Still in Florida. Still living on a boat. Still suffering spotty wi-fi. Something’s gotta break soon and I’m afraid it might be my mind.
However, thanks to Duncan of The Mad Hatters, I don’t have to worry that Blogdramedy is just empty WordPress real estate. Duncan is another BlogFestivus alumni who has temporarily taken up residence to give you a bit of a “behind” the scenes look at what’s really on the mind of that man sitting on the other side of your table. If you’re wondering why the men in your life seem to be drinking more than usual (water, that is)…well, read on as he takes you on a wee ride down memory lane.
WARNING: men may want to cross their legs while reading this post. Also, some of you may need to sound out some of the words…just say them slowly and with a faint Scottish burr.
Thanks Dunc…for the visuals!
When a man reaches a certain age, things start to go wrong – “down there.”
And I was no exception.
Within the space of a few months I had to visit my GP because of concerns that problems with my No 1’s and 2’s might be indicative of some serious illness.
She referred me to the hospital for tests.
I recorded the events in my diary.
6th August 2008
Off to the hospital for tests to check why my pee isn’t coming out as fast as it once was, I handed my appointment letter in at the desk and was given a ‘wee’ bottle and asked to provide a ‘sample.’
So off I trotted to the loo.
Well once you’ve started you don’t think to stop, do you?
So there I was, bottle in one hand, aiming with the other.
When I’d filled the bottle, I emptied the rest of my bladder down the loo.
I trotted back to the receptionist, through the crowded open-plan waiting area, clutching my wee bottle – doing my best to conceal it in the palm of my hand.
‘Right’, she said, when I popped it into the envelope she thrust towards me.
‘Can you go with the nurse please. We need you to do a flow test’
‘A flow test?’, I said. ‘What with? I’ve just emptied my f*ckin bladder.’
‘Not to worry’, she said. ‘We’ll fill you up again.’
So for the next 1.1/2 hours I joined a group of 5 other men all in the same situation – drinking glass after glass of water and walking up and down the corridor trying to stimulate a need to wee.
(if they’d given me a pint of beer to drink I’d have been desperate for a pee within 10 minutes of finishing it.)
Just then, someone punched me in the back.
‘Hi Dunc. You waiting tae dae a piss?’
Just my f*ckin’ luck. A bloody big Hospital. Hundreds of nurses. And I have to bump into the only nurse in the place that kens me.
We chatted for a bit. We hadn’t seen one another for a couple of months so we had a bit of news to catch up on.
‘You ready yet?’ she asked.
I said I’d give it a go. She led me to a room. Set the machine running and left me staring down at a funnel shaped receptacle.
When I’d finished, I opened the door and peered anxiously up the corridor. No sign of her. Good! As I made my way back to the waiting room she jumped out in front of me.
‘An’ whaur the hell dae ye think yur gaen, ma bonnie lad’ (She’s a fellow Scot – if you hadn’t guessed.)
‘There’s yin mair thing ye hae tae dae afore ye see the doctor.’
She linked her arm through mine and pulled me into another room.
‘Right’, she said. ‘I need tae check now to see how much wee you’ve got left in your bladder. So up you get on the bed and lower yur breeks.
I loosened my belt and lowered my trousers – an inch.
‘Now, now, Dunc’, she said. ‘Nae need tae be shy wi’ me. A wee bit mair than that.’
This was bloody embarrassing. I’ve known Liz for years, but not that close. I lowered my trousers a bit more.
‘C’mon, Dunc’, she said ‘Gie me a fighting chance’. She grabbed my trousers and yanked them down.
‘Don’t worry’, she said – a big grin on her face – ‘I won’t laugh!’
‘Right’, she said. ‘It was a bit of a struggle but we got there in the end. I’m going to rub some gel on your tummy now so just relax and enjoy it. Not too much though, else you’ll embarrass us baith!
When she’d finished and I was ‘decent’ again, she linked her arm through mine again and led me to see the doctor. Just before she left me, she said –
‘Give my love to Anita. Tell her I’ll call in a couple of days. Oh, and tell her I never ‘peeked.’
‘One last thing’, she said. ‘When you go in to see the doctor – mind your back!’
I could swear her shoulders were shaking with laughter as she walked off.
[‘Fucken Bitch !!!’]
Later, as the doctor rammed a finger up my arse, (I hope it was his finger!) I recalled her final words and made a mental note to strike Liz off our Xmas card list this year!
12th Mar 2009
Went to see my GP a couple of weeks ago – rapid weight loss, swollen stomache, difficulty passing stools – cancer an obvious concern. She asked a few questions, poked her finger up my arse, and wriggled it about for a bit, then arranged for some blood tests to be done.
Saw her on Monday for the results – every thing OK, and stool samples showed no sign of blood – but despite this, she felt an urgent referral for a sigmoidoscopy was needed (gulp!!!)
My appointment was at 2pm. I handed my letter in at the desk and sat waiting for my name to be called.
