8) The Waiting Room

I was pretty sure that a prostate ultrasound scan was performed via the stomach, in the same way as pregnant lady, but I ensured that my butt crack, and hole, was meticulously clean. Just in case. Poo, shower, clean pants.  Shower, baby wipe, shower, clean pants again.  I did think about home bleaching, but we only had blue Toilet Duck, and I thought that might make things worse, although the designers obviously considered the shape of the bottle in great detail.

Off I trot to the medical imaging place.  I check in and take a seat in an empty waiting room.  What is it about waiting rooms and reading material?  At best, you may get a 10 year old New Look reporting the misadventure and death of Michael Jackson from using the same drugs that the medical team are planning to use on you in theatre.  Usually you are subject to the hobbies and pastimes of one of the departmental staff members.  Outback Off Roader.  Tropical Fish Weekly.  Baking Today.  Now this is a true story.  When Katy and I last visited the hospital for my urology appointment, there were many copies of one particular magazine.  Consider that urology departments are generally full of, at the very least, men of my age, and typically, men in their 70’s and 80’s.  The reading matter provided for our reading pleasure, was, I shit you not, 12 copies of Skateboard Weekly!

For the scan, I had to drink a litre of water about an hour before, in order that they could observe my bladder, and I did so, like a model patient.   The radiographer/sonographer lady was initially nice enough, maybe bordering on irritated.  I’m nervous.  You can never be too sure of the approach they will take with the probe.  Will it be tummy, or worse perineal, or god forbid, up the bum?  For the biologically challenged amongst us, the perineum is the bit between your balls and arse.  In Yorkshire, this is commonly referred to as your tint.  Tint bum tint balls.  She starts the scan, it’s my stomach!  I’m elated, until she grumpily informs me that my bladder was not full enough.  I get marched out like a naughty school boy to drink some more water, despite my protests that I did as asked prior to arrival.  I return, suitably chastised, to the waiting room.  The waiting room that has 15 seats, where there should be no more than 10.  However, now it’s full.  A bus must have arrived.  A bus from the town of Misery, that stopped at some village where everyone has the same father, from the look of everyone.  Imagine the Annual General Meeting for lumberjacks with no teeth, who have a tattoo and rum & coke addiction, and somehow have managed to lose all their shoes on the way to said meeting, whilst picking up a tag along hyperactive young lady with a penchant for home pharmaceutical manufacture and an impressive collection of facial scabs.    I see the only empty seat, an island in the sea of red and black checks.   It’s me the ninja, this time, trying to tip toe through the tangle of thongs and toes to the empty seat at the far end, helped along by the pungent heady aroma of stale rollies, engine oil, and BO.  I make it, and land in the last space, narrowly avoiding the bag of an elderly lady from the Islands, from which wafts another ungodly aroma.  An assault on the senses.  Imagine a MasterChef blind taste test, but with smell alone.  Coconut, fish, marmalade, smegma, no… it’s cheese.  Cinnamon, garlic, and maybe a touch of roadkill.  A three-day dead possum.  In summer.   Hang on, no it’s definitely smeggy.  Wait, that belongs to old mate sitting the other side.  It’s his feet.  Do I win?   Whatever it is in the bag, she clearly is well acquainted with it, as she is at least the size of a double refrigerator, if not a small European car.

We sit.  The affected and afflicted.  Hoping for absolution.  For the soundwaves of the scanner to proclaim normality.   I consider my waiting room mates, one at a time.  Against all my normal beliefs, I pigeonhole them all.  Stereotypically allocating categories.  Malingerer.  Normal.  A bit sick, but brought it on yourself.  Moderately ill, and not your fault.  Deserves to be fucked, but will be fine, and finally too far gone.   Before I get halfway around, the husband of Mrs Big, emerges from the darkness of the scan room.  He is approximately one quarter of her size.  I’m thinking of the big female spiders that eat their tiny mates after doing the deed.  He shuffles away, pursued by the monster, cooking pot in her bag clanging, maybe to meet his maker, in a curry fuelled, climactic, web of desire.

“Do you want to come back in?”  My daydream is dismissed as they request my return to the scanning room.  Grumpy scanner lady lubes the probe.  Apparently, there seems no respite from lube, for the sufferers of prostate cancer.  Lubrication for the nation, trills through my head.  FFS I’ve even started my own song.  5 minutes of poking and prodding and she announces that I need to empty my bladder.

“Excuse me?  I’ve just spent an hour and a half filling it up.”

“Yes, and now we need to scan it again. Empty.”

She directs me to a cubical within the scanning room.  Looming from darkness is a toilet.  Surely she can’t expect me to piss in there?  She is literally standing two feet away from me.  Oh well.  I had a go, and I performed on command to the best of my ability, and then I was back on the bed whilst she finished the scan.  I trotted back through redneck paradise to the desk.

“Results will be sent to your requesting physician” Off you go.

I phoned lovely receptionist and secured an appointment to see Super GP a couple of days later.  She tells me I have a slightly enlarged prostate, at 33cl, there is a small residual (of piss) in my bladder and a urology opinion is recommended.  I try, in vain, to argue that there was grumpy young witch standing two feet away at the time, and that it should not be viewed as indicative of my normal flow, to which she just sighs and says “You can tell that to the urologist”.

One thought on “8) The Waiting Room

  1. Reminds me of my CT scan encounter. Not so extreme personalities in my waiting room. Although i do recall a very fit body builder type looking chap constantly on his mobile phone in deep and sometimes feisty conversation. i think eventually his female partner emerged and they were off. For scanning purposes we were given a fun one litre of liquid to be consumed in 250 mil lots in 15 minute intervals over the hour before the scan. After achieving that hurdle i waited and waited and eventually went to desk saying if I have to wait much longer I won’t be able to hold it in. I was also aware of where I had parked being a 2 hour limit. I’m certain they had misplaced my file or something. Anyway my “outburst” resulted in almost immediate attention to progress to the next room and get a grumpy male scanner.


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