“Lie down on the table.”
I laid down on the cold, hard surface, conscious that I must look ridiculous in the wrap-around dress I had been forced to put on.
“On your stomach.”
I rolled onto my stomach, feeling a twinge of nervousness.
There was a moment of silence, then a leaden blanket was dropped on my torso and waist. “Now lift your legs up, bending at the knee.”
I dutifully complied, feeling awkward doing so. I also pulled the heavy blanket down a bit, to better shield my delicate reproductive organs.
“Now squeal like a pig!” the technician ordered, swatting me on the buttocks.
Now I really felt awkward.
OK, that last part didn’t happen, but it sure felt like it happened.
Well, the feeling really awkward happened, but not the smack or the squeal.
You see, I had to get x-rays of my knee to help the doctors figure out why it was hurting.
Which led to this moment where I was wearing a light blue hospital gown and lying on a glass table, convinced the male technician was about to smack my bum and order me to emit a porcine whinny.
I really, truly believed that indignity was coming.
I don’t know why – the technician was nothing but professional.
I’m guessing it was the silly gown, the nervousness surrounding the mystery of my unhealthy knee, and the convoluted pose.
Plus a far-too-vivid(-and-self-deprecating) imagination.
Instead, there was a faint buzz, a beep, and then:
“OK, you can get up now.”
I was mostly relieved, and only very slightly disappointed. I got up, did the fifteen foot walk of shame back to the changing closet (it was not big enough to be called a room), and then, head bowed, made my way back home to await the results of the x-ray and ponder what might have been, but wasn’t.
(The Missus is reading this over my shoulder, and after a sharp intake of breath, looked at me funny. She just mumbled something that sounded like ‘Sometimes I worry about you’, but when I asked her to repeat it, she walked away, shaking her head sadly.
Sometimes I worry about her.)
Anyway, this x-ray experience has made the whole ‘colonoscopy incident’ from a few years ago seem a lot less traumatic.
That’s a lie. The ‘colonoscopy incident’ was terribly traumatic and nothing will ever diminish that.
I also now make a habit of reading over the procedures the doctor has ordered, to make sure there aren’t any more…regrettable mistakes.
In the end, the diagnosis was anti-climatic:
Turns out I have what is known in medical parlance as ‘old man knees’. So now I have a whole series of stretches and strengthening exercises to do that allow me to feel awkward and uncomfortable all by myself.
Except when the Missus is watching, with that familiar worried expression and the same question, every time:
“Are you sure the doctor wants you to do that?”
I always say yes, even though nowhere in the instructions does it say I should squeal.