|The "Hobby Horse"|
On Friday I visited my urologist for the first time. This is the next step in the procedure to see if I have prostate cancer.
If you'll remember, a couple of months ago two consecutive blood tests revealed that I had a high PSA account. While this doesn't necessarily men that I have prostate cancer it could be an indicator that I do have prostate cancer. Thus, I had to schedule a visit to a urologist for a consultation.
My appointment was for 11:30 a.m. Earlier in the day I got a call from the hotel where I work asking if I could work the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift for my co-worker as well as the next day's 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift. This is a rough shift because of the short sleep time between shifts but I said "yes" like I always do. More stress for the day.
I arrived at the doctor's office early hoping they would take me in early. They did.
After I filled out the first time paperwork I was weighed and had my blood pressure taken. Then I was given a funnel shaped device and taken to a bathroom and told to pee in it. They would measure my urine flow. We're off to a great start.
After that I was then ushered into another side room (lots of little side rooms in this doctor's office told to have a seat on the familiar padded table with the sheet of cold paper on it. I don't know what else to call it...a "hobby horse maybe? Another assistant came in and asked me to life my shirt and T-shirt. She smeared some cold jelly on my stomach and put a round cold piece of equipment on my stomach. She was going to take a picture of my bladder (much the same way a pregnant woman has a picture taken of her baby in the womb). Ambianosis or osmosis or something like that. She greases me up and then slaps this huge gray, flat, round and cold stethoscope like piece of equipment on my six pack abs (yeah, sure). She wanted to make sure I emptied my bladder from the urine flow test that I had just taken. She finishes, wipe the grease off of my stomach and informs me that the doctor will be with me in a few minutes
|Lubricant on the shelf - a sign of activity to come|
I heist myself up on the hobby horse to await
The doctor came in, extended his hand for a handshake (the same hand that would soon perform another function on me) and introduced himself. He was a young oriental man. I'm not into orientals but I would rather having a man doing The Deed than a woman. That's just the way I roll. No offense to the lady readers of this blog.
Dr. Chang (not his real name) spoke clearly and thoroughly. He made me aware of the recent news reports about PSA tests and asked me if I wanted to continue. I said I did. He then explained to me how the prostate is like an orange; soft and pliable. He said each person's body is different and that by whatever he finds by examining me doesn't necessarily mean that I have prostate cancer.
|Gloves at the ready and The Stool|
He explained out the prostate gland work. I won't go into the details but basically it is the gland that has a small tube running through it from the bladder to the penis so I can pass urine. He said the cancer could be on the outside of the prostate gland in which case he could feel it. However, he said it could also be on the inside in which case he could not tell be the digital exam which is was about to perform. He also said that the prostate gland could be hard as a knuckle in which case that would indicate something bad. But, if the prostate gland was soft and pliable as an orange, that didn't necessarily mean that I didn't have cancer, that it could be on the inside of the prostate gland.
The doctor gave me a white towel folder over twice and told me to "drop my pants" and to put the towel around my waist. He left the room while I did this. I dropped my pants. Surely not the first time that I've done this in my Life Experience but not under these cold, antiseptic circumstances. He would be back shortly.
I wasn't sure how much to "drop my pants" so I lowered them to my ankles. I was in a bit of a quandary because I didn't want to go "to far" but I wanted to be accessible to the good doctor. When Dr. Change (not his real name) returned there I stood with my pants (and underwear) down around my ankles (understandably I short circuited my chances for making a mad dash anywhere under these circumstances) with my towel securely fastened about my waist to secure some minimal facade of privacy.
I asked him "is this alright?" I think this is the first time in my life I ever uttered that phrase with my underwear and pants down around my ankles to another man I (or woman). Oh well, there's a first time for everything. Life is an adventure and mine was about to continue.
He said "Yeah, sure." Then he uttered the phrase that all straight men fear ...."BEND OVER."
Thus the Digital Exam proceeded. Oh wow. Man oh man. For what seemed like a LONG TIME, he stuck his BIG FINGER (didn't look that big when he put on the vinyl glove) up my You Know What. He probed to the right, then to the left, then a massage of the prostate gland itself. I could tell he's done this before. He was VERY EXPERIENCED. All I could think of besides when was he going to get his finger out of my ass, was WHAT A WAY TO MAKE A LIVING. When I was in grade school my little friends would dream of becoming a policeman, fireman or astronaut. I wonder what the Good Doctor dreamed of? I'm going to grow up and make a living sticking my finger up in someone's ass?
The exam was very uncomfortable for me. My back end is for EXIT only, and not ENTRY. That's just me. You know what I mean? EXIT...yes. ENTRY....no. Well, at least he wasn't wearing any rings.
I couldn't help myself but I kept clenching. For a few seconds I expected to hear the Good Doctor utter those words "just relax." Oh please doctor, don't say those words. He didn't. Thank you Jesus.
Then I worried that he couldn't get his finger out because I was clenched down too hard on it. Am I telling too much here? Perhaps. I'm trying to keep this a concise as possible.
Finally he finished and removed his finger with what sounded like a "Pop!"
He told me that he couldn't find anything on the surface on my prostate gland. That was good news. He also said that my prostrate gland was soft the way it should be and not hard like a knuckle (which he showed me by forming a knuckle on his own hand). He said that was good. But then he said that my PSA "Freewill" (I think that's what he said) score was only 5% and it should be 25% or more. He then asked me if I wanted to get a biopsy. I asked him what that entailed (no pun intended).
He said he would do it in office. He would take twelve biopsies which is twelve little chunks of meat from my prostate gland removed by some pincer like apparatus he has in his office. Last Sunday I talked to my cousin Bud who is the same age as me and he had it done. He said while it is "no picnic" he had it done. I told the doctor I would have it done.
Thus I now have an appointment December 19th for have my in office biopsy performed. Sort of like my Christmas present to myself.
So that's where I stand now folks. No cancer detected yet but the PSA scores still are indicating something is amiss.
I went to work that afternoon and then yesterday morning. When I left work yesterday I was exhausted. The hotel was full and the many of the hotel guests needed attention. How do you pronounce "Lewes"? "Lewis or Loose?" Oh yes, I do more at the front desk than provide a dazzling smile and pleasant banter. I'm a Jack of All Trades. At least I didn't have to deal with the wobbly toilet on the third floor. Mike (the manager) took care of that. I don't do toilets.
I have off now until next Wednesday unless I get a call to come in again to fill in for one of my co-workers who has the vapors. So that's the deal folks.
Updates as I learn them.