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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Never Mind the Bollocks (I) 

I hope it doesn't sound as if I'm gloating, but I got naked with a woman the other day. A professional woman no less. A ver pretty professional woman whom I did not have to pay for the pleasure of her company. All in all you could be forgiven for believing that your humble correspondent had pinched Reilly's passport, wallet and credit cards and is living his life to the full, but I assure you that you'd be quite, quite mistaken in this belief. This rather pretty, professional woman, whom I did not have to pay for her company was, I'm saddened to say, my GP and I was seeing her in her professional capacity and she was seeing my genitals.

Lovely.

Whilst showering, I noticed that one of my testicles was swollen and sore to the touch. Further investigation revealed what appeared to be a small lump where, usually, there is no small lump. Now although I spent a lot of the years 1999-2004 doing my level best to fail my degree, I have learned a great deal about what could be causing such things and I resolved to go to the doctor as soon as possible. I then gave a mental shrug and went back to singing the second verse of Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah, which is one of my favourite hymns for singing in the shower. Now that I'd noticed that things in the hinterland were apparently not as they should be, I also noticed that it was actually quite painful. At that moment I felt most keenly the lack of the Best-Wife-I'll-Never-Have because she could easily have explained it away as due to her love of punching me in the nuts. Of all the things I've missed since we broke up, I assure you that never before have I missed her lovely habit of kneeing me in the groin. Getting an appointment at my GP's practice is rather difficult and goes something like this, as the following conversation between myself and the receptionist shows:

Me: 'I'd like an appointment, please.'
R: 'Okay' - looks at PC - 'the first available appointment is 12th August 2008at 2.45pm.'
Me: 'Er, I think it might be a little bit...urgent...is there not, perhaps, anything a little sooner?'
R: Sighs'Well I really don't know. Hmph.'Glare.'Here's one on Wednesday Morning at 8.30 with'evil grin 'Doctor_____. Would that suit?
Me: 'Yes, that's great. Thank you for your help.'
R: 'Oh, okay.'

Medical receptionists can sense what ails you, perhaps better than any doctor as they don't have any fancy kit like torches or stethescopes to help them out. They know that a man using the word 'urgent' to secure an appointment has something of a deeply personal and possibly embarassing nature to resolve - it's like going into a newsagents and asking for some - wink, wink, nudge, nudge - cough medicine. She gave me an appointment with a female doctor but I cunningly outflanked her by accepting the appointment. She was, perhaps understandably, crestfallen by the ease with which I had robbed her of some of her day's passing pleasure. What this poor woman didn't relise is that I'm 100% liberated man and that I've spent a significant part of the last half-decade purchasing sanitary products and collecting prescriptions for oral contraceptives - usually from the same pharmacy. I just plain don't care about that stuff anymore, and I'll be damned if I let one of nuts fall off by being too embarrassed to see a female doctor. Being magmanimous in victory, however, prevented me from screaming 'In your face!' at her and cackling madly to myself.

So I saw the doctor before work last Wednesday. I don't know if there's an NHS manual on how to break the ice with patients, but if I had a pound, even a Euro, for every time a doctor, nurse, or surgeon has looked at my file and said 'I see you've had your money's worth out of the NHS,' I would not be rich, but I'd be significantly less poor than I am currently. So, asks the vivacious doctor, what seems to be the trouble? I speak to her of my troubled nether regions, the cold that I've not been able to shake for a month and general sense of rundownness. Could they, I ask, be connected? Unlikely, she says, but I should get any suspicious or unusual lumps examined post haste. Yes, I know; that's what I'm here for. She looks at me rather quizzically. Am I sure? Would I not, perhaps, prefer to be examined by a male colleague? I tell her that it doesn't bother me if it doesn't bother her and I'd rather get this sorted out ASAP.

Very well, then.

For the first time in well over a year I remove my trousers in front of a woman and hop up onto the edge of the bed as instructed. She starts poking and prodding and, despite this is manifestly erotic as being kicked in the head with a steel-toecapped boot*, there is a fair bit of movement. I'm getting my first errection in 18 months the presence of a woman and she's checking to make sure I don't have the Big C. Fantastic. What do I do? Do I ignore it? Make conversation? I apologise. Don't worry, she tells me, it's a natural reaction. This causes me to ponder. Is it a natural reaction because (a) it's what always naturally happens when the genitals are stimulated or (b) it's a natural reaction because she's an attractive woman, knows it, and clearly expects all men, even gays, to react accordingly. I'm still trying to figure that one out when I realise, rather belatedly, that she's finished the examination. She's looking at me in that funny way again. She tells me that it's alright for me to get dressed again. I do so. She tells me that she's inclined to believe that it's possibly due to an infection or a cyst, but that she's going to refer me to the local hospital to rule out anything more serious. This doesn't bother me at all as I'm perfectly used to hospitals having spent plenty of time as a patient and visitor to them. I'm a curious person, however, and I ask her what sort of things they'll do. 'They'll take some blood and probably an ultrasound as well. If they think there's anything to be concerned about they might take a biopsy to find out.'
'Okay, that sounds fine...Wait just a damn minute! A biopsy?' How, pray tell, will they do that?
She told me.
My eyes watered.
I'll keep you informed.


*Assuming that you're not into S&M, If you are, make it a feather-capped boot.