Table for Two – Part 3Posted: November 22, 2014
“Rats, I thought we were home free,” I muttered as I took off my tee shirt, shorts and underwear and donned one of the exam robes that Dr. Linda had left for Bill and me to change into. We were in the middle of our first – and possibly last – couple’s physical, a phenomenon that I believe occurs only here in Sun City. Neither Bill nor I have never experienced it with any other doctor, nor heard about it from friends of family.
We’d gotten through the question and answer test, the blood pressure and heart rate measurements, the eye, ear, nose and throat exam, the heart and lung exam, the hammer on the kneecap reflex exam, and now we were preparing for the inevitable – and dreaded – poking and prodding physical exam.
As I shrugged into the robe like a flimsy cotton jacket with the ties in front, Bill stopped me. “Wait, wait. Doesn’t it get tied up the back?” he asked.
“Not for women.”
“Why not? It’s always tied in back,” he argued. “That’s how it’s done.”
“Not for a physical,” I said, climbing onto the table. “Or a mammogram either. It’s so the doctor can check for lumps.”
“Lumps? What kind of lumps?” he asked, clearly confused.
“A breast exam, Bill. Those kind of lumps.”
“Oh, okay. That makes sense, I guess. So should I put mine on backwards too?”
“Probably not. I think she’ll need easier access to a different part of your anatomy than mine.”
“Gottcha,” he said, slipping his arms through the short sleeves and reaching behind him to tie the middle string.
“Just remember what I said about the stirrups. If they come out you need to move, okay?”
“Okay. Move. Got it,” he said giving me a thumbs-up.
A couple of minutes later, Dr. Linda reappeared. She finished my exam quickly, but efficiently and there were no stirrups involved. I let out a relieved breath as she turned her attention to Bill.
Her exam was equally efficient and Bill was ready to put his street clothes back on when she reached for the infamous tube of lubricant.
“I’ll need you to bend over the table now, Bill,” she said calmly as she snapped on a latex glove.
“Wait a minute!” Bill exclaimed as he backed into the edge of the exam table. He pinched the back of his robe closed with one hand and moved down the length of the exam table, feeling his way with the other hand. “You just did this a couple of months ago, remember.”
“I did?” she said, looking slightly confused. “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure. It isn’t something a guy forgets about,” he said, alarm raising his voice a couple of octaves. “It’s on my chart isn’t it?” he asked, “Isn’t that why I’m taking these stupid prostrate pills?”
She glanced at the PC screen for several seconds, casually twirling the mouse wheel before muttering, “Oh, there it is. I guess you’re right.”
“I know,” he said, edging closer to the chair that held his clothes. “I would have thought you’d remember.”
“Well,” she replied rather drily, snapping off the single glove, “I guess it wasn’t that memorable.”
I tried not to, really I did, but it escaped. It started as a sort of muffled snort followed by a barely suppressed snicker and finished up in an uncontrollable chortle.
We won’t be going to another couple’s physicals anytime soon. If anything, we may need to consider Couples Therapy.