The alarm just sounded, telling me it is only 4:40 AM. I remember it’s Thursday, my day off. Why am I awake this confounded early? Oh, yeah, I have an appointment with Surgeon at 8 AM.
Carle bustles about getting ready to go to her employer. She works at a Daycare teaching VPK to four-year olds. Woops, maybe it’s called a Preschool, not a Daycare. They teach things to kids fresh out of the backyard. You know things like the kid’s name, shapes, colors, numbers, and the alphabet. Carle enjoys showing them bugs. Mostly pictures. Sometimes, the real thing.
“Have a good day, Rich” Kiss, kiss. “Remember, dear, I want to know everything! Bye! Oh, here’s your Fleets enema.”
Now I’m awake.
I sit up in the bed, bleary-eyed. I stretch, scratch, and rub my face with both hands. I put on my reading glasses lying on the bedside table and peruse the side of the box again. Hmm. Sounds simple enough.
Okay. I strip and position myself on the bed in one of the two recommended positions. Neither one is normal, but I get there. Inserting the tip wasn’t as horrendous as I suspected. Squeeze the bottle. Instructions said that not all of the saline material needed inserting, that some would be left over in the bottle, so, not to worry. I crumple the bottle as best I can, one-handed. I sit it aside. Wait ten to fifteen minutes.
Head for the john. I’m so glad it’s nearby. Believe me!
Time for a shower. Ah, nice hot water and soapy-suds. Afterwards, I feel clean all over. I’m probably cleaner on the outside than on the inside below, if you get my drift. However, that’s Surgeon’s problem. I dress and drive into the Urology Clinic.
I’m in the Clinic, in another exam room, one I’ve never been in before. I’m butt naked from my waist down with one of those ‘privacy sheets’ laying on top of me. I’ve still got my socks on though—cold floor. I’m lying on my side, facing the wall, and peering at the non-active monitor.
“Okay, Mr. New, I need you to schooch on back towards me a bit,” says Surgeon. “I need your rear-end hanging off the table a little bit more.”
I schooch as best I can.
“Great! That’ll do. Okay, I’m preparing the ultra-sound device, which will provide me with some pictures on the monitor for guidance purposes. Applying some lubrication goop and in we go.”
I feel something. Kind of like pressure.
“See? On the monitor, Mr. New,” says Surgeon. “Yeah, I know, the picture is kind of grainy, but that’s the state of the art with ultra-sound. We learn to recognize what we’re looking at. Similar to how you learn to recognize white blood cells under the microscope. See the black looking area at the top of the screen? That’s your empty bladder. The large, round object on the lower left is your prostate, the thing we’re here to examine.
“Now, Tech showed you the ‘gun,’ correct?”
“Yes,” I say, trying to sound alert. “And she demonstrated the sound it makes when a ‘picking’ is grabbed.”
“Fine, fine. So you remember the loud POP it makes?”
“Great. So I’m loading the gun, inserting it into the ultra-sound’s cavity, and—”
“Number one is done, Mr. New. How did that feel?”
“Sort of like a pinch.”
“Yes, that is exactly what it is supposed to feel like. Good.”
Surgeon continues to collect “pickings.” Eleven POP-ping more of them. Actually, I caught a glimpse of the apparatus that collects the “pickings.” The “gun” consisted of a gray, plastic handle apparatus with a trigger. The business end was a transparent tube of plastic with a squared off, open window, angled to one side at the far end that presses up against the tissue in question. Inside this clear tube, goes a metal rod with four to three “fingers” that, when released by the cocked trigger of the gun, “grab” or “pick” whatever tissue the fingers are pressed against. In this case, my prostate, which is pressed up tight against the rectum wall.
“Okay, Mr. New, we are through. Remember, there might be some rectal bleeding for two-to-three days and the same from your ejaculate. This should clear up nicely, since you are in very good health otherwise. You said you took the antibiotic this morning, so take the last pill tomorrow morning. That way, any nastiness that got into the wrong tissue during this procedure will not cause any additional problems.”
Surgeon comes around to my side of the exam table—minus the now non-sterile gloves—and shakes my hand. “We good? You feel okay?” he asks.
I shake his hand. “Yeah, we’re good and I feel fine.”
“Great! My office will call you when the results come back and we’ll go from there. I expect it will take about one to two weeks before any answers come back. Have a good day!”
Final Results: Twelve “pickings” of prostate tissue were taken, all for an additional cancer screening. Amazingly, all the above took only thirty minutes from check-in to checkout. I head home.