It’s always hard to refute solid persuasive techniques.
But then there are doctors.
After my recent few go ‘rounds with the doctor I’ve become convinced that few –if any—have a sense of humor.
I first noticed this lack of humor over twenty years ago when my oldest daughter was born. My wife was on the bed, knees up, screaming through contractions. I alternated between watching a basketball game on the television mounted on the wall of the hospital room and attempting to sooth her, which only brought on greater screams. Looking back, I’m not sure if it was my watching the game or my soothing bedside manner that caused the screaming to amp up.
The doctor was down where she was supposed to be, doing her thing. Finally, the baby came out. The doctor held up the baby for me to see.
“Well, dad, what do you think?” she asked.
I pointed to the umbilical cord. “Now that’s my boy! Look at how well hung that kid is!”
The doctor glared at me. “That’s the umbilical cord, not a penis. It’s a little girl.”
Me: “I knew that. It was just a joke. You know? A joke?”
Me: “Heh, heh…?”
That didn’t work out too well, so I tried a joke when our second daughter was born. Just after my wife gave birth the doctor looked at my wife and said, “Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?”
Me: “Not too bad. I’m feeling pretty good actually. Could go for a sandwich though.”
My latest failed attempt at humor with a doctor was during my recent medical exam.
Doc: “That mole on your side by your waist looks kind of odd.”
Me: “You mean the one on my love handle? ‘Love handle.’ That’s a technical medical term.”
Doc: “Yeah, whatever. I think we should have it removed.”
Me: “Oh. Okay.”
Doc: “Now drop your pants and bend over the table.”
Me (dropping my pants): “Boy, if I only had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that.”
Me (bending over the table): “Be gentle with me doc and just leave the $20 over by my coat.”
Doc (After her brief anal invasion): “Everything feels alright there.”
Me: “I certainly thought so. Was it good for you too?”
Doc (glaring): “We’ll send you home with a kit so you can take some stool samples for us.”
Me: “I hope it’s a big kit, ‘cause I had one helluva breakfast.”
Me: “Okay, how do I go about working this kit?”
Doc: “The directions are on the box. Just follow those.”
Me: “Okey-dokey.” Usually a chirpy okey-dokey brings a smile to any one, but this doc’s facial expression appeared to be carved out of granite and only had one mode: glaring.
Doc: “Come back next week and we’ll remove the mole.”
Me: “Okey-dokey.” I figured since she was still glaring I’d give her a double dose of the okey-dokey thing.
I went back the following week. In some ways it was a repeat of the previous visit.
Me: “Hey doc, is there any way we could remove the mole with liposuction and then maybe catch the other love handle too?”
Doc: “No. We’ll be cutting it out.”
Me: “Aww. Cut that out.”
Me: “Okay, so where do you want me?”
Doc: “Up on the table, pants down, laying face down.”
I jumped up on the table and decided I’d lay off the jokes for a bit. I watched as she prepared the needle and then walked toward me.
Doc: “Okay, first you’re going to feel a little prick.”
Me: “Really? Are you just gonna softball ‘em in like that?”
Doc: “What do you mean?”
Me: “Nothing. Never mind. I’m okay.”
Doc: “Okay. First the little prick.”
Me: “That’s what she said.”
The little prick ended up being a huge sting. I’m not entirely certain it needed to hurt quite that much. Maybe she was tired of my humor.
Doc: “And now you’ll feel a little burn.”
Me: “Penicillin will take care of that though, right?”
When she was done cutting, she sewed it up and slapped a Band-Aid on it.
Doc: “That should take care of it. If you’re comfortable removing the stitches you can do it yourself in a week to ten days or you can make an appointment to come in and have them removed. Just keep them clean and don’t scratch at them.”
Me: “You mean the stitch could itch like a bitch? Heh, heh. Just thought I’d throw some alliteration in there for ya.”
Doc: “Okay, whatever. We’ll have the test results from the mole and the sample you brought in within a couple of days and give you a call.”
Me (feigning hurt): “That’s what they all say. ‘I’ll call you,’ but then they never do.”
That’s when I was certain that doctors either had no sense of humor or they simply hated my sense of humor.
That is, until I got the call a couple of days later.
Doc: “We got the tests back. There are traces of blood in your stool, your blood counts are off a bit and the mole could be pre-cancerous: a melano (-something-or-other-I can never remember words with more than eighteen syllables) so we’ll need to take out a bigger piece.”
Me (still trying to remember what ‘stool’ was): “Uh. Um. Blood in the stool? The mole is a mela –whatsits and you need to cut out a bigger chunk?”
Doc: “Yep. So we’ll schedule that and see if we can set up a colonoscopy, but we’re booked out for the next four months.”
Truth be told, she’s probably still laughing.