Doctors and dentists
Surviving at 60+
If you are not that way inclined, having someone, anyone, shove a finger (no matter how well lubricated) up your nether region in search of your prostate, is not a pleasant experience.
That being said, it is also a completely different thing to have your prostate examined by a specialist with whom you had dinner at your Doctor friend’s house the previous evening, than by a complete stranger who, after your embarrassing and soul destroying experience, will not want to see you ever again unless by an expensive appointment and will never call you or send you a Christmas card. Such a lack of regard hurts and might very well scar one's self confidence for life.
That is why for the last twenty years or so, my children and I (myself now being a youthful, handsome and dashing 62), until recently shared the same paediatrician. Let me just clarify this statement.
Your immediate reaction naturally would be how could a decrepit old wreck like me possibly benefit form a paediatrician? Now bear with me here, because the logic behind this is based on sound scientific thinking as I believe you will agree with me anon.
Besides being a close personal friend with whom I socialised several times a week, my paediatrician was first of all a MEDICAL DOCTOR who has simply specialised in children. Which children often cannot voice their ailments clearly and succinctly, therefore he is a person who can deal with humans of limited and/or underdeveloped intelligence and my ex-wife will swear to you that I easily fall into one of these later categories.
The next important part of the equation is that he understands all related medical jargon and not only that, he is also a male, PLUS he is 8 years older than I.
So, and do please pay attention here, any illness that I am likely to have at my age, he has preceded me in having it himself by eight years and out of a simple sense of self preservation, he has read up on it assiduously. Do you get my drift? He simply HAD to read up on all the possible ailments threatening men over sixty and become an expert at them, ready to prescribe to himself the absolutely best and most appropriate medication. Voila!
As a result, he is a walking encyclopaedia of all possible diseases not only of children, but of all complaints afflicting males in our age group, PLUS he has access (as a colleague and/or friend and not simply as a patient), to all the relevant specialists who might be required and appointments are made with a simple telephone call. Hence my introductory statement that it is easier to be examined by a doctor with whom you are acquainted socially, than by a complete stranger.
Now recently I have moved to a new area, away from my friend, but resorting to scientific thinking once more, I have managed to find a suitable solution in replacing my paediatrician chum with a female doctor who, though young in years, has many sterling qualities.
First of all, she is willing to take my word about the condition of my prostate and does not have this strange proclivity of some other general practitioners to rush and put on the single rubber glove, lubricate the middle finger and get one to bend over as soon as they see any male in his 60s.
She has immediately grasped the fact that though the De Greeks are manly men of steel, deep down we are delicate poetic creatures and we tend to wilt like fragile flowers once our prostate is required to present itself front and centre for inspection.
In addition, my Young Dr. Rashmi is “A Daughter!” Not just any daughter, but a Dutiful Daughter of Holy India, where fathers are revered, not treated like squeezed lemons to be thrown away in expensive Homes for old Age Pensioners if that is where squeezed lemons are thrown.
A daughter, in short, who loves her father and who takes considerable interest in his ailments and their solutions. And this is where the scientific approach from my side comes in. I happen to be of a similar age as my Young Rashmi’s father and anything I can do, he can certainly do better as far as ailments are concerned.
From arthritis though cholesterol to prostate, my Young Rashmi’s dad has preceded me with a passion that I can only admire and applaud. The result is that every time I go to see my Young Rashmi, she already knows what’s wrong with me even before I open my mouth and often even before I feel any symptoms. In me she sees her dad and not only a dad but a sick dad whom she loves dearly and who’s suffering she wants to prevent.
So you see, Young Pam Roberson, (and those of you not familiar with the interesting case of Pam, may investigate it here) if you do a little bit of research in advance, you will save yourself a great deal of misery.
Research, however, is no match for treachery and I shall shortly explain this fine distinction. Now from the title of this piece, the more observant amongst you, will already have detected a certain dislike of dentists in the De Greek psyche, as they are not referred to as doctors but simply dentists, as if the name is spat out in contempt and you would not be unjustified in forming this opinion. It is the De Greek way of avoiding the use of profanity, as our mothers are quite strict on this point. There is a reason for this scorn.
Having being raised in a monastery, I was let out into the world as a virginal youth in both spirit and body. As soon as I took my first steps into the metropolis, on my way to a tailor who was recommended for his skill in male clothing which went beyond the monk’s habit, I met the girl who was to become my first wife. I remember that she was sitting inside a cafeteria with a girlfriend of hers and jumped up waving and smiling as soon as she saw me through the pane glass window and I was particularly impressed by her ability to wink.
I thought how charming it is to live in such a friendly and Godly society and before I knew what was happening we were married a short three weeks later, both of us aged just twenty three.
The dentist element to the story appeared when I was already the father of two and tooth ache raised its ugly head. My ex-wife immediately arranged an emergency appointment with her own dentist and I presented myself at his office, accompanied by her.
It turned out that I needed not one, but three fillings. Even at age 28 at the time, I had no idea what fillings were but I told him to go ahead.
“A big guy like you surely doesn’t need an anaesthetic! That’s for sissies” said the dentist and I bowed to his greater knowledge. The resulting pain was excruciating beyond belief, but I bore it stoically, thinking that everyone had to go through this Dr. Mengele type torture.
However, I subsequently have had another three fillings and each time the different dentists I have used, took it for granted that an anaesthetic was a necessity and injected me with a powerful pain killer without bothering to ask for my opinion on the matter.
It was only at the time of our divorce that my ex-wife told me giggling that the then dentist had been her boyfriend prior to our marriage, that I realised that the three fillings without an anaesthetic were not quite in line with the Hippocratic Oath.
The smile on my face as I write this is due to the fact that shortly after the three fillings incident, the specific dentist died of cancer at a very young age, in what I am reliably assured by experts must have been prolonged and excruciating pain.