E.J.: Los Angeles, June 2004

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Guys, if you ever want to quickly get past any hang ups you may have about your genitalia, I strongly recommend going for a urological exam. I'd had a colonoscopy a couple of years back, but for that, they put you to sleep. You wake up and it's done. Here I walk in to the room and am told: "Take everything off and put this gown on. I'll be back in a few minutes." E.J. comes back in and instructs me as to positioning on the table and stirrups. "OK, we're going to insert a tube in your penis and another one in your rectum. You may feel some pressure and discomfort at first." HELLO! I go through a momentary mental debate as to whether I'd prefer this very pleasant looking female nurse/technician or some dude in scrubs named Bruno. But I don't have time to play out this scenario as E.J. and her associates get to work. While casual and friendly, it is entirely non-sexual and very professional. I don't have to think about baseball or grandma or anything like that. In truth, years of caregiving for my now-quadriplegic sister Patti have given me a better perspective on the human body. This is something shared by legions of medical professionals, healers and caregivers around the world (including parents with infants and children with elderly, infirm parents). When you are caring for someone, a body part is a body part and not something evil or shameful.