15 October 2013

The Paper Gown Epiphany

It wasn't working for me either
Yesterday brought me that highly dreaded responsible day known as the annual molestation physical. I wish I could say a good time was had by all, but I can't. It was a physical, after all. In short, I was weighed, measured, palpitated, and poked. I got wired up like an Alabama double-wide stealing cable for my EKG. Sadly, I lost some chest hair (the gray ones, which are waging a winning war on me, managed to avoid removal, thank you) in the removal of those leads. I turned, I coughed, and I was prodded. I've been sorely tempted to yell out something like, 'Do your worst! I'll never tell you where Osama is!' during the prodding portion of the physical but decorum has always gotten the better of me.

Decorum is a funny thing when you are dressed in a skimpy and highly not stylish paper gown, meeting your physician for the first time. As I sat on the exam table in a yellow room that had a weird nuclear haze glow to it, thanks to the sunlight pouring through the window, covered in that over-sized piece of blue construction paper, I had my epiphany. I couldn't help but see the genius in the awkwardness. I would shortly be asked a series of highly personal questions by someone I had never met before and being so (literally) exposed, why would I try and lie hide anything in my answers? I couldn't think of a thing. It made for a lively conversation, as my new doctor and I discussed my health, life in Connecticutistan, and why, as a Mormon, I only had three children. Seriously. That seemed to bother him more than the sight of me in that paper gown.

I'm not sure what took this long to have that epiphany. It's not like this was my first time at the annual physical rodeo. But the epiphany led to a really good discussion with a medical professional about (my) health. Good open discussions are a healthy thing. This does not mean that I'm advocating that they be done in a well-ventilated paper gown, but hey, maybe I'm onto something here. Maybe it's a new business management application. Difficult conversation with an employee? Toss on a medical paper gown and let the discussion fly!

I need to get to work on this...

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