A Run-In With the Doctor

I knew this would happen. I saw the doctor who gave me my colonoscopy on the bleachers at a high school soccer game. I had just been telling someone that I haven’t lived here long enough to run into people I know in the store or around town. I’m still new and unfriendly enough that I could run into Starbucks in a pajama top, my husband's flip flops, greasy hair, glasses and my retainer, and it wouldn’t come back to bite me. The strangers would just think I’m a regular ugly person, possibly mentally ill for my clothing choices, but it wouldn’t reflect back on Diane Fitzpatrick.

So I was at a soccer game, and one of the players got injured and this guy got up from the stands and walked down and started acting like a doctor and I went, “uh-oh.” It was my colon doctor.

It ticks me off that I even have a colon doctor. I was really pissed when I found out that just because I was 50 I had to have this disgusting test done. I wanted to just run to the hospital right then and say, “Just do it! Do it now, before I change my mind!” But apparently “out patient” has another meaning, so I had to first have a consultation with the doctor who was going to do it. “Why?” I asked his receptionist on the phone. She told me that as a new patient of the doctor, I had to have a new patient consultation before they could touch me with a ten foot pole. “But I’m not a new patient. I’m not a colon patient at all. I’m perfectly healthy. My only flaw is that I’m 50.” Too bad. Get your ass in here. Ha ha haaaaa.

So I did the consultation, which meant I had to meet him and let him see my normal face with makeup on, contacts in and combed hair and earrings, so when he saw me on the big day, he could do what my wisdom teeth remover doctor did upon seeing me in a hospital gown, no makeup, no jewelry and my glasses and go , “Gahhhh! Diane? Is that you?” (No, I actually sent my ugly twin in here to go through this for me. You caught me.) I would have preferred to be far more anonymous with the colon doctor, but the receptionist insisted. I met briefly with him. He seemed like a very nice person, despite his poor job choice. (Really, think about it. What are people thinking? I think they keep these poor med students up for 96 hours straight and then have them fill out the form to choose a specialty.)

But I really never, ever thought I’d see him again after the whole disgusting thing was over. I plan to have a very healthy colon from now until I die, because I’m never going through that again. In fact I’m refusing to do any kind of fasting or clear liquids diet again. I don’t care what I’m being tested for, if the medical technology is so unsophisticated that they can’t beam through Honey Bunches of Oats and coffee to find what they’re looking for, then I’ll just wait. In one of the later Star Trek movies, McCoy time-traveled back to the late ‘80s and was walking through a hospital, curing people with a wave of a small flashing beeping piece of plastic. I’ll wait for that.

The colon doctor hung around the injured player for a while and then watched the rest of the game near the fence. I glanced over at him once and I think he was looking my way. I think he recognized me. I was afraid to stand up for fear he’d see my butt and go, “Oh, yeah, that’s her!” I silently cursed my decision to never wear a burka. I avoided him and when the game was over I walked all around the bleachers to get to my car and quickly sped away.

I can’t even imagine the conversation between me and the colon doctor outside of a medical setting. “Hi, how are you?” “Good, good.” “Colon still good?” “Yeah, as far as I know!” Another parent comes up and joins the conversation, “How do you know Bob?” “Oh, Bob and I know each other real well. He’s seen the inside of my colon! He’s also seen me without makeup, which for some people might be even more traumatic. But he’s seen the least attractive of all my internal organs, and we’re not even married!”

Once I saw the colon doctor at soccer, I started to wonder, what about all the helpers? There were at least two nurses standing there when the drugs took effect and I passed out (one of them had a little grin on her face which I did not like), plus the anesthesiologist, his assistant, and God knows who else came over to watch. The place was a bustling mecca and I’m not even certain they closed the door. They probably all live nearby. As far as I know, my kids’ English teacher and the president of my homeowners’ association were invited in to watch. That’s really why they knock you out for these procedures. They don’t want you to know who has seen you naked and in a demeaning position.

I can’t really think about it too much or I’ll never make any friends here. I’m going to have to let it go. And get a pair of those big Nicole Richie sunglasses.

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