Whom Can You Be Naked in Front Of?

My sister (yeah, I quote her a lot) used to say that you can be naked in front of your mother and you can be naked in front of your husband, but you can’t be naked in front of them both at the same time.

I’m adding to that adage what I’ve learned during all these appointments in Texas: you can be naked in front of your husband and you can be naked in front of your doctor, but you certainly can’t be naked in front of them both at the same time.

Establishing Texas as Our Residence

A little backstory here. I’ve mentioned that we use a service called the Escapees to help us take care of life’s necessities that require an address. This service:

  • provides us with a mailbox (and scans our mail and then ships it to us when we’re somewhere we can receive it),
  • helps us register to vote in Texas (we’re registered and now trying to get a ballot), and it
  • helps us get driver’s licenses and truck and trailer registrations (these huge efforts we’ll tackle next week).

The headquarters for the club is north of Houston, so that’s why we’re here for about two weeks, tackling the last two items above, plus establishing relationships with our new doctors/dentists/etc. (and lounging around).

The Woodlands

Tracy’s been seeing doctors in Washington, D.C., for the past 20 years and is used to a high level of care, so he wanted to pick an equivalent area in Texas, and Houston certainly has the reputation. Our plan is to see all our doctors at once and then come back to this part of Texas once a year, with virtual visits as needed.

The Woodlands is an up-scale area north of Houston, west of Livingston where the Escapees is headquartered but much higher-end socially/economically/all that stuff you’re looking for when you you have to guess at picking a doctor. (Obviously there are tons of highly qualified doctors in lower SES regions, and I know a few who seek those places to work because that’s where they’re needed. But we’re trying to be efficient here so we’re going for the stereotype.)

Back to the Woodlands. We’ve driven in three times now, and the impression is definitely of a planned community—planned to pretend it’s a quiet bedroom community when really it’s a mecca for shopping and medical services, and planned to keep the riffraff out.

As the name promises, there are trees everywhere, and the town ordinances about signs must be super strict. As we drove through looking at Google Maps, we could see there were stores and restaurants, somewhere, but they’re hidden. Blatant commerce must be frowned upon here.

I like the idea, but it makes finding your doctor and a lunch spot afterwards really difficult. Basically you have to weave your way behind hidden shopping complexes to find what shows clearly on Google Maps but in person has one tiny sign by the front door.

This approach contrasts starkly with the rest of northern Houston that we’ve seen from the interstate: giant billboards for sex toy shops, giant chain restaurants with signs the same size as those billboards, giant strip malls and outlet malls. Giant truck dealerships. Giant everything blaring at you.

In the Woodlands I saw one mall, with each section styled in different architecture: turrets and minarets and nods to the great architectural wonders of the world. Aimed to make you feel like you’re shopping at the Taj Mahal.

Here we finally found Thai take-out and then a sports complex with picnic tables where we brought our treasure-map-lunch to eat outside. It’s a huge complex with multiple sports fields, but even that we had to wind our way behind a church parking lot to find.

Back to the Doctors and My Sister’s Saying

I’ve been a bit anxious about all these doctor’s visits because we’ve hardly been inside a building for six months. Somehow we did score back-to-back appointments with all the doctors we need in this one week, and I know you guys on the front lines are working indoors and working with sick folks and taking care of sick folks, so I gritted my teeth and went onward.

Our first appointment was weird.

It was with the primary care physician we’d painstakingly chosen, at 8 am, with back-to-back time slots. The receptionist met me in the parking lot (yadda yadda, you guys know the drill), but when she took me in and noticed that Tracy was the next patient, she asked if we wanted to be in the same examining room.


Yeah, I guess that would be okay. I dunno; no one has asked me that before.

The pre-check-up work made sense to do together: she took our temps (again), weight, blood pressure, etc., one after the other, and didn’t have to move between rooms to do so.

But when the doctor came in, he addressed us each at a time, asking about our health, and I felt inclined to lower my gaze as Tracy talked about his medical history. I mean, I care about him, but his relationship with his doctor is private, wouldn’t you say?

When the doctor was ready to examine us, we asked if we could be in separate rooms, and the doctor sighed with relief and said, “I thought this was weird!”

Well, dude, we did, too! Apparently that’s not the practice of this practice; the admitting nurse just thought it would be easier to do our initial intake together. I guess. I just went to my own danged examining room after that.

Okay, I won’t give you details of all our doctors visits because a) who the heck cares, and b) we’re three down and two to go still, but I will say that my mammogram was the most pampering, luxurious experience I’ve ever had in a medical setting. That’s me in the top photo after having been given a monogrammed robe from a heated vault to wear while waiting for my appointment. Plus I was ID’d as if I were a royal newborn who should not get stolen.

So far, picking a fancy-pants location for your doctors seems to be paying off. Just watch out whom they ask you to be naked in front of. Unless you’re Banjo, who doesn’t care.

8 thoughts to “Whom Can You Be Naked in Front Of?”

  1. When my friend Neal had bi-lateral knee replacement, I was with him for every preliminary appointment, at the hospital on day of surgery, and there for every rehab and follow-up. Each time a doctor wanted to do an exam, I left the room. Everyone referred to me as Mrs. W and we never corrected it. After a few days in the hospital, a very vintage nurse asked me “my dear, are you uncomfortable seeing your husband naked?”

    1. That’s so funny! My co-worker and our boss used to travel a lot together and were assumed to be husband and wife all the time; they didn’t bother correcting anyone. That “My dear,” comment – I can hear it in my head perfectly.

  2. That is so interesting about them “hiding” the shops and such. Yes, quite odd to put you both in the same room. What if you wanted to complain about each other to the doc?what if you are secretly doing something weird that you dont want the other to know about? its pretty odd. Nice mammo experience and who ever says that?

      1. Ha, more like Sheldon at the Renfair – Houston was like going on an anthropological field 😄