Let’s Get a Physical (or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Getting a Prostate Exam)

I had my annual physical yesterday.

Just like clockwork, I usually have my annual physical every two or three years.

That’s because, like many men, I don’t like physicals.

Getting ready for a physical is like getting ready for a date.  I showered, shaved, and put on my best pair of clean boxer briefs.  And, just like a date, I always feel as if I should lose ten pounds before going.

So as the doctor looked over the results from the blood tests he sent me for last month, I stripped down to my burgundy boxer briefs.

He tells me I have good blood.

My cholesterol is where it should be (the bad cholesterol being low and the good cholesterol being higher).  I’m not diabetic but I’m highly allergic.  The IgG-IgE Allergy-Serum blood test proved it.  But everyone knew this already.  In fact, I’m allergic to grass, pollen, dust and animal dander.

There were some problems with an x-ray of my sinuses I had taken last month so he’ll be sending me for a CT scan of my head.  “I wonder,” the Husband asked when I returned home, “if they’ll find anything in there?”  The Husband is a funny guy.

The doctor checked my blood pressure (a perfect 110/70) and then told me to step on the scale.

“You gained some weight”, he said.

Next time I’m not scheduling the physical right after the holidays, I thought.

I’m not fond of being prodded and poked.  And since I’m more ticklish than any man should be, I usually giggle like Gidget as the doctor presses his fingers around my stomach to check the liver and other squishy things I like to forget are actually inside me.

“Just relax,” he said.

My nether regions we inspected and everything was fine and where it should be.  I wasn’t surprised, I do self-exams of my testicles in the shower… probably more often than I need to.

And was it my imagination or did he look impressed?

This was your humble blogger’s first physical since turning forty.  And that meant the time had come for me to also have my very first prostate exam.

No sir, I didn’t like it.

I thought of Oprah having her mammogram on television, Kathy Griffin having her pap smear in public and Katie Couric having her colonoscopy on the Today Show.  All to raise awareness of cancer.

I wouldn’t want to have my prostate examined in front of a crowd.

“You’ll feel some pressure,” he said.

I held my breath and it was all over quickly… and I like knowing I won’t have to do it again for a while.

But men over forty need to get regular prostate exams.

I’ve known a number of men (a few not much older than I am) who have died from prostate cancer.  Today prostate cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian men (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer).

In 2012:

  • An estimated 24,600 men in Canada will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 4,300 will die of it.
  • On average, 470 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer every week.
  • On average, 80 Canadian men will die of prostate cancer every week.
  • One in 7 men will develop prostate cancer during his lifetime (the risk is highest after age 60) and one in 27 will die of it.

My doctor told me my prostate was smooth.  I think that’s good.

And then it was over.  I left knowing I wouldn’t have to return for some time.

And isn’t that the best part of the physical?

Have you had a physical lately?  It may be time.

Jeffrey, The Gay Groom


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Filed under asthma, asthmatic writers, gay, gay groom, gay men, gaygroom, gblt, medical exam, physical, prostate

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