Went to the doctor for my first physical in…well, a long ass time. And it was good. Nice doctor, nice grad student who did most of the stuff–they played “Find the Heart Murmur” (I have a terribly minor murmur that seems to be vanishing with age–it used to be fairly distinct as a child, but you can only faintly hear it now, and to find it on ultrasound I have to practically stand on my head) and declared it vanishingly small. So I go in in two weeks for cholesterol testing, which will probably be rather high, since both my parents are very high, and I need to exercise more frequently, lose the obligatory five pounds, and drink less caffiene, but other than that, I am declared pretty darn healthy. Which is nice.

The doctor was flamingly, mincingly, almost exaggeratedly gay, which made the pap smear a vaguely surreal experience. I am not used to having someone say “Oo! Ectocervical tissue!” in quite those cheery, utterly nonthreatening tones. (Not having heard the phrase before, I asked, which ended with him drawing cervixes on the little white paper table-cover and explaining interesting things about squamous vs. columnular tissue cells and their relationship vis-a-vis the cervix.

He won me over completely, however, when going in for the breast exam, he spotted the tattoo on my bicep–I have a rather large black celtic hound tattoo armband–blinked, turned my arm over, stared, and said, in awed tones, “Wow, you’re not a wuss!” And then he had to explain to his assistant that getting the underside of the arm tattooed is an exercise in agony, and you can always tell the guys who wussed out by the barbed wire going two-thirds of the way around the bicep. (There are very few pleasures in this life, when one is a nondescript woman of no particular physical strength, to compare to standing smugly next to a giant Hell’s Angel who could bench press a Volkswagon, and having a much more badass tattoo than his. It’s a small victory over the cosmos, but I’ll take what I can get.)

I did have to get a tetanus shot, though, since it’s been ten years, and my attempts to weasel out were firmly quashed. So now my arm is sore, but I suppose I’ll be grateful when next I stroll through Bob’s House of Rusty Nails and Small Biting Animals.

Leave a Reply