Inspired by Renee at rasjacobson.com and her clever idea for embarrassing moments from friends, found on her page So Wrong, I wrote this particular story. Check out the 13 funny ones over on her site; you’ll be glad you did! Thank you Renee!
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Waiting in the plush lounge of my doctor’s office and having completed the necessary forms for the outpatient procedure, thumbing through those typical magazines they scatter about, I reflect…asking myself again “Why on Earth am I doing this?” And I remember vividly my history with this sort of thing in this sort of place. This is a short story about a boy, now a man, constantly forced – perhaps charmingly coerced – to face his fears no matter how many times he’d rather not.
I travel back in time to my adolescence. I am in one of our family pediatrician’s patient-rooms atop the medical table, Mom is also there, and we are waiting on the doctor’s remedy for my illness. I am nervous, probably because my Mom seems to know something I do not, which makes me more uneasy. The doctor enters the room, talks in a soft calming manner explaining to us but more likely just to me, what he is about to do…to me…in order for me to feel better. Before my eyes he reveals this syringe with a needle I KNOW is three to four inches in length! The remaining words this evil doctor is uttering become oblivious to my ears. There is only one thing I want to know: where are you sticking that and how far? Yes, I know…that is actually two things, but I was desperate and my breathing was becoming more labored.
Well apparently my feeble defense went unwarranted and I don’t know why. Then as if my rising fear meant nothing to the angels of compassion, I had to drop my pants and underwear! Now my palms are very clammy and I’m beginning to perspire. Suddenly and completely unexpectedly I reared up from the table; that evil agent of Satan’s pain-army stuck me in my ass-cheek with that needle. It frickin HURT! Tears are forcing themselves out of my enlarged eyes when I start to feel dizzy and cold. Next, I am in this bizarre dimension of half-reality, half-trippy world with people (if you can call them people) I don’t recognize.
Fast forward 60-100 seconds later. When I woke with the doctor, a nurse, and my Mom looking over me on the floor, I was completely disoriented and worse, I had wet my pants. And if that wasn’t humiliating enough, I had to walk through the patient hall, past the business office and through the lounge in front of everybody to exit the building. A little scared, Mom explained to me that I had fainted but after careful monitoring I was apparently fine.
Soon after this experience, I learned a trick I could do with my butt-cheeks when my father was disciplining me (for direct disrespectful disobedience I’m sure) with THE BELT. If I tightened up my cheeks, the whippings would hurt proportionately less! I thought hey, I can do the same thing when I’m getting a shot! Yeah, stupid move. After the next time, I couldn’t sit down for days. Everything that touched my buttocks made me whelp!
The next thirty-something years were filled with a few similar episodes involving medical equipment, staff, and their facilities. Significant episodes followed like this briefly.
In high school while getting tested for what turned out to be mononucleosis, a lab-technician drawing vials of blood, having me hold the first full vial, pushed the needle too far and through my vein causing me to pass-out onto the floor, bursting the first vial everywhere. When I was awakened I had blood, my blood all over me. Walking out of that clinic I’m sure it looked as if I had come straight from a Stephen King horror movie or was a complete doofus with a ketchup bottle.
Many years later I was helping my teammates erect a large tournament pop-up tent. Using zip-ties to secure down the tarp over the framing-poles, I was using a box-cutter to trim the ties. Being a little too hasty, my motion accidentally slipped off a tie and I sliced into my left wrist. For you newly self-appointed psycho-analyst reading this, no it wasn’t a Freudian-slip trying to escape my inadequacies! While waiting at a nearby medical clinic for stitching, once again I fainted. The nurses there wisely decided to use a butterfly suture instead of stitching me up. Bravely, I concurred.
Just a few years ago I went to give plasma. Like I did then, you are now perhaps asking the same question: Are you utterly out of your mind? But I was trying to carry out two things: one, do a good and useful thing, like giving blood, and meanwhile conquer a long-time nagging fear. Second, its easy decent money, right? Um, not so much. I’ve learned in those situations to share all pertinent information and background as possible – ironically that applies in marriages too, as I’ve also painfully learned. Because I volunteered my long history of fainting, the clinic Director pulled me into his office for a quick discussion. He asked a couple of questions and then to make his point pristinely clear, he opened up his desk drawer, pulled out a clear package, and laid it out in front of me.
