Just because I’m going to be a doctor doesn’t mean that I don’t still need to see one to make sure my years of irresponsible living haven’t caught up to me yet. Between my pediatrician telling me I couldn’t come back after my 21st birthday and moving to a different state for school, it had been a few years since my last check up. I figured I should do the responsible thing and find a doctor where I actually live instead of in my hometown, so I made the most of still being on my parent’s insurance and made an appointment.
Once I arrived, everything seemed to be going smoothly, although I was disappointed by the lack of hot nurses in the office. The doctor bore an uncanny resemblance to Colonel Sanders and I was a little offended that he didn’t laugh when I asked him “Aren’t you going to buy me dinner first?” after he told me to turn my head and cough, but in hindsight, he’s probably gotten that a few times before. Can’t win ’em all.
After he finished poking and prodding me and making notes on his iPad (apparently not all old people are resistant to technology), he sat down on that awkward rolling stool and uttered a phrase that never leads to anything good.
Doc: “I’d like to ask you a few questions about your lifestyle.”
Great. The last time I got asked this question it ended up with my mother in tears and my father not speaking to me.
Doc: “Are you currently sexually active?”
Define “active.” I’m in the midst of what kids these days call a “dry spell.” Damn it, I came here so I’d have a place to get antibiotics for the sinus infection I get every spring, not a reminder that I can’t pull for shit.
Me: “Uhhh. Yes.”
Doc: “Do you use condoms or other forms of birth control when you are having sex?”
Me: “Yes. Definitely.”
Not trying to knock anyone up at this point in my life. Please let this end.
Doc: “Do you consume beverages containing alcohol?”
Great, we’re jumping from the frying pan right into the fire. Do I look Amish to you? In case you haven’t been keeping up on current events, Prohibition ended a while ago.
Doc: “On average, how many beverages containing alcohol do you consume each month?”
I should not have laughed out loud when he asked me that. That was a mistake. I didn’t mean to, but could you ask a more absurd question? That’s like asking Kanye West how many times he’s masturbated to a picture of himself — once you know the actual answer, you’re only going to feel worse about the entire situation.
He took pity on me and broke it down a little further.
Doc: “How many drinks per week?”
I sit in silence trying to tally things up. I get to Thursday, lose track and have to start over. I seriously contemplate asking for a piece of paper when he interjects again.
Doc: “Do you drink every day?”
No, not every day. Maybe 4 days a week? Sometimes 5? Should I actually say that? Homeboy needs to slow his roll.
Me: “Maybe a drink or two when I get home during the week. A little more on the weekends.”
I guess we’re using a liberal definition of “a little more.”
Doc: “Have you ever felt that you should cut down on your drinking?”
Only when I get a hangover, although that is pretty much every time I drink these days. That feeling usually goes away once I have a Bloody Mary in front of me, but I’m not sure that’s what he’s asking. Why the hell is he just staring at me like that? Right, because he asked a simple question and I’m sitting here freaking out like Harry Potter begging the Sorting Hat not to put him in Slytherin.
Me: “No. Not really.”
Doc: “Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?”
One time after turning down a shot, a girl I was out with told me I was a pussy. I promptly did that shot, and many more to prove that I was a man. I woke up the next morning naked on my bathroom floor using the shower curtain as a blanket and my roommate’s dirty laundry as a pillow. I don’t know if I should classify that as annoyance, but criticizing my drinking definitely led to something.
…On second thought, I think what he was asking was if I’d ever gotten annoyed by someone criticizing how much I drink. I’m not sure what just happened here, but charging full force in the opposite direction of the question is probably not a great sign.
Me: “Not that I can remember.”
Probably because I’m blacked out by the time that conversation rolls around. Fuck.
Doc: “Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?”
Not until this appointment. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, did I overshoot the doctor’s office and accidentally end up at confession without realizing it?
Me: “Not particularly.”
Doc: “Have you ever had an eye opener?”
Is that what you call this little moment we’re having? Because if so, I’d say it’s fairly eye opening.
Doc: “…What I mean is a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover.”
Son of a bitch. They’re onto me.