Following my blatant but still unfortunate bout of sexism yesterday, I became the victim today.
Hard to believe I know, but once again I have something approaching whooping cough, enough phlegm in my throat most of the time to drown Lancashire, and some rather wiffy watery waste. Not a pleasant image, but it does explain why I had to take yet another trip to see my local doctor this morning.
Anyone who has read my piece entitled 'Dancing With The Doc' will know the outcome of the medical stuff. That part of the experience was no different than any other visit to the doctor in the last three years or so. A quick re-cap for those who missed that piece might look something like this. I see the doctor. I tell him or her about said symptoms, he or she prescribes a course of leeches before trying to persuade me to have a blood test. Something about protein levels. The difference here was in how we got there.
It was a new doctor. Doctor Sage. Doctor Sage is a young-ish and, yes, attractive-ish female. This would not ordinarily be an issue for me. Female doctors are every bit as adept at their profession as female assistant referees. More so, in many cases. They've never let me down yet, although it has to be said that diagnosing ANOTHER urinary tract infection in me is one of the easier tasks that medical people might have to undertake. This is not a mystery illness, baffling the entire NHS!
As is procedure in my regular quick-step with the quack, Dr Sage asked me to provide a sample of my aforementioned whiffy, watery waste. All fair so far. How else is she supposed to prove that my suspicions about my ailments are correct? It might be an easy and predictable diagnosis to make, but you still have to go through the motions of proving yourself right. Anything else would just be sloppy.
So she hands me the cup. A small cup distinctly lacking in anything resembling a lid. Normally you get a cup, with a lid, inside a bag, with a syringe-style plunger for collection. Hygiene is paramount. Unless you're Dr Sage who is obviously something of a maverick. She has her own rules.
I take the cup from her, a little taken aback but choosing to roll my eyes and get on with it rather than call in the Health Minister. And then she hits me with;
"Do you want to take that to the bathroom or do you want to do it here? I don't mind."
You what now?
I don't know what colour my face became but suddenly the room was awfully warm. Perversely, she became more attractive, when you might expect this suggestion to have repulsed me. Well that's deviants for you isn't it? Remembering myself, and with as much haste as I could muster I blurted out that I would be off to the bathroom at that point, and sped out of the door with the cup in hand;
"OK." she said;
"Just give us a knock again when you have finished."
Are you sure about that? Are you sure you don't want to hold it for me or something, doc?, I thought, but did not say.
I've got to tell you, it's a long time since anyone outside of my relationship has talked about the prospect of viewing my tackle so matter-of-factly. That she was young and getting more attractive by the second scared the bejesus out of me. I hadn't been this embarrassed since I last looked at my Facebook photographs!
As if visiting the doctor wasn't already traumatic enough for me, there is now the possibility of being sexually harrassed to consider. It might be a bittersweet prospect but I shouldn't have to put up with it.