Monday, January 16, 2012

Flashback: The Gynecology Blog

From MySpace, circa early 2010:

Today, I had my yearly gynecological exam. 

It is one of the true treasures of being a woman to experience this special doctor's visit.  Here, I offer you the opportunity to share in my joy as I recreate my appointment:

The waiting room at the gynecologist is always an exciting place because it is full of women who are acting like they are totally okay with the fact that within a matter of minutes, they will be asked to strip naked and allow a relative stranger stick metal instruments inside of them.  Everyone just sits around and reads parenting magazines and pretends that being in this place is not weird at all.

Once called back, your first stop is the bathroom where you are given a cup to "void" into.  The nurse today was telling all of the other women to go "if [they] could."  But she didn't say that to me.  She said, "Urinate into this cup."  Maybe she could tell I had to pee anyway ('cause I did; I drank a lot of water beforehand to ensure my ability to "void"). 

In the bathroom, there is a box of disinfectant moist towelettes which probably contain exactly the kinds of chemicals that gives all of us cancer all of the time.  On the door is a very specific set of instructions regarding what to do with these moist towelettes.  You are to use exactly three of them, and you are to disinfect yourself in precisely the manner instructed over the course of 7 descriptive steps.

Once you leave the bathroom, you are back to another waiting room, where you sit and read more parenting magazines until another nurse comes and takes you back to the exam room.  She checks the usual stuff...weight, blood pressure, family history of diseases, that sort of thing.  My nurse also complimented me on "staying out of the sun," and I thought she was being facetious because after laboring over the fire most of Monday, I am quite sunburned, and even thought before I left the house today, 'Wow, due to the glowing redness of my face, I look like total shit."  But apparently she was being serious.  (I would love to hear what she'd say to me if she saw me looking my usual deathly pallor of pale.)

Then the nurse leaves and you have to take off all of your clothes.  Sometimes I rebel and leave my socks on.  I did so today.  You have to undress quickly, though, because at my office at least, the doctor comes in almost immediately.

And then you sit there wearing nothing but an open-fronted robe while the doctor chats about any changes in your medical history since last year.  "Are you having any problems?" and "Have you changed medications?" and that sort of thing.  She (my doctor is a woman) tells you to lay back and while checking to make sure you aren't about to die of breast cancer, she's just talking to you.  Normal conversation.  Like you aren't completely naked and spread out on an exam table while a woman you see once a year is feeling you up.

Last year, my doctor and I talked about running, and she must have written herself a note somewhere because this year, she jumped right into questioning me about what races I'd run recently.  My doctor is very good about trying to distract you from what's happening, but there's really no distracting from what's next, which is that she tells you to scoot down and put your feet in the stirrups while she shines a light up in you and hits the call button for the nurse to come back in.  Now it's a party in the exam room because all three of you are talking about running and how great certain races are and OH!  WHAT WAS THAT?

THAT was the doctor spreading you open and snipping off a piece of your cervix.  It feels about as comfortable as it sounds. 

Then the doctor does an internal exam to make sure your reproductive system hasn't fallen apart in the last year and she's still talking about running.  Next thing you know, the nurse is out of there, the doctor's telling you to get dressed, and everyone is all smiles saying they'll see you next year.

And if that experience doesn't just warm the cockles of your heart, then surely it will give you a warm glow to learn that my insurance doesn't really pay for my yearly exam (or for anything for that matter), so that 20 minutes of my life costs me around $400.

God bless America.

22 comments:

  1. I think the thing that surprises me the most about this is the fact that you were still posting to MySpace in 2010...

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  2. Touche, my friend. Touche.

    (Nobody can hold onto a sinking ship like I can.)

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  3. Is it bad a can remember that last blog on this subject! Makes me laugh when they tell you to "void"!

    And i'm glad i don't have to go through this!

    Kisses darling!

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  4. Coincidence! I'm going this afternoon *cries!!*

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  5. Maybe this is why I wasn't a super huge fan of pregnancy - going to through all of that once a month, and then once a week, all to end up stark naked on an operating room table with 10 strangers looking on and talking about the latest episode of some reality tv show!!

    You have, as usual, described an annoying chore in life with a great sense of humor : )

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  6. Chris, I remember us laughing about the "void" thing the first time I posted this! HA!!

    Sam, ack, hope it went well...and at least it's over now for another year!

    Meg, there is so much about pregnancy that I cannot even imagine...and going through that on a monthly and then weekly basis ranks right up at the top of the list. :)

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  7. I feel you... and I'm so happy that I only have to go thru that once a year, whilst in germany you normally have to have that once per quarter.

    And you just made my decision to not have children anymore even more welcome to myself O.O with these visits on a weekly basis??? NO!

    Sasha
    (sorry for my weird writing today, I'm a bit sick and therefore can't thing straight)

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  8. Made perfect sense to me. :) I hope you feel better!!

    Once a quarter?! ACK. I don't think I'd handle that well...thank goodness you only have to deal with it once a year!

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  9. LMAO! I remember this! Pure brilliance. Hahaha :-D

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  10. Haha! Thank you! (I remember we had a great conversation about this on MySpace, but unfortunately they switched the blogging system over there and the comments got completely messed up. Sad. :-/)

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