Giovanni jerked off at his mother's. It went nicely, so he reached for the phone to report it.
Ordinarily, a man's midnight masturbation on a hill near Perugia would not seem too special. You might not rush to put it on the evening news. In this case, however, it seemed to Giovanni that he should report it immediately. That's because his orgasm was a first: The first after his laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, an operation for treating prostate cancer and sometimes chronic prostatitis. Prostate operations can interfere with erections, but not orgasm, which most men find hard to believe. So they test to be sure we're not lying.
And you might think that his surgeon would embrace Giovanni's orgasmic eruption. And you'd be right: Surgeons love detail. But there's a nuance: Sometimes surgeons want to finish their dinner first. Sometimes they give a patient crossing the Atlantic their personal cell phone number mainly for emotional reassurance, not for mealtime entertainment.
The question of timing and discretion gains emphasis because everybody's talking with everybody about everything at every moment. And with emails zipping into the device on our belt, there are essentially no physical barriers to instant communication from anyone. So patients send emails to doctors. Doctors search patients on Google. It's a communications free-for-all.
Is this good? Certainly there is that opinion. A quarter of Europeans recently studied expected that in the near future they would be able to schedule an appointment online. Among those using the Internet for health-related purposes, on average more than 4 in 10 people considered the provision of these electronic communication an important service when choosing a new doctor.