Saturday, March 30, 2013

Your Fly Is Open

There's a good deal of soul searching that takes place in the exam room.  I see every flavor of strength and ugliness of the human character, sometimes all in the same person.  This strange mix of human suffering and superlative psychodrama have an effect on a guy.  After a decade of chasing this calling (and reaching toward a new number in the tens column of my age no less), I spend a certain amount of time trying to decide who I am. 

Now, it's fairly easy to dispel of the white night thing from the beginning.  Although a doctor, I'm no angel.  At times, my patience runs short.  I have had my moments of combativeness with my colleagues and proffered many apologies.  I am human with all the trimmings that come with the scarred irregularity of humanity. 

In this, my patients and I are the same. 

It's hard enough coming to the doctor's office with one's body broken and diseased.  It takes a small part strength and a large part courage to bare one's emotions to the stranger sitting across the table.  How awkward it is to undress and slip on one of those skimpy gowns with the strings that never seem to tie appropriately in the front or back?

There is enough embarrassment.  So when a patient is dressed and the counseling is over, if I happen to notice and open fly or a shirt that is sloppily untucked in the back, I mention it.  I come right out and say it no matter how my face may flush or how awkward the following silence may be.  In fact, I do this outside the exam room too.  Because I would want someone to tell me. 

And maybe in this, I have finally found a definition that suites.

Who am I?

I'm the guy who'll tell you your fly is open.

Every time. 

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