According to Saffy, one of the surest ways you know you’re growing old is when your gynaecologist looks up and asks you when was the last time you had a full physical.
Of course, it doesn’t help if you’re a few pencils short of a full box and someone smart asks you that kind of question. Apparently, Saffy shifted up onto her elbows, looked down at Dr Wong and replied, “Oh my God, you can tell just by looking? Is it all dried up?”
From behind her white face-mask, Dr Wong blinked. “What?” came her muffled reply.
Saffy collapsed back onto the examination couch and stared at the ceiling. “OK, lemme see. My boyfriend was posted to New York in…June? And what is it now? November? So, June, July…” Saffy’s fingers moved. “Six months! It’s been six months!”
Dr Wong sighed and if she hadn’t been so well trained in her bedside manners, she probably would have rolled her eyes. “No, Saffy, I meant when was the last time you had a full health check!”
As Saffy later complained, as if life isn’t complicated enough already, but why do people have to make it more so by talking in euphemisms? “She said ‘full physical’! Why couldn’t she have just said ‘health check’ to start off with? Seriously, who says that?” she demanded as she blew on a spoonful of hot chicken congee at Crystal Jade.
“Just about every doctor I’ve ever been to!” Amanda replied. Never having been trained in Bedside Manners 101, she rolled her eyes.
Saffy ignored the moment. “Well, anyway, after we got all that sorted out, her secretary made a call to Gleneagles, and so I now have an appointment for next week.”
“Oh, maybe I should come along and get one done, too!” Amanda said. Apparently, it’s not just the bathroom that women go to, together.
Saffy dropped her spoon and clapped her hands. “Oooh, that sounds like a great idea! Yay! What about you, Shazz, you want to come along?”
Sharyn, at that moment bent low over her bowl of double-boiled chicken and lotus root soup, turned her fogged up spectacles slightly around in Saffy’s direction. “Doh wan! I very scared! Skali they find something, then how?”
“I think that’s the point!” Saffy told her. “That if they find something, then they can do something about it before it’s too late!”
“Doh wan!” Sharyn repeated. “My gran mudder, hor, she live to seventy fie, neber go once to see doctor. Then one day my mudder force her go because she say my gran mudder got pain her leg. She go in, neber come out again!”
Saffy’s bosom inflated. “Oh my God! She died in hospital?”
Amanda shook her head. “Tragic! So senseless”
“Speaking of senseless,” Saffy said, smoothly changing gears. “One of the things I’m meant to do before the health check is to give a stool sample. I have no idea what that is, and meant to ask you.”
Amanda looked astonished. “You don’t know what a stool sample is?”
“Well, at first, I though they wanted me to bring a chair from home, but that didn’t sound right.”
“Well, we’re eating, so…” Amanda leaned over and whispered into Saffy’s ear.
Saffy’s eyes bulged. “What? That’s what a stool sample is? How am I supposed to get that?” Amanda leaned in again. Her hands moved in a scooping motion.
Saffy leaned away. “What?” she repeated. “That is the most disgusting thing I’ve heard of in my life! I’m not doing that!”
“Well, that’s how they find out if you have bowel cancer!”
“I don’t care,” Saffy said firmly. “I am not sticking my hand into the toilet bowl!”
“But you use a spoon!”
“I wouldn’t do it even with a shovel!”
“Honestly, what is the big deal?” Amanda snapped.
Saffy turned to me. “Did you know about this?”
“Why do you think I’ve not had a health check in years? I cannot even look in the bowl after I’m done!”
“Me, neither!” Saffy’s bosom inflated.
“Wait, what?” Amanda said. “You don’t look?”
“Why would you?” we sang in chorus.
“So you can check the consistency!”
“Seriously, I’m about to throw up!” Saffy exclaimed.
“Ay, what are you all talking about?” Sharyn said finally. “You all don’t talk so cheem, can?”
Saffy leaned in and whispered. Sharyn listened carefully and rolled her eyes. “Confirm you cannot have baby!” she told Saffy. “This one, no need see guy-nee!”