Where No Man Has Gone Before (My Physical)

The late Lewis Grizzard used to differentiate between being naked and being nekkid. Naked, he said, meant you had no clothes on. Being nekkid meant you had no clothes on and were up to something.

It made for a cute saying, but it ain’t true. You can be naked anywhere, but if you live in the South, and you are not wearing clothes, you’re nekkid. It’s just the way most of us say that word.

So here I am. Nekkid. And for some reason, my doctor has chosen this moment to expound on his son’s college education. Being naked in a doctor’s office means one thing: my annual physical.

So here is a soft-in-the-middle, slowly-balding, pasty white guy just standing there with no clothes on, trying to pretend I’m not uncomfortable while he talks about the cost of education, housing, etc.

I can’t get dressed. There are a couple of things left for him to do that require my nakedness. I once suggested that he let my wife administer the testicular cancer exam. He didn’t go for that.

Frankly, my wife didn’t care for that idea, either.

My physical is otherwise going well. I’m a healthy dude. Sort of. When something goes wrong, I tend to go big: colon cancer, heart disease. Otherwise, my numbers are typically quite good: cholesterol, sugars, heart rate, blood pressure. This visit is no exception.

The doctor is pleased, though he casts a skeptical eye my way as he tells me my liver numbers are perfect. It’s almost as though he suspects I slipped somebody else’s blood in for the screening. Score one for drinking the good stuff, I say.

I am starting to get a little anxious. There’s only one procedure left, and it’s the part I dread the most. In fact, I went so far as to tell my doctor that insurance no longer covers it.

He is unfazed. “Then this will be pro bono,” he says as he puts on the rubber gloves.

I used to complain about this part of the exam when I got home. Apparently, women have their own challenges when it comes to being examined. “Cry me a river,” she said. Believe me, if I thought it would get me out of this, I would.

There’s a lot of science I don’t understand. By pushing a button on my phone, I can ask my cell phone the time, date, stock prices, kickoff time for my favorite team, and what started World War II. Why can’t it tell me how my prostate is?

I ask my doctor that. He agrees it would be helpful but suggests that’s probably not a place I want my cell phone to be.

That’s a really good point.

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