100daysoff

Jeff Astrof has 100 days off. See how he spends them.

Day 23

with 4 comments


After my victorious day of parenting yesterday, having instilled in my children enough neuroses to make them  creative, yet just short of the amount that would send them to the top of a bell tower with an assault rifle– the sweet spot where the sitcom writer lives– I knew today would be more about me.   My kids are doing great by the way: my daughter seems to be finding her voice– literally and figuratively, and my son, save for his obsession with washing his hands every five minutes, is also at the top of his game.  So really, I have nothing to worry about.  Except my hernia.

I believe I’ve mentioned it before, but I really hate going to the doctor– as opposed to all those people who love going to the doctor.  For a guy, going to the doctor after age 40 is really just like going to spend the morning at prison, without the benefit of getting into shape.  It was my fear of the “Fingering 40” that kept me from getting my 40 year old check-up until I was 44, about ten months ago.  My date for that check-up, was the kindly Dr. Paul Rudnick, whom I believe was the ship doctor on Noah’s ark.  He looked like a Norman Rockwell painting, perfectly creased, expressive face, a bow-tie, stethoscope around his neck and he even wore that weird silver disk thing on his head that used to let sitcom viewers know that the character was a doctor.  Dr. Rudnick is old school.  Oldest school.  Like single room log cabin school.

Dr. Rudnick, despite his age, is extremely sharp and warm and wonderful, and not a panicker– he leaves that to me.  Even after we consummated our relationship on the cold wax paper of the exam table back in December, he went along with my lame joke, “Aren’t you going to buy me dinner?”  He fired back three or four more jokes that he had heard in the 70 years that he has been sticking his hands in mens’ rectums.  But even though he was warm and disarming, he was still a doctor, and the best case scenario with any doctor is that the news is neutral.  You will never get a test result that says, “Good news, it turns out you’re younger than we thought!”  And of course, the downside is as down as it can get.  That’s why I avoid going to the doctor– I figure if I don’t hear the bad news, it doesn’t effect me (not a scientifically proven method– please don’t try yourself).  In fact, even after going to the doctor, I try to avoid the results.  I had perhaps my most Hollywood moment ever back in May when I was awaiting the results of my first check-up in five years: my phone rang and the caller ID said “Dr. Rudnick”.   As I went to answer it, the caller ID for my agent came up.  Which call should I take. Finally I reasoned, “this could be really important, depressing news, but I better take it.”  I then picked up the phone and asked my agent if I had any meetings coming up.  Since I didn’t pick up the phone from Dr. Rudnick, he sent me my results via a hand-written note, etched no doubt with a quill pen.

So, as you can see, if you have to go to a doctor and you’re me, the guy you want writing you a handwritten note telling you you have a hernia is Dr. Rudnick.  So I hobbled up to his office today and awaited our second date.   Knowing where the exam was going, I made sure I was freshly showered and manicured.  Without getting too specific, I didn’t want to make it look like I had a fetish– no designs or anything, just something that said, “Hey, I’m thinking about you.”  It wasn’t lost on me that it took a visit to an octogenarian doctor to make me really think about how I look naked.   I don’t know why I was so self-conscious, I guess I just didn’t want my body to be the one that finally turned him off from medicine after all these years.

Dr. Rudnick, kind as ever, wasted no time going for the afflicted area.  Apparently, he went to medical school during the war when there was a rubber shortage because gloves were not on the agenda.  Not letting go of my testicles for a good 20 minutes, he basically had me do every yoga pose you could ever dream of.  At one point, I promise you, he took a phone call, not releasing his grip on my nuts.  It was like he was trying to win the prize on “Hands on a not so hard body”.  Much of the exam was a blur, but I believe part of it entailed him holding onto my scrotum while I ran around the room.   Finally, a good ten minutes after he had ruled out hernia, he told me that it was probably just a groin pull.  I spent a few befuddled minutes looking for my underwear, then got dressed, trying to have a normal conversation with a man who had just performed act three of puppetry of the penis on me.

Anyway, the good news is, I don’t have a hernia.  I’m not sure how I would have taken that news.  I’m not a fan of surgery– unlike those people who love surgery.  The bad news is that I will someday have recovered memories of this.  But maybe since my parents don’t live with me, at least I have Dr. Rudnick to keep my neuroses in the sweet spot.

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Written by 100daysoff

March 7, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. Seriously funny! I feel kind of bad saying that your torture with the doctor made me giggle. And you’re correct, your wife probably would have appreciated some manscaping also (she did clean the garage for you, after all)! 🙂

    Staci

    March 8, 2011 at 3:13 am

  2. The Human Body: Planet Earth’s longest running comedy. Now playing at a doctor’s office near you.

    John Dunlea

    March 8, 2011 at 5:54 am

  3. Had the same thing last year, even after months of not hitting a tennis ball. Groin pull (for some unknown reason), morphed into a Hernia exam (X-Rays) included only to get diagnosed as a groin pull. Literally 3-4 months later, with only ibuprofen as an ally, it was gone.

    Eric Cohen

    March 8, 2011 at 10:15 am

  4. Perhaps I’ll post another comment after I am done laughing and wiping the tears from my eyes.

    Michael Lebit

    March 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm


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