16 May 2007

I Just had a Man's Hand in My Sphincter

Just in case you missed it:
I just had a man's hand in my sphincter.

And hey:
I paid money for it.

What's more:
I bought drugs from him afterward.

I'm starting to stray from the truth here; technically, I didn't buy drugs from him. I paid a service fee, and one of the services he provided was to punctuate my already surprising experience with free drugs. I don't know how else I expected my urologist to investigate my recent pelvic muscular pains. MRI perhaps, or that nifty pressure-tapping that they do on your tummy to check for cysts? Well, there was pressure all right. My prostate got the most unromantic massage I have ever experienced.

I apologize for the graphic content of this entry, y'all. I thought about it for a good, like, ten minutes, weighing the pros and cons as the smell of anal lubricant and latex lingered in my nostrils, and my buttockal region wept silently to itself. In some ways, it is unavoidable, as it is the thing foremost in my mind.

Wait. Wait: Straying from the truth again am I. (Fortunate am I spirit of Yoda inhabits self.) The foremost thing in my mind is still finding a new place to live. Apartment hunting trumps anal violation! That's right. You heard it here first. At least, I certainly hope this is the first time you've heard it.

Ultimately, it was rather disappointing. I'm led to understand that the prostate is quite the erogenous zone, and that under the right circumstances a little donut pokin' can even feel pleasant. These, however, were not the right circumstances. Even if it hadn't been a fifty-something guy with a brusk demeanor, these circumstances were terribly, terribly wrong. For it seems that, why yes, I was right back in January when I told said doctor that I thought there must be muscle damage in addition to the chemical epididymitis. (He chalked it up to indigestion. Yes: indigestion. Leaving only the question, "If I sue, would I get the money in time to put a down payment on a Manhattan loft?") We (See how collective I am in my grammar?) ascertained that there was muscle damage by the EXCRUCIATING PAIN produced when Mr. Brusk pushed against the right side of my prostate, as opposed to the complete absence of such on the left side. Interestingly enough, he went right-left-right, and at first touch I thought that was how the prostate was supposed to feel when poked, and remained mute. Then I felt the left side and thought, "Huh," then I felt the right side again and said "Ouch." Of course, what I was really thinking was, "Dear loving merciful cats make it stop." (So, Patrick? Points to me for my own denial of pain.)

I have been prescribed more of the anti-inflammatory, and given a prescription to attend physical therapy. He knows of at least three therapists who deal with "pelvic floor dysfunction." (Allow me to specifically state that, apart from pain, there is nothing "dysfunctional" about my pelvis. Just in case anyone wondered.) I've given them calls to discover that none (repeat: none) of the physical therapists who specialize in this . . . specialty . . . are in-network for Cigna. To which I respond: "W.T.F. (Where's The Fairness), Cigna? Just what is my astonishingly high, $25 co-pay for, anyway?" So Monday I'm seeing someone anyway, and paying out the nose for it until I ascend the steep hill that is my $350 deductible, which will probably occur just as my Actor's Equity Insurance runs out, June 30.

Other funny moments from my experience today:
  • "Don't worry. This isn't pleasant for either of us." - Well, I mean, personal vanity aside, I'd prefer that at least SOMEbody in the room be enjoying themselves.
  • Sitting down back in the man's office after it was said and done and I had re-troused. I was not prepared for that sensation.
  • "Don't you need to go to the bathroom?" "Uh...no." Should I?! Is that the natural response to this sort of thing?! Throw me a frickin' bone here!
There's a universal axiom in acting that can be summed up in two words: Use it. It comes in two connotations, both with essentially the same meaning. The first is used to refer to incidents from one's past. If you ever suffered from racial discrimination, you use those feelings to help you discover Othello or Shylock. If ever you sustained a serious paper cut, you use the memory of it to key into what it might be like to be The Black Knight and have your arm/arm/leg/leg off. The other context for "use it" refers to your emotional state the night of a performance, when it's simply too overwhelming to shut out completely. Hopefully, most of us aspire to live in the moment on stage, but every so often some powerful performances have been generated using the "use it" method. I remember performing a show not long ago during which a cast member had a dear relative die the day of a show. It was a comedy with tragic elements, and when we got to the cathartic denouement, it played with such truth and depth that no one in the room escaped with their resolve in tact.

This may be one of those acting lessons that does not necessarily translate well into life in general. If your boyfriend just dumped you for a younger woman, you probably shouldn't "use it" at the office. ("No, you didn't email me the status report. JUST BECAUSE MY BIOLOGICAL CLOCK IS ACCELERATING DOESN'T MEAN WE CAN LET THE COMMUNICATION BREAK DOWN!") If reading Thus Spoke Zarathustra blew your mind with revelation this morning, you may not want to carry it with you into your volunteer hours on the suicide crisis hotline. ("Dude, you couldn't be more right, actually. I mean, what proof of existence is there beyond our earth-bound, temporary senses? It's all eternal recurrence. And I . . . dude? You still there?") Similarly, my experience did NOT help me at the day job today. At all. Nor with apartment hunting.

But someday I'm going to have a hell of a scene in some play, somewhere.


Dave Y said...

"Don't you need to go to the bathroom?" "Uh...no." Should I?! Is that the natural response to this sort of thing?! Throw me a frickin' bone here!"

2 things:
1) Maybe he thought you might like to, y'know, wipe the lube away.

2)When a man has just had his hand up your ass, asking him to give you a bone could lead to the wrong impression.

I make fun now because, after 40, i'm gonnna have to do that once a year. Got the prostate trouble on both sides of the family. Yay.

Jeff said...

Hi Dave!

Wait: Lube? He was supposed to use lube?

Naw, he already, er, had the examining room equipped for cleaning up. This was distinctly a question about, er, voiding my person.

And the other thing is why I didn't say what I was thinking.

Nat said...

This is my favorite post of yours. Of all time.

Jeff said...

It would be, wouldn't it, Nat?

All: Funniest part of this entry, which I am just now noticing: How the sign at the bottom of the header photograph reads.

Moheggie said...

A sphincter says what?


Unknown said...

Ha! That small sign makes the whole, hole? I mean whole picture and story even funnier...


Intresting that THIS is the entry you chose to leave up for DAYS.
just interesting. that's all.

Jeff said...

Yes, Mel. I feel bad about that, but I've had a draft sitting in the ol' drawing board for four days now, with no time to complete and post, what with all the apartment hunting and whatnot. Anyway, it is an awfully funny picture.