After getting in a car accident a while back, I was left with a duffle bag of random shite I collected from my totaled SUV, and a bit of nagging pain in my neck and back. I decided to see a chiropractor, just to be sure it wasn’t anything serious. This was a new experience for me, but when I approached their front desk, I was greeted by a familiar face—a woman I met in undergrad who’d also worked at an Aveda salon. I’d once bought a bottle of shampoo from her in some frivolous phase when I thought it would change my life to spend $27 on 4 ounces of coconut scented froth.
Little did I know that one day this same woman would massage warm oil on my bare back whilst attaching electrodes to my arse cheeks and undoubtedly judging me for not wearing underwear.
When I was finally allowed to re-clothe myself, I met the chiropractor. He looked like he was barely old enough to have a bachelor’s degree and seemed incapable of cracking the slightest smile. He told me to come in twice a week for treatments and that once the nerve damage had healed, he w’d begin adjusting me.
Two weeks passed and finally it was time for our big moment.
“Lay on your back,” he instructed.
I did so.
“Okay,” he said, “now cross your arms like this.”
He laid his arms one over the other, grasping his elbows. I studied closely, ever the eager student, and mimicked his move as closely as possible. A slight look of doubt crossed his face.
“Here, like this.”
He re-did the same movement. I tried to obey, eager to please, but clearly incapable of following the simplest of commands. Finally he just did it for me.
“Okay,” he said, “now I have to get in your bubble.”
He rolled me on my side, which shouldn’t have been awkward, since he’s a doctor, but I made it awkward by saying “wow, this is awkward.”
It was satisfying yet anti-climactic and I decided to believe I’d been healed.
The next night was New Years Eve and I was ready to grab 2015 by the horns. Alex and I rang in the New Year by participating in some very vigorous adult hugging. The next morning I woke up to find my entire back aflame with pain. Thankfully I had a chiro appointment the next day– only problem was how exactly to explain the source of my troubles. If he’d been a cardiologist or OBGYN then I would have just treated him like any other doctor—that is, not human. Instead, I decided to speak in polite adult code, combining my friend’s advice “just say you were exercising” and my fiance’s suggestion to “be vague.” I sat down on the treatment table and opened my mouth.
“So my fiance and I had sex the other night, and—“
His face turned red and half a laugh escaped before he reigned it in. I stumbled through the last half of the sentence as he nodded like some wizened elder accustomed to hearing the confession of risk-loving youths.
Thankfully he agreed this was not okay, because “it” was a normal part of daily life activities and I should be able to do “it” without any trouble.
He then took me to a smaller room with a large red table.
“Lay on your back,” he said.
Once again, I obeyed his commands. He pushed a foam noodle below my knees and pressed a button. The table began bowing and rowing upwards, causing my body to rise and fall like the waves of an aching sea. Before I had the chance to deliver my usual line of “wow, this is awkward,” he decided to fill the silence, asking the same question he’d probably said to every patient that day.
“So, did you have a good New Years?”
His reddening face told me he’d come to the same realization, so I rescued him by mentioning how we’d played Scrabble.
“Oh, we did too,” he said.
I didn’t know what to say to this, so I just continued to lay there, my various body parts writhing on the vinyl table. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure we were talking about Scrabble.
Five minutes later, I was free to go. Instead, I sat in the parking lot for ten minutes, sending Alex voice messages with the painfully awkward play by play.
Thank God he’s not a jealous man.
What’s the most awkward conversation you’ve ever had with a doctor? Have you ever had to endure a less than pleasant reunion with a distant acquaintance? Are your sex injuries more interesting than mine?
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