Learning to Smoke Camels

This is long, gross, often crass, thus you are forewarned. For those of you who don’t know, I am adopted. My parents picked me out at the New Bern, NC home for wayward babies. I was trouble even at birth. For my first 3 months I hung out with nurses at the hospital. So all my life, I have had a thing for nurses. Liked them so much I married one.

So, when my primary care doctor got my lab work back, I got the “hey, why don’t you come in for a chat…” Any time my labs are abnormal, with no family medical history, my doc gets worried. Then I get worried, then my wife the nurse tells me all the possibilities.

So my doc says, “your PSA is a bit elevated…” Elevated is like going up a pants size. Mine is like the national debt. Doc says, “you need to see a urologist…” So off I go to await the scheduling. Nothing brings comfort like WebMD, or googling high PSA.

Finally the day arrives for my visit with the urologist.

A wonderful lady, clearly a member of the Cullen family drains a liter of blood from my arm. I do well with this get a “Paw Patrol” bandaid and a sucker. This is all a setup. The next young lady takes me to the bathroom, whereupon she hands me a small bottle (think thimble size) and says fill it up and put in the the hole in the wall. I have had 18 cups of coffee, a Bojangles half/half tea ant his small vessel will not suffice. My escort leaves me, while I hear her laughing all the way out. Three rolls of paper towels later I have completed the challenge. I get a smiley face sticker on my chart.

Sequestered in my exam room, I take stock of what is there. Many implements of destruction, devices of unknown use and a roadside Ingersoll Rand light set. On the ceiling is a disco ball, a lovely counter covered in Formica, and completing the decoration is a lovely exam table. On the counter is a pack of Camel unfiltered cigarettes and a zippo lighter. So I wait… wait.. Then in walks my doctor. He’s not really my type.

The urologist says, these numbers are “interesting.” Reading a biography of Charlemange is interesting, medical numbers not so much. So doctor looks at the lab report, peering over the paperwork to see my face when he tells me that we will be getting to know each other much more intimately. He invites me over to the exam table. I expected chocolates, or at least dinner maybe even dancing. He comments on my prostate. We smoke a Camel, exchange numbers and review our calendars for another date.

So it’s time for our next date. I ask my wife what I should wear, she always looks great so she has skills. Her response, “something comfortable.” She knew what I didn’t. I would have to give up my clothes and put on a dress, a spaghetti strap dress with all the straps in the wrong places. Once properly dressed a nurse tells me to “coming along you have a date…”

The urologist has a lovely suite. More disco lights, many more implements of destruction and a new pack of Camels. I am directed to recline upon the table. Not even a single flower, this guy is no romantic. He encourages me to relax, which is no easy task while he is asking for a golf umbrella and floodlights.

In just a few moments I understand the use of a golf umbrella and the flood lights. That is to make room so he can say, “just 18 or 20 biopsies, easy peasy.” Apparently he has never been shot in the bum with a Paslode brad nailer. The nailing finished, we smoke the Camels, discuss another date in a few weeks.

Waiting for the next date is stressful. What do I wear? What will he say? Will we smoke Camels?
Our last date we broke up. I am blessed that in the words of my doc, “you have a nice prostate, and no cancer.” I am fortunate, many others have heard much worse news. But it is imperative that you get health issues addressed. Now I just need to get some anti-smoking patches…

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