Top Travel Moment No. 5: The Doctor’s Visit

Note: There are no pictures included in this post. When you get to the end, you’ll understand why – and probably thank me.

In following my tradition of not being able to follow my own rules, my Top Travel Moment # 5 isn’t a story from traveling. It’s about a doctor’s office visit. But, in my defense, the only reason I went to this particular doctor’s appointment was because we were losing our good health insurance because we were leaving to travel, so I am declaring it a Travel Moment by extension.

So, as a part of our pre-travel plans, Kim and I made a bunch of doctor’s appointments to get a clean bill of health before we left to travel. One of the appointments was with a dermatologist. I had ever been to a dermatologist before, so I really had no idea what to expect, so when they asked me to don a paper gown and step into a cold room (why are doctor’s offices always cold?), I didn’t question a thing.

Like most doctor’s offices, the room was over-lit with cold, clinical fluorescent lighting, which did nothing to help the temperature of the room – nor my looks. But, as I sat trying to eek all possible warmth from my paper gown, I reminded myself that I was there for my health, not for my vanity.

As doctors as wont to do, I was kept waiting for a while in the exam room. I thought about reading one of the magazines that was in the room, but reminded myself that those magazines hang out in a doctor’s office in which people with skin diseases who are mostly naked also hang out, so I left them alone.

Finally, the doctor came in. He was probably in his late 60s, maybe early 70s. This actually eased my mind a bit, knowing that this man has most likely spent decades looking at the ugly things on people’s skin, and that I would (hopefully) not be the worst thing he had to look at that day. And, in the grand scheme of things, I should be well on the good end of the scale for what he has seen over the years.

He did the normal exam, or at least what I took to be the normal exam, having never been to a dermatologist before. He looked at everything from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes. After finishing an examination of the area between my toes, he sat back and asked me to drop my shorts.

Now, I’m not a doctor, but I am pretty sure “hernia examination” is done by a doctor other than a dermatologist. But, then again, I wasn’t the doctor, so down came my shorts.

Luckily, he must have known how cold he kept his exam rooms, because (thankfully) no stifles of laughter came out of his mouth. What did come out of his mouth were the words “please turn around and bend over.”

If I hadn’t hesitated when he asked me to drop my shorts, I definitely hesitated at this request. I tried to figure out what could possibly be gained by that examination, but politeness demanded that I not hesitate too long. In the end I figured, ok, buddy, it’s your funeral, and for the first (and probably only) time in my life, gave someone the full moon upon request.

I’m happy to say that I received my clean bill of health, but realized that nothing in life is free: all it took was a little piece of my dignity.

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Author: Brian

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