Noxious Evils · Writers Write

A Well Woman Visit or My Annual Physical Humiliation


Today, I went for my annual physical humiliation examination. My health insurance company calls it a Well Woman Visit. No wonder. Men aren’t tough enough for it. Even Scarlett Johansson is humiliated perching on the edge of an exam table in nothing but an oversized paper towel, and everyone knows the Black Widow is tougher than Captain America.

My doctor, at seventy, is the Bionic Woman. She’s like a car from Jay Leno’s garage. On the outside, she’s slightly crinkled and more than a little retro, but a look under the hood reveals an engine completely composed of shiny new parts.

I’m laying on the table, my legs akimbo. The office air-conditioner is turned to high in the dead of winter.

She asks, “So were you an athlete in high school?”

At the moment, I don’t appreciate her attempt to make polite conversation. I answer anyway, “Yes. A cheerleader. And, I ran track.”

“If you really were a cheerleader, I think you’d be more limber.” She shoves my right foot into a position that would have ScarJo calling for her stunt double.

Her phone beeps. “Stay where you are. I have to take this.” She steps out of the room, giving me nothing to do except study the poster of diabetic foot ulcers. The caption reads, “This can be prevented.”  The color photos are so gory, I’m nauseous. But I can’t look away.

Click to enlarge. Go ahead. I dare you to look away.

Seven minutes later, Bionic Doc returns. I’m still on my back, limbs contorted. “You can sit up now.”  She snaps off her gloves and keys information into a laptop resting on a crash cart.

The inquisition begins. “Do you have trouble sleeping?”


“Do you suffer from anxiety?”






I’m wrapped in Bounty. I have to ask, “Do you really expect me to be honest?”

She smiles with that oh-you’re-so-funny (not really) look. “Get dressed. You’re good to go.”

On the way out, I’m handed a form to take to the lab and another for a mammogram, a lovely test where my tender parts are irradiated after being squeezed into a hydraulic vice. It’s a torture device sure to be featured in the next Avengers sequel.

Nothing but good times ahead.

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