I never realized until yesterday just how much Gastroenterologists lack a sense of humor. I'm talking about my follow up appointment with the Gut Doctor.
I was a little sheepish, if you will, about going to see the Gut Doctor yesterday for my colonoscopy follow up. After all, I have absolutely no recall of the procedure because I was highly medicated with Verced and Demerol while the Gut Doctor rammed his camera as far as he could into my "inner darkness" and punched out little biopsy holes in my pipes. I have a hazy memory of hearing myself mumble, "That really hurts", then hearing the Gut Doctor say, "Give her five more of Verced". That's all I've got in my memory bank. And because I struggle with shutting my pie hole (er...keeping my mouth shut) when I'm FULLY awake, I worried some horrible statement or tasteless comment may have passed my lips. The Gut Doctor made no mention of any inappropriate behavior on my behalf yesterday.
So, I'm sitting in the office of this highly clinically focused physician while he is perusing through my lab and biopsy results. I'm pretty smug because he has already told me "things looked really good" when referencing my scope...I was relieved to hear I had auditioned so well in front of his camera. He then strikes a puzzled look on his face as he flips through my chart. I lean in closer to try to sneak a peek at my top secret medical record.
The Gut Doctor then begins to mutter something about the laboratory never seeming to complete all the tests he orders...he's now referencing the quaint little package of poo I had to leave as a present for some poor, suffering lab technician two weeks ago.
He says to me, "You know. I can order 5 different tests to be done on stool specimens and I'm lucky if they complete 3". He's not happy.
So, in my best effort to try to cheer up the Gut Doctor, I resort to some much needed humor to slice through the thick air of his clinically-focused demeanor. I go for a "poo" joke.
"Well", I say smiling, "it IS stool after all. Nobody really WANTS to handle that specimen". I'm preparing for a hearty guffaw.
I note the Gut Doctor's eyes dart quickly in my direction, then back down to the numbers and columns of results in my chart...his face remains stone-cold serious. There isn't even a hint of response around his lips. No smirk. No smile even. And definitely NOT any laughter. My poo joke was a flop. I learned that day there's really nothing funny about stools when you're a Gut Doctor!
On a much brighter note (while still maintaining my focus on bodily functions), there were no problems noted in my large intestine. I "passed" this test. The Gut Doctor does want to travel to one more frontier where no man has ever gone before, however...he just HAS to take a look at my small intestine.
So, I'm scheduled for yet another high-powered (and I'm sure equally expensive) test on Friday to take a peek at my upper pipes...at least I have been assured there will be no swallowing of any cameras for THIS one! It's some kind of specialized CT scan, which will take about two hours to complete. Once the Gut Doctor has the results of this test, he'll feel comfortable ruling out or in any major gastro problems.
I have to say I actually "like" the Gut Doctor, which is a pretty big accomplishment for any physician, as I tend to be about as approachable as a rabid dog when it comes to medical procedures. He's smart, he's confident, he's direct, and he's sincere. He's going to HAVE to work on that sense of humor though!
Perhaps he's funnier when his patients are comatose with a camera rammed up their...ah...then again, maybe not.