|Subject: Not one, but two missed opportunities
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Date Posted: Wednesday, June 06, 2012, 10:01: pm
Most longtime readers know that my last rectal temp at the doctor's took place when I was seven. A month later, when my sister and I went in for our annual back-to-school physical, I had a golden opportunity to experience that wonderful sensation I'd felt at our neighborhood doctor's, but blew it. Here, then, is my impression, if you will, of what might have happened had I not spoen out when the nurse cautioned me not to talk while my temperature was being taken orally. This story is true up until that point, then fiction after that.
A month after my wonderful rectal temp experience at our neighborhood doctor's, my mother took my sister and me to our pediatrician’s for our annual checkup. In short order we were in the examining room at the same time, down to our underwear. Nancy, the nurse, took our vitals and then prepared to take our temperatures at the same time. Since I had reached the magic age of seven, mine was to be taken orally while my sister, who was five, would have hers done rectally. As Nancy placed the oral thermometer in my mouth, my mother tried to intervene on my sister’s behalf.
“Could you take my daughter’s temperature orally, too?” she asked.
“We usually wait until they’re seven before switching them over,” Nancy replied sympathetically. No dice. She took the rectal thermometer out of its sterilizer, shook it down and dabbed Vaseline on the bulb. My sister was already lying face down on the table as Nancy came over, slipped down her undies, parted her buttocks and slipped the thermometer into her rectum. It was hard to see the thermometer, as I knew I needed glasses, but it appeared to be more than halfway in. The oral thermometer felt uncomfortable in my mouth and I didn’t like the way it felt under my tongue. Maybe I could still have my temperature taken rectally if I played my cards right. As it turned out, all I had to do was open my mouth, so to speak.
I was having a hard time keeping the thermometer under my tongue and started to say so while holding onto the thermometer when Nancy cut me off. “Shh, don’t talk, or I’ll have to take yours rectally, too,” she cautioned. That was all I needed to hear.
“I want to take it rectally,” I announced. “I can’t hold this thing under my tongue.”
“Are you sure?” Nancy asked. I nodded. “That’s what I wanted to tell you.”
“All right, I’ll take yours as soon as I’m done taking your sister’s temperature,” she said, as she came over and removed the thermometer from my mouth, putting it back into its sterilizer. My mother heard the exchange but didn’t say a word.
I resumed my gaze at the thermometer sticking out of my sister’s rectum. In a few minutes, that same thermometer would be inside me and my heart was pounding with anticipation. I could hardly wait. Finally Nancy withdrew the thermometer and went to sterilize it. She told my sister she could step off the table and told me to take her place on it.
“Lie face down for me and pull down your briefs,” she said, as she shook the thermometer down after swabbing it with alcohol. She put a dab of Vaseline on the bulb and then came over to me. My heart was pounding with anticipation as she said, “Here we go. Relax and take a deep breath,” then parted my buttocks and slowly slipped the thermometer in. I felt that intense tingling sensation as the bulb passed my sphincter and felt it take its place in my rectum. “That’s good, it’s in there. Keep it in there for me now,” Nancy said, as she sat down and erased something on my chart. It felt incredible, bigger than it really was. I focused my attention on the ticklish sensation as I rested my chin on my arms and crossed my legs. Just as what had happened at our neighborhood doctor’s, my breathing grew heavy. My heart was still racing and I made up my mind right then and there that my temperature would be taken rectally from now on. Nancy withdrew it once and checked the reading, then deftly slipped it back in. I still concentrated on the sensation and before I knew it, Nancy withdrew the thermometer.
“OK, that’s it. We’re done,” she said as she recorded the reading on my chart. “The doctor will be here shortly.”
As I said, much to my chagrin, I never had another r/t at the doctor's after that. The second missed opportunity involved buying my own rectal thermometer. A year or so later, I remember seeing thermometers, both oral and rectal, on open display at a nearby drugstore. For some reason, I didn't buy one. There are times when I kick myself for missing out on experiencing that exhilkirating sensation many more times than I have already. It wasn't until I was almost 13 that I finally had my own personal rectal thermometer.
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