Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Little Naked Gymnastics at Lunch Rounds Out Your Work Day

Approximately 14 days ago my neck started to hurt and thinking I had slept on it wrong, I assumed time would take care of the problem. Some time on day four of the stabbing pain I pulled out my memory foam pillow. Day 7 had come and gone without relief so I called my chiropractor. As it turns out she had closed her Center City practice.

Me minus a vehicle does not equal Chiropractor twenty miles away.

She took pity on me and recommended a local doctor. I called his office and due to my “new patient status”, the earliest he could fit me in was 7 days later. I took it. Of course 14 days after the pain had started (having spent the last 9 on my super-duper memory foam pillow) I no longer felt like there was someone stabbing from behind. I decided to keep the appointment so next time I wouldn’t need to take a “new patient appointment”.

After arriving I was a little nervous because it felt a bit like someone was trying to sell me a timeshare. I had handed in the new patient paperwork and been ushered into a little room to watch a movie about Chiropractic. It felt a bit like, "Look, maybe you've heard that Chiropractors are voodoo priests and witch doctors, but really they're not and you did the right thing coming here." Shortly after the reassuring film, the doctor came in to talk to me. He didn’t freak me out, that was a good sign.

I was then escorted to another room where he instructed me to take off everything but underwear and socks and put on a paper robe.

Let’s pause here for a moment.

I was not planning on getting naked. Getting naked for a medical professional involves some "getting-naked-pre-work". Having no prior knowledge of the impending nakedness, the pre-work was not completed. It’s the middle of winter; these legs don’t see a razor unless I’m wearing nude stockings. (And we all know that nude stockings look like dead people’s skin so that doesn’t happen often in my world) Thank heavens I had put on sensible underwear that morning. The alternatives there could have been disastrous. We will not elaborate further on this topic.

So I sucked it up and went to put the gown on. Hmmm. Which direction does the opening on this paper gown go? I reasoned that if the OB/GYN is interested primarily in the front area, then this guy should be interested in the back area. Gown on, opening in the back.

This is where it gets a little bizarre. The assistant comes in and says she wants to run some tests. I suppose the intention was to test my range of motion. What actually happened was me twisting and stretching while attempting to keep my ass in my paper gown.

Assistant: How far can you bend forward (holding giant protractor thingy)
Me: Like bending over to touch my toes?
Assistant: If you can reach the floor, yes.

So I touch my toes while attempting to keep the little Velcro closings from popping open.

Assistant: Now, how far can you bend backwards
Me: Well, all the way
Assistant: What does that mean, “all the way”?
Me: I mean I can bend over backwards and touch the ground. Do you really want me to do that?
Assistant: Yes

So I proceed to bend over backwards. In my doctors office. Sans bra. Naked except for a paper gown. I am not happy.

Assistant: Hmmm, well that's a first.

The rest of the visit was fairly routine save for the part when the doctor tells me that I have a bit of a sway back and an extra Lumbar vertebrae. He then comments that perhaps that's the reason I can fold myself in half backwards. I am now quite certain that the office staff probably refers to me as "the lady who runs around doing gymnastics naked".

I’m not sure if this getting naked thing is a regular occurrence or a special first visit kind of thing. Regardless, let this be a warning to you all - when you go to a new medical professional be sure to pull out the old razor and wear some nice but sensible underwear because you never do know when you're going to need to take it all off and bend over.

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