Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Private Problem

I remember puberty.


Specifically I remember developing breasts and how unbearably ashamed I was of this fact.

Puberty is a painful, agonising, angst-ridden, awkward time where one is basically a confused child struggling to deal with the sudden onslaught of adulthood.

It is also the time one becomes both secretly thrilled, and horrifically aware of the sexual organs...both one's own and those belonging to others! Eek!

But then, one grows up, studies medicine, becomes a doctor, is exposed to naked flesh of all shapes and sizes on a daily professional basis...and suddenly there is no difference between a nose and a penis, or an ear and a vagina.

They're all just organs to us.

(Even the diseases of these organs are the same: a penis gets syphyllis, and a nose gets sniffle-less!!! Hee Hee!)

This has put us totally out of tune with our patients' embarrasment at revealing themselves physically in our consulting rooms.

My elderely, conservative Muslim uncle of a patient with testicular pain, couldn't understand my insistence at physically examining his genitals.
And I couldn't understand his resistance.
I had to pull out all my medical knowledge, and subtle scare-tactics about cancer before he would let me anywhere near his genitals. I even mentioned Lance Armstrong. Livestrong, Uncle, Livestrong!

He eventually reluctanctly relented.

After the physical assualt on his privates he remarked quietly that he felt sorry for a "young girl" like myself having to deal with such terrible things on a daily basis.

Stupid, desensitised, Doctor that is me, didn't even realise what I was saying when I responded that I like it and try to have as much fun as possible with the patient.

It was only after he gave me a sly grin, and winked on his way out the door, that I fully understood the ridiculousness and possible inappropriateness of my statement...

In the words of Homer Simpson, DOH!


Anonymous said...

I am an old man and I approve of this post

Ketan said...

Considering what you've written in your new 'about me', am I supposed to believe this incident as it did not occur in one of the gangs-ridden primary or secondary hospitals?

LOL @ "snuffles" --> "sniffle-less" But now you're concealing facts?! Snuffles --> born to parents one of who plays around; chancre --> one who plays around himself! ;)

The one who commented above is one of your uncles, by any chance?

†J said...

Many a times we do make statements that are so meant to be decent, but, what interpretations can be derived, can't help but make us smile... ;-)

Similar stuff happened with me, some time back, when I was examining a hernia...!! :-)


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