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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010
This is for every man who has ever had “the exam.” I’ve been dreading this for years, ever since the last one by a doctor who hated men. My wife made me. “You really should think about considering going,” she said. The taskmaster. I conceded the need to go and found an internist a few miles away.

While in the waiting room with Dr. Phil on the flatscreen TV above me, I filled in as much as I could about my medical history. Every malady my mother and father ever complained about. Every varicose vein of my older brothers. Have I ever had hepatitis? I can’t recall. Does it matter now that my death is nigh? High blood pressure? Yes, I have high blood pressure just thinking about what Dr. Goliath is about to do.

I surveyed the office help. For some reason I kept looking at their hands. Please, if there is a God in heaven, let this doctor I picked at random from the phone book have small hands.

When I got to the illnesses of my children, I gave up and wrote “too many to list.” Who am I kidding? This man isn’t worried about my children. He’s preparing right now to provide me with excruciating pain. He’ll get to the children years later.

“Mr. Fabry, if you’ll step this way.”

I thought of Groucho. “If I could step that way I wouldn’t be here.”

Deep breath. Go to my happy place.

“Why don’t you step up on the scales?” she said.

Like a lamb to the slaughter, I obeyed, kicking off my shoes and watching the numbers whiz by on the digital scale. I’d never been on a digital scale like this before. The last time was the old scale with the heavy “200 lb.” weight I moved to the center. For the past 25 years I’ve set the weight bar at 200 and then added a little or a lot. This time the number stopped short of 200.

She wrote the number on the pad having no idea what a momentous occasion this was. I wanted her to pop a balloon or give me a lollipop for good behavior. Maybe tell me the doctor couldn’t bowl because his hands were too small.

We had a little chat and then I was ushered into the chamber of horrors. It seemed like such a placid room at first glance. On the computer screen I thought I saw a Google search. “How to inflict as much pain as possible when giving…”

“Hello, Mr. Fabry,” he said, extending a hand to greet me.

I just stared at it, then absently shook it and sat. Suddenly I was transformed into a little chatterbox, telling him every malady I’ve ever had, a tonsillectomy when I was a child, a broken arm, a hangnail two weeks ago. I couldn’t help myself, I just prattled on, while inside the storm brewed.

“Oh please, have mercy on me,” I wanted to cry. But I babbled on, rambling about this and that, answering his questions with reckless abandon.

“Well, come on over to the table and have a seat,” he said, patting the exam table like I was an obedient dog.

Just like the witch in Hansel and Gretel. Stick out your finger and let’s see how fat you’ve become. I sat and he listened to my breathing and my rapidly increasing heart rate. He complimented me on my blood pressure. “You’re like a 20 year old young man,” he said.

Right. If I were like a 20 year old man I wouldn’t be in this position.

An image flashed of Pippen, our Bichon Frise. I used to take him to the vet and he would sniff the table and chairs and floor and whine, not understanding. There was palpable fear in that room and Pippen could smell it.

“Hold his head,” the vet would say when she wanted to give him a shot or that awful exam. I would hold his head and talk gently to him. Old Pippen. Why wasn’t there anyone here to hold my head? Someone to sing and comfort me. Maybe play a movie to get my mind off what was about to happen.

With my luck they would be showing The Shawshank Redemption.

“Now if you’ll just hop down and put your feet here and lean over the table,” he said, gentle and mild. Dr. Kervorkian. Easy for him to say. I took another look at his hands and focused on a spot on the wall.

“On second thought, maybe we should concentrate on my blood pressure,” I said, turning. “Don’t you think it’s a little low?”

He smiled and snapped the glove. “Just lean over and take a deep breath.”

Deep breath. Deeper than the ocean. Oh Mama. Somebody. Anybody, help! Send your ministering spirits. Let angels prostates fall.

I took another breath and the room spun like the Cloud 9 at Camden Park, just after I’d eaten those three corndogs slathered with mustard. Searing pain. Mind-numbing, star inducing pain. I wanted to turn around and bite him. I should have because nobody was holding my head. Somebody stop him before it’s too late!

The glove snapped again. “All done.”

He sat down at his computer like nothing had happened. Like it was just another day at the office. Like that was the most natural thing in the world. I sat down, too. Why was that such a big deal? It wasn’t a problem. Just a little discomfort for a moment and then all is okay. At least for him.

The truth is, my wife didn’t make me get the exam. I scheduled it of my own volition. Because I want to live another year to fight dragons. Because I want to write another story. Because I want to watch my daughters grow into beautiful women. Because I want to watch my sons grow into strong young men. And come back from the doctor to tell me what it was like to lean over a table and take a breath.

This is for every man who has never had “the exam.” Go ahead and schedule it. Be a man. And when you do, think of me and laugh. That will be my greatest reward.


stokkecity said...

Oh my gosh, Chris...I laughed SO hard reading that. For some reason, the snap of the glove was especially appropriate. I haven't yet made an appointment with Dr. Jellyfinger...but, I will soon. Thanks for the laugh!


Glynn said...

I get The Exam. Every year. Then every three years or so I get the BIG EXAM when they, mercifully, give you anesthesia. But for The Exam, it always goes the same way. I give a little nervbous laugh, bend over, close my eyes ohnowhat wasthatcan'tyoudothisanyfaster cool, it's over. Then the doctor gives a little nervous laugh.

I didn't tell you that for several years my doctor was a woman. A woman who attended our church. A woman I saw every Sunday and who I knew she was silently giggling.

melinda said...

you are amazing!! I am sending this to my hubby who hasn't done it yet and is overdue.....thank you dear for making me laugh. and so glad you got the, have you had your colonoscopy yet????

Phil Hoover, Chicago said...

Let angels prostates fall.

FUNNIEST thing I have EVER read.

And yes, I've had the "exam" before.

Yolanda said...

This was so funny, I was driving around laughing my head off. I wonder what would happen if guys had to have babies. I think the population would just die out lol

Anonymous said...

a Welcome to our world!
Imagine being a young lady and having to go to a strange man (doctor) and not knowing what is going to happen!!!
I cried!!


Amy said...

I was listening to your program on my way home and was laughing so hard with tears streaming from my eyes, I could hardly see the road. I'm copying this for my hubby to read. I doubt he'll take the plunge, but it'll make him howl, I'm sure!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

So; and all the other guys don't want the Dr to act as though this is another day at the office. Maybe say, "Dude,,,I have not done this for 3 years and I sure hope I remember how this is supposed to feel. Are you ready for the trial run? I am. :) Thanks for the laugh.
Joe KSU student RN