‘Duncan Robertson ‘
My heart stopped – I recognised that voice – ‘Liz’
There must be hundreds of nurses working in this hospital. They work funny shifts, and move around from ward to ward etc. So the probability that the one nurse I know in the place would be on duty, in a different part of the hospital to that in which I’d last seen her when I came for my urine test, must be very small indeed. Yet there she was – a big grin on her face.
‘Hi Duncs’, she said. Then in a loud voice – ‘What’s it this time – can’t shit properly?’
I cringed with embarrassment as heads turned towards us. Bloody NHS. I knew I should’ve gone ‘private’. A ‘proper’ nurse would have said ‘defecate’!!!
‘You know what’s going to happen, Dunc? They told you about ramming that dirty big scope up your arse?
I nodded – weakly!
‘Don’t worry’, she said. ‘You’ve got a very nice lady doctor to see you today. I’ve told her you’re a friend of mine and she’s promised to be very gentle with you.
By the way, I didn’t get a Xmas card from you – lost in the post, I daresay. Nevermind, I know you love me really!’
So saying, she pinched my bum and walked off.
I swear her shoulders were shaking – again !
Right, Mr Robertson. – you can pull your trousers up.
I can ‘t see anything obviously wrong. But just to be sure, I’d like to book you in for a barium enema. and a colonoscopy.
She punched a few keys on her PC, then scribbled on a piece of paper which she passed to me , saying –
‘Hand this in at Reception and they’ll make an appointment for you.’
I headed back to the Reception Desk – keeping a wary eye out for Liz. No sign of her. I breathed a sigh of relief.
‘Sorry’, said the girl on the desk. ‘My computer’s down. I can’t book you in here. You’ll need to go down the stairs. Turn right at the bottom. Then follow the concourse round until you come to a corridor with a Large ‘H’ on the wall. Follow that corridor. When it turns left you’ll see a door straight in front of you. Go through there and one of the girls at the desk will take your details and book you in for your colonoscopy.
The directions were clear and I had no difficulty following them. There were two girls at the desk. As I approached, the blonde with her back to me turned round . . .
‘Hi stranger. Not seen you for a while. How’s things? Oops, silly me. Obviously not good or you wouldn’t be here, would you.’
‘Er, Hi Wendy’ I replied – sheepishly handing her my form (and wondering, yet again how it was that in a large hospital employing hundreds of people, I should bump into the only other person, apart from Liz, that knew me?)
‘Oh Dear’, she said, having looked at my form. ‘You poor thing.’
I glanced at her.
The solicitous words and tone of her voice did not seem to match the twinkle in her eye, nor the suspicion of a smile at the corner of her lips.
‘Jesus Christ’, I thought ‘was nothing private in the NHS ?
I just knew that all my friends were soon going to know all about the little medical problem I had been keeping quiet about. Wendy’s next words did nothing to allay my fears.
Have you seen Micky Singh recently? He’s having a bit of a do at his pub on Saturday. There’s loads of the old crowd going. Should be a good night. I saw him a couple of weeks ago and he was asking after you.
I made a mental note to avoid Micky Singh’s pub on the Saturday – certain that whatever vow Wendy had made about preserving confidentiality of patients medical records would not apply in my case, especially after she’d had a few vodkas.
‘C’mon, Dunc’, she said. It’s quiet today. Ann can look after the desk. Lets you and me just nip through here, so we can be a bit more ‘private’. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Besides, I need to talk to you about what to expect and what preparations to make for your ‘procedure’ and give you some leaflets etc.
A look of panic must have swept across my face at the mention of leaflets.
‘Don’t worry’, she laughed ‘I’m not trying to lure you into a stationery cupboard – again!!!
It was fun though, wasn’t it?’
For a moment my mind was in the past. I couldn’t recall if the incident whereby I ended up sharing the stationery cupboard with Wendy at the Works Xmas party – entirely innocent as it was – had ever cropped up in conversation with Mrs D.
I rather suspect it hadn’t.
I had made a mental note earlier to avoid Micky Singh’s pub on the Saturday.
I now made another mental note – to avoid Mickey’s pub not just on Saturday but for several weeks beyond that – especially if Mrs D was in my company!!!
In preparation for my ‘procedure’ I had to empty my bowels beforehand by taking ‘industrial strength’ laxatives. Wendy was most insistent that I stop at home and not go to work – advising me to stay close, very close to a toilet once I took the laxative and to make sure there were no closed doors or obstacles that might impede a fast run to the loo when the time came to ‘go’.
‘Honest, Dunc,’ she said. ‘I’m not shitting you. These are very, very strong laxatives and they work very, very fast.‘
I was going to describe what happened when I took the laxative, but I can’t be arsed – especially when Billy Connolly describes it so much better than I ever could!!!
(Comment by Blogdramedy: if you need to pee, do so before clicking this link.)
The actual procedure itself I don’t want to talk about. Save to say that it would be difficult to find a more embarrassing/humiliating experience than to have a ‘nozzle’ rammed up your arse, then be pumped full of gunge, while your body is moved from one position to another and scans taken.
A few days later the results came through – ‘no significant abnormality found.’
All that – for bugger all!!