Vignette #1: His surgery went smoothly–dozens of sutures too fine for the unaided eye, reconstructing his vasectomy to restore fertility. The outcome was promising, the young couple quite excited at the possibilities. His recovery was uneventful, so his call a week or so later was a bit of a surprise.
“How’s everything going?”
“I feel great!”
“Good. Any problems or questions?”
“Doc, you said I should wait ten days before we have sex.”
“Yes, that would be a good idea.”
“Is there any problem with … toys?”
Toys … Teddy bears? Legos? Fire engines? … TOYS! … Oh.
“I … don’t think so … just don’t do anything … crazy, ya know?”
“OK, Doc, I won’t. Thanks!!” Click.
Vignette #2: She was good natured, but quite demented–and looked every day of her 84 years. She sat, her daughter beside her, her plasticine smile frozen softly in contemplation of some other cosmos. I struggled to elicit a history of her illness–a task well beyond her cognitive means. Finally, having coaxed all the information I could, I advised her it was time for a physical exam.
I stood up, and turned to leave the room so she could prepare in private.
She turned to her daughter, calling her by the wrong name: “What did he say?”
“He wants you to get undressed for your exam.”
“Oh, sweetie, I’d love to take my clothes off for him!”
The door latched softly behind me, entombing forever the fervent hopes and feverish dreams of midlife mojo.
Vignette #3: He was, by any standards, physically unassuming: thinning, curly hair, slightly dishevelled; thick black glasses clashing harshly against a pasty cratered complexion; picket-fence teeth weathered by smoke and caffeine; gaunt not from aerobic workouts but neurotic hyperactivity. Whatever your first impressions, one thought would never come to mind:
He was younger than most–early 50’s–but his prostate obstruction was severe, requiring surgery. He arrived at the office two days later to have the catheter removed.
The balloon deflated, the catheter slid out easily and painlessly. I was not prepared for the question.
“Will this make me sexy?”
Sexy. Sexy. Say wha…?!
“Yeah–I’m quite the stallion, ya know…”
No, I didn’t. I really, really didn’t.