Kenny Bodanis argues that men have some legitimate medical complaints to make.
For the following several hundred words, I AM MAN.
I place myself on the pulpit, and reach new heights of egotism by assuming to speak for slightly less than half the human population: MEN.
We have a reputation, we do. Our colds reputedly sideline us for longer periods than they do women, our injuries supposedly render us more incapacitated for a greater period of time than would a similar affliction befalling a woman.
Maybe true, maybe not. I won’t dwell too much on the veracity of the argument…my carpel tunnel sidelines me for days when I type for any extended period.
I will say this: Sometimes things hurt. And when they do, Man says “Ouch”, and every once in a while, we deserve a “There, there, poor baby”. Not all the time, but certainly following these real-life scenarios:
Case #1) I recently had a cystoscopy. I will spare you the details of the procedure; since after already posting the details of my vasectomy, I’m worried this blog is transforming into The Kenny Bodanis Museum of Natural history. What is most important is: it was painful, and triggered painful and unsightly side-effects which lasted for twenty-four hours.
During that period, and only during that period, I complained about my level of discomfort, as well as the general unpleasantness brought on by the procedure.
The response? “Try getting your period every month.”
Case #2) A family friend recently underwent a prostate exam. He commented how uncomfortable he felt lying on his side while someone’s finger snuck in the back door. He didn’t complain it was painful, he didn’t miss work, he didn’t refuse to empty the dishwasher. He said “I felt uncomfortable”.
The response from the women he was with: “Try having a baby”.
On behalf of Men, let me clear the air with some grand concessions: Pregnancy and birth bring with them back pain, swollen feet, nausea, interruptions in sleep patterns, horrible cramping, loss of appetite, muscle strain both internal and external resulting from hosting a growing human being for nine months and then expelling it through an opening previously only used for much more meager purposes, wild hormone changes, and a host of other symptoms men will never fully appreciate since we will (most likely) never experience childbirth. Granted, acknowledged, agreed, confessed.
Now, can you allow us that it’s uncomfortable having a finger up our ass? Especially someone else’s.
No one wants someone’s Beetle pulling into their pre-paid underground parking spot. Sometimes it’s a really old doctor, with an equally old, rusted, vintage Beetle…pulling into your spot. Prostate exams command such lore, John Fogerty wrote a song about them:
John Fogerty – Lookin’ Out My Back Door (Live – 2005)
And Chevy Chase crooned during his:
Moon River, Fletch
Prostate exams and cystoscopies are not the armageddon of medical conditions. But please grant us that we may experience some pain and discomfort while being examined by parts normally reserved for submarines, and winter gloves.
When my wife had the flu, I commiserated, sympathized, did the laundry and the cooking; all the right things. All I want in return is, after returning home from a good scoping, someone to say “That sounds damn uncomfortable.”
P.S. The doctor didn’t find anything serious, thanks for asking.
Photo—Nervous patient from Shutterstock