Saturday, October 07, 2006

My First Time

Don't ask me why I recall this. Perhaps triggered by my sis' recent medschool clinical skills classes on genitalia exams on volunteer patients (Volunteer? What is wrong with these people??? I wouldn't let any medstudent do a prostate exam on me for less than $10,000).
Everyone remembers their firsts. First hand-holding. First car accident. First girlfriend. First kiss. Popping the proverbial cherry.
My first rectal exam.
Back in the International Moneymaking University days, all we had we plastic, rubber models of body parts. And so, we used a plastic butt. Seriously. Scary looking bastard. It was a pale-colored butt, not unlike that patient who spent 3 months in the darkness of the arctic winter and never saw any sun. Pak-cham kai ('white chopped chicken'). The plastic butt was on its side, with its legs chopped off. It was also hard. And so, regardless of how much KY-jelly or whatever else industrial-strength lubricant you used, the damn asshole (literally, pun intended) would be a tight as Anna Nicole Smith in a 32A top. And all puckered up. You'd have to push pretty darn hard to get your index finger in. And you had to do the 180 degree twist to feel the damn prostate (and yes, it HAD to be the index finger. We were warned never to use the middle finger for rectal and vaginal exams. Never). If you were lucky, your finger would be black and blue after pulling it out. If you were unlucky, you'd spend the night with your finger stuck up a plastic ass. There were ghost stories of medstudents who died of starvation being stuck to it. They say their spirits still roam that old PJ State campus, with their right index fingers pointing up. Waiting in vain, for help that never came.
In Calgary, I experienced my first real one. Middle aged man, another volunteer. It was night and day. Unlike Mr. Pak Cham Kai, once lubed up, your finger glided in. Glided (though I doubt the person on the receiving end would choose that pleasant a word). Being stuck was never a problem again. I imagine it would be a terrible plight, to be stuck to your patient's ass. Of course, being a real body and not plastic, had its disconcerting issues too. It was warm in there. There was hair out there. Sometimes in strange places. It was no longer that familiar smooth ass you came to see almost as a friend. And sometimes you feel hard stool in there. Sometimes you see stool on your fingers. You pray your gloves don't perforate (You DID remember to glove up, didn't you?). You learn very quickly to wash your hands after every exam. It never seems to get clean enough since. It's been 8 years, but I still daren't use my right index finger to handle food. The strangest part was how the patient was explaining things along the way.
"Yes, higher up. Ugh. Hmm. That's it. Feel that? That's the prostate." Almost nonchalantly.
I must say though, we learn a lot from these selfless people. And it was strangely amusing to see the anal 'wink' reflex.
(P/S: If anyone wants an aged doctor-butt for practice, please send your cheques for $10,000 over)


Blogger Tanya said...

So funny! You could do your own stand-up act on just this topic alone. :-) And thanks for visiting my site a while back.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Eugene said...

that reminded me of what happened one day in med school when a classmate was asked to do a PR on someone with rectal Ca. Poor sod was given a glove by another classmate only to find that the tip of the index finger on the latex glove was missing(after the rectal examination). Those were funny times.

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Jimbo said...

Love your article! Thanks bud for cheering a really hazy tuesday afternoon. :-)

11:39 PM  
Blogger Lydia Teh said...

Hey, Vagus, I bet if you write a book on your stories and perception as a doctor, you'll make a bundle. Give Why Men Have Nipples a run for their money. But you'll have to use a pseudonym or nobody will want you as their doc.

11:41 AM  
Blogger vagus said...

actually ar, i've always wanted to write a book. any tips?

12:02 PM  
Anonymous mia said...


loved your description tho!

makes it funnily gross.

3:13 AM  
Blogger vagus said...

waaah. the beauty queen visited! i'm honored. *blushes shyly*

7:03 AM  

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