If any of you know what a blood-plasma needle looks like, then you can appreciate its size…or better, its GIRTH! Holy SHIZZO that thing was as thick as my middle-finger! The doctor explained that the needle I gasped at would be inside my arm for some 45-minutes. “Stop” I said. “I think I’ve had delusions of courage coming here, haven’t I?” As gently as he knew how, he went on to explain to me the cumbersome paperwork he’d have to fill-out for the EMT’s, ambulance service, and plasma center if I fainted there in his clinic; something he must do by law in potential cases like me.
I decided humanity had more than enough plasma.
But my most significant episode with that nagging Dream-Reaper was when my former girlfriend convinced me that a vasectomy would promise all kinds of mutually euphoric pleasure. She portrayed the resulting steamy spontaneous ecstasy better than any quality porn I could imagine, but I think she forgot to mention at whose expense! I had been blindly enamored by her narrations of condom-less tantric-release as much as my lack of upward blood-flow. A common occurrence in men I have learned.
So I am at my urologist’s office for what he and his nurses have explained insistently is a simple outpatient procedure. They urge me this way because apparently thousands upon tens of thousands of men successfully have the procedure, and most return to their daily routines within a half-day or so. One of my close guy-friends has had the procedure done and affirms this while every time laughing at me! “Snip, snip” he said “and your done.“
What is it that these titans of visceral vasectomy aren’t getting about me? Do they even realize that this “simple procedure” is in an area of about the only testosterone-filled manly-ness I might have remaining given my history? Hello? I am going to be awake the entire time he has his….(swallow Adam’s apple) tools down there!
My urologist and his nurses and I come up with a plan: his pleasantly calming assistant will constantly talk with me during the procedure – I don’t care what about – in an attempt to distract me from the REMOVAL. “Alright, you will feel two slight bee-stings” the doctor explains “and shortly after, the anesthesia will kick-in and you will hardly feel a thing.” He was such a blatant liar!
While the nurse continued talking and asking me a few questions, only a few moments later I felt ever-so-vaguely him pulling things down there. A sharp pain rode up from my groin, through my kidney areas, and into my chest. I let out a large groan! “Are we good so far?” the doctor asked pausing. I gritted my teeth and in my head I replied, are you seriously asking that right now? But I fronted a reply of yes. Seconds later I feel the same discomfort but more dull…and as I’m trying to pay attention to what the nurse was saying the walls began closing in on my ears and eyes. I hazily remember trying to fight it but it was futile; it just happened too quickly.
Once the Dream-Reaper had his cerebral fun in my head and departed, the doctor and nurse were hovering over my face repeating my name, placing every so often the swab of ammonium carbonate under my nose. They tell me I was out for about 45-60 seconds. The nurse covers me with 2-3 blankets because I’ve gone into minor shock. Wonderful. She remains with me for five, ten minutes until I am fully coherent to talk with the doctor. It is when he returns to the room that I am informed of the stunning details of what had happened.
“Well [ProfessorTaboo], are we feeling back to normal?” the doctor asked. I answered yes and apologized for what I knew might have happened. He assured me it was okay and began explaining our new options. “We have three choices. We can schedule the procedure for a later date at a hospital and put you completely under, or we can reschedule the procedure for here on another date, or we can try it again.” After carefully considering his three options, I realized that I could not make an informed decision without knowing more…like what my status was down there! In my brilliant moment of clarity I asked, “How far did we get?” He took pause to carefully (and in hindsight tactfully) consider his answer. With a slight smirk he said
“Umm, I barely even nicked you. Basically, all you’ve had done is the injected anesthesia.”
I cannot describe how utterly deflating his answer was. I thought I had inflicted some major blows to my historical blood-n-needle-issues and staggered that damn Dream-Reaper. I just took no less than TWO injections into my privates! God, is my macho-ness ever going to peer over reality….just a bit, even if only for a few seconds?
The procedure was later completed much to the
prodding laughter excitement of the culprit, my girlfriend. But again, at whose expense…and more so WHAT expense? Am I forever scarred?
Perhaps I should find a moral to my story? Alright, here it is.
Life has strange and many ways of humbling the cocky, and just as effectively (and indiscriminately) to those men who aspire to be despite their neurological and psycho-somatic flaws to the contrary: point and case, me!
P.S. Stay tuned for a sequel to this most humbling experience: You Must Do What with What!? The humility just keeps coming.
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