid to ask questions, even the tough ones.
Her office was also much more welcoming, it was spacious and had a window with a nice view outside. Her desk was far more organized despite being piled with the usual charts, paperwork and stationery and she also had a fax machine-slash-printer on her desk next to a desktop computer. Her stethoscope and other doctor’s paraphernalia were also kept in different drawers rather than just sitting scattered on her desk, although yesterday’s doc did not have the office and desk space of Dr. G’s.
I opened up to Dr. G about my symptoms and as I spoke she took down notes and typed them into her computer before printing out some information sheets for me to read on possible ailments based on my symptoms; hemorrhoids, anal fissures, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the two nasty thugs of Inflammatory Bowel Disease known as Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. She decided, for now, to rule out bowel cancer, as she didn’t want to think of the very worse and because I showed no other distressing signs other than blood in my shit. If anything she noted that I looked relatively normal, just a little thin perhaps, though I’ve been of a rather slim build throughout my adult life. A colonoscopy would provide a much clearer picture.
I quickly scanned through the sheets and hoped to God that I did not have either one of those Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s can increase the chances of developing bowel cancer in later life, can affect daily living and there are no known cures for either of them – other than to remove the bowels.
Um, no, HELL NO!!!!
Much to my dismay Dr. G suspected that it might be ulcerative colitis as it was rather common for young people these days. God, I hoped she was wrong!
Dr. G then escorted me to a separate room to get a blood test done. Two nurses were waiting there and one of them requested that I take a seat and roll the sleeve of my right arm up (I was wearing a sweater that day). She then jabbed me in my arm, taking three vials of my blood. Since it was the first time in a while that I had had an injection it did sting a little.
I also submitted a urine sample before I returned to Dr. G’s office where she gave me a small cup that I was to leave a stool sample in and deliver to a pathology clinic before my next visit, which she scheduled for the following week in order to give sufficient time for my results to come through.
Before we left, Dr. G asked me if I was willing to check for hemorrhoids and fissures first. Feeling like I had nothing to lose, I reluctantly agreed. I pulled my pants down, climbed onto a bed near the back of her office and laid down on my left side, while she put on a pair of disposable gloves and lubricated the index finger. She drew up a thin blue curtain so that my father, who was seated on one of the chairs near the door, wouldn’t see what was about to unfold.
‘You might feel some discomfort,’ she said.
Yeah, no shit. I was trying hard not to freak out. What follows is the reason why the particular song chosen for this blog brought this memory SCREAMING back into my mind.
Seconds later she stuck her index finger ‘up there’ and probed around. I gritted my teeth and tried hard not to cry out. Thank goodness I had my back to her so she wouldn’t have to see my face contorting into weird shapes of agony. I swore out loud in my mind.
HOLY SHIT!!!! FUCK!!!! JESUS CHRIST!!!! GOD DAMMIT!!!! FUCKING HELL!!!! GAAAAHHHH!!!!! FUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!
Yeah, you get the picture. I’m not sure if my nervousness had dulled my pain threshold or if I was shocked since this was the first time that I had one of those done, but man, IT HURT LIKE HELL!!!! I probably should have gone to confession on the following Sunday, that was too many expletives and using the Lord’s name in vain during a few seconds of pain.
Hey! That rhymes!
Anyway, having put up with that little bit of ‘discomfort’ I slowly sat up, pulled up my trousers and collected the paperwork that Dr. G printed out for me. We shook hands before my father and I left.
“I’ll see you next week,” said Dr. G, “Don’t forget that stool sample.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” I replied.
Man, it felt uncomfortable to walk for a few minutes. ‘Discomfort’ my ass.
No pun intended.