As a man, I have been aware that ladies have drawn the short straw when it comes to all things medical.
My wife, Ann, had been through just about everything a person could go through at the hands of our wonderful health service, without these procedures her life would not have been tolerable.
Then, on top of that, there was the pregnancies that she had to endure for nine months, followed by the birth of the baby.
As a child myself, when I was first told how a baby was born, and looking at a new born child, I thought it was impossible.
Later, someone told me that the baby inside is very, very small, and it suddenly expands when it takes the first breath, a bit like a balloon.
I have since been told, this not so.
Even so, with today’s technology, I am told the pain is much reduced, I was at the birth of Jamie, the gas and air seem to be a miracle, Ann kept asking me if she could have a go.
We men on the other, have very little to do with the production of children, we can produce ten children without so much as a scintilla of pain, in fact we quite enjoy it.
At Haringey Literary Live writing workshop, I listen to the trauma of some of the women’s lives, they pull no punches of what they have gone through, simply because it’s unavoidable by simply being a woman.
Until today, I was really glad I wasn’t a woman, with all the indignities that they have to go through.
There follow’s some graphic details of what a man has to put up with, and it may be better for some not to continue reading.
I arrived at Whittington Hospital for an x-ray, a lovely young nurse gave me two glasses of a rather bitter drink, when I asked what the drink was, she said.
“It helps to relax you”.
Now I have had lots of chest x-rays, but I have never had this before, I thought because of my age they had to make sure I didn’t fidget.
There were quite a few patients waiting, and it was nearly two hours before I was called, and I was worried that any relaxation that the drink was meant to impart would have worn off by now.
The first inkling that I had, that all was not as I thought it should be, for a chest x-ray, was that the two operators had waterproof aprons on.
First of all, I was given an injection of ‘Contrast’.
“What is ‘Contrast?” I asked.
“It’s a radio-active fluid that will help to high-light your inside” she said.
I have supported the CND for years, and now I am having some of it injected in my body, such is life.
Then the male nurse said.
“Roll over on your side please”.
Oh, I thought that is the difference from the last chest x-ray I had, they need a different view.
He undid my apron thing and said in rather off hand sort of way.
“I am going to pump some air into your stomach, so that we can make every-thing expand”.
And then, without a by your leave, he pushed this pipe up my bum.
To say this was a surprise, is to say that Mr. Trump was going to be the best loved president ever.
No matter what, I never have experienced such a peculiar sensation, one moment you feel as if your belly is going to explode and then you try your hardest to stop it escaping.
“Keep it in if you can sir” he said as if he was bored with the whole operation.
Now started the scan, a soft voice told me to.
“Take a deep breath and hold it”.
Unfortunately, being a mere man, I am unable to multitask.
I could not hold my breath at one end and do the same at the other.
There now occurred the longest and loudest passing of wind that I have ever achieved.
“That’s all right sir”. he said cheerily, “we’ve heard it all before”.
I quickly got dressed, and headed for the toilet, but running was out of the question.
I left the wonderful Whittington Hospital in a state of shock.
Just you ladies thank your lucky stars that you are programmed to deal with this sort of trauma, whereas we poor males we are not so equipped.