You often read newspaper articles reporting how women, when visiting a doctor about a trivial ailment submit to a very intimate personal examination. You know the sort of thing; a sore throat requires a fondling of the breasts or a case of athlete’s foot leads to a very personal examination well north of the infected area. The doctor involved is patently a pervert but invariably this is somehow not obvious to the victim. You read and ponder on how naive the woman is to allow it to happen. But this story is of a personal experience of how you will blindly obey a doctor’s instructions, no matter how bizarre.
If a doctor says jump most of us will.
We first met Doctor Cueli, when we were on holiday at our newly acquired property in Spain. One night Val’s mother’s partner Cliff suddenly became seriously ill and neighbours recommended calling Dr Cueli. Thanks to his quick attendance and immediate diagnosis that Cliff had pneumonia, fatal consequences were avoided. Although a large medical bill was not. The event evolved into a comedy. An ambulance duly arrived, with surprisingly only one driver who loaded Cliff into the back and shot into the darkness like the Starship Enterprise at warp speed. We desperately followed in our inadequate rental car slightly drunk and disoriented like Keystone Cops for an hour through strange unknown countryside. It all ended well. We eventually found the hospital and Cliff lived.
Years later we moved permanently out to Spain. Leaving behind the safety net of the National Health Service we decided to register with a doctor; who better than Dr Cueli? Cliff’s saviour, the doctor from Peru.
The surgery receptionist explained, in halting English that Dr Cueli would personally give us both a full medical examination. In faltering Spanish we agreed and made the appointment.
On the day of the examination we arrived and sat quietly amongst our fellow expats who would not, I imagined, look out of place in Lourdes. Dr Cueli appeared causing a fission of expectation among the waiting patients. He called my wife’s name and ushered her into his inner sanctum. The ailing expats disappointed it was not their turn slumped back into the uncomfortable chairs in resignation muttering about the lack of air conditioning. Then Dr Cueli again reappeared causing another Lazarus moment in the waiting room. My name was called and I followed the doctor. As I entered the room I was bemused to find my wife sat there in her bra and pants.
“Sit, por favour.” Dr Cueli commanded. I sat.
“Señora, your wife, she is, how you say, in the pink” he said with a smile or in the circumstances could have been a leer. Val was certainly pink, very pink. But things were about to get worse.
Dr Cueli proceeded to question me about my health, for me a wide ranging, limitless subject. After a few preliminary questions and tiring of my rambling narrative about my health issues he decided to move on to a physical examination. I was asked to strip to my underpants and lie on a bench. The surgery was starting to resemble an underwear photo shoot for a catalogue for the overweight and over fifty.
With more enthusiasm than was really necessary Dr Cueli started to prod around, listened to my wheezing lungs and wielded a reflex hammer. The inspection seemed to be drawing to a close when a scar, the result of the recent removal of my prostate caught his attention. We were now about to pass through a portal into a parallel universe.
“I look, por favor.” said Dr Cueli. I thought that he was already looking but he had something else in mind, something a little more intimate. Waving his arms around he indicated that he wanted me to roll over and kneel on the couch. “El Perro! How do you say, like a dog?”
Christ, I thought, was Dr Cueli a deranged vet masquerading as a doctor or was this a Spanish version of Rolf’s Animal Clinic? I looked, desperate for reassurance, across the room at Val who sat, still vey much in the pink and in her bra and pants watching as mine were brusquely pulled down to my knees. Her face twitched at the snap of the surgical gloves and grimaced, agog, as the latex clad digit vanished into my bottom seeking the absent prostate.
Our unexpected ménage a trois with Dr Cueli drew to a close and we quickly left the surgery still buttoning our clothes as we passed through the reception watched anxiously by the waiting patients. Perhaps some had had a similar surreal experience.
As I gingerly walked back to our car Val broke the stunned silence. “Why on earth did you allow that to happen?” “Well, he’s a doctor isn’t he,” I muttered feebly.