Sarah thought about how she would get help for Alan. It was a bit tricky. She could hardly approach one of her instructors and say, “Hey, I’ve been giving this guy rectal exams in my dorm room and I found blood ……”
She worked out an idea she thought would work and layed it out for Alan. “Alan, I am going to be starting a clinical rotation in gastroenterology at the hospital in 2 weeks. I‘m going to have you call for the appointment, but don‘t let them schedule you an appointment until three weeks from now. By then, I will be settled in and I can help you navigate the process and make sure I‘m there when you come in. Tell them that you saw blood in your stool when you had a BM. Other than us being friends and me being your RA, we will keep the rest confidential. Understood? There are three doctors in the department, ask to see Dr Elizabeth Young. She is very good. In the mean time stick to your diet and let me know if you have any major worsening before the appointment date arrives. As soon as you book it, give me the time and date.”
Alan agreed to the plan and that he understood. He headed back to his room and tried to get some studying done, but it was difficult as the events of the day had him very distracted. The next Monday, he called for the appointment. The receptionist who spoke to him on the phone told him Dr Elizabeth Young was booked out months. He was therefore given an appointment with Dr Michael Shaw.
Later in the week, he saw Sarah in the elevator and she asked him to come to her room with her. When they got to her suite and went inside, she got him a cup of tea and asked him to update her on how he was feeling and if he had booked the appointment.
When Alan told her about his appointment with Dr Shaw, Sarah freaked out a bit.
”What! Dr Shaw? Why?!?. I told you Dr Young!” She got up and started pacing.
She went on, “Dr Shaw was a linebacker in football in college. He’s huge. His fingers are as thick as D batteries! With your little bottom? Not a good match!”
Alan was surprised to learn there was such a reason for the advice Sarah had given him and stared up at Sarah dumbfounded.
”OK, let me see what I can do to switch your appointment.”
Alan was now eager for her to do just that and offered a weak apology, “OK. Thanks. Sorry .. I didn’t know.”
Sarah had met Dr Young before during some lectures she had given the nursing students. When the new GI rotation started and Sarah had a moment with Dr Young, she made her plea, “I have this friend who is having some bowel issues and has blood in his stool. He needs an evaluation and work up. He is booked to see Dr Shaw. I‘m well, kind of worried….”
“Worried about what, Sarah? Michael is excellent. Your friend will be in good hands.”
Sarah explained further, “Well, I know he‘s excellent, but my friend is of small build and rather shy and anxious. I happened to notice Dr Shaw has, well, um, rather large digits. I just think a rectal exam would be such a tough ordeal for him.”
Dr Young smiled and nodded knowingly at hearing this, “You‘re right. They’re like bratwursts. I am sure I wouldn’t want one of those fingers in my rectum either. Go ahead and tell my receptionist she can double book him to see me next week.“
Sarah was relieved that Dr young was so receptive to this and responded so informally. She stopped by the receptions desk before she left for the day and got Alan a new appointment, making sure she would also be assigned to be there that day.