Monday, August 20, 2007


Me: OK, well, drop your pants, bend over the table, and lets have a look.

The patient, a middle-aged man who came in complaining of occasionally seeing blood after doing a Number Two, stared back at me as if I had told him to pull a rabbit out of his butt.

Patient: Wait, what?

Me: Uh... Well, I do need to see what's going on with you.

Patient: [hesitant] Well, really? Are you going to stick anything up there? Can't you just prescribe me a cream or something?

What am I, a magician? How the hell am I supposed to diagnose something if I can't first look at it and try to figure out what's going on? It's like telling your mechanic to fix your car without opening up the hood. I watched my patient as he nervously got off the table and started fumbling with his belt.

I once had a patient that came in complaining of a groin hernia, but was very adamant about not taking off his pants and letting me examine him. I initially thought he was just really scared about the hernia exam. But when he finally dropped his pants for the exam, I realized that the true reason for his hesitation was due to him wearing women's underwear. I guess he forgot he was going to see a surgeon about his hernia when he was getting dressed in the morning. Or maybe he wanted to be found out so he wore those panties anyway. Who knows. A bit embarrassing for the both of us, but you see all sorts of different things in this business. However, you can't go making a big deal out of it, so I just acted like it was a completely normal thing for a man to wear women's panties and continued on with the exam.

Thankfully, I was relieved to see just a pair of tighty whities today.

Patient: [filled with anxiety] Is, uh... is this, uh... is this going to hurt?

Me: [giving my standard answer] It'll be a bit uncomfortable...

I never know what to say. I don't want to lie, but I don't want to freak them out either. And as futile and ridiculous as it sounds, I always tell them to "just try to relax" as I shove an anal scope up their rear end.

I quickly performed an exam and then looked in with the scope. Just as I thought, an angry hemorrhoid. A quick band and it was all fixed up. Took about a minute.

Me: [removing the scope] OK... that should do it.

Patient: [looking relieved] Wow, you're done? That wasn't bad as I thought it was going to be!

Me: Well, we could do it again if you want.