I had my yearly checkup the other day.
I hate those things.
Tom was all, "I was wondering why you shaved!"
Well yeah. I couldn't have the doctor thinking I was some sort of yeti, could I?
"But yet, you're fine with being all hairy for me?" Tom pouted.
I mean, maybe when you stop scratching your balls in my presence I'll be more keen to keep myself clean shaven.
The hospital had mailed me some paperwork to fill out so it would be all ready when I checked in. I thought this was pretty nifty. See, usually I go to the military base clinic for checkups. But if I have a choice, I opt for the real hospital. Not that the base clinic isn't real but...
Okay, see, when we were stationed in England I HAD to go to the base clinic for my yearly PAPs. And the doctor, he couldn't seem to get a proper amount of...cells? So then I'd get a phone call saying, "Sorry, we didn't get enough of a sample. You'll have to come back."
I don't think the clinic comprehended that women do NOT enjoy these appointments. In fact, the nurse on the other end seemed startled when I went,
"Are you KIDDING me?"
So I had to go back and get prodded all over again.
Then guess what?
I got the SAME phone call.
"You'll have to come back."
I was not amused.
So yes, this is why I opt to go to a real hospital. I'm sorry, but if I want to get poked with a cold object I'll just turn to my husband, thanks.
Anyhow, the paperwork came in the mail and I got to work filling it out.
I flipped one paper over and saw a section that the nurse fills out and got a chuckle over this:
General appearance, huh?
I picture the nurse taking a look at me and scribbling, "Messy hair." Because my hair never wants to cooperate. The nurse might continue with, "And what is up with that purse? And the shoes? Patient has large zit on chin."
I'm always a little surprised on some of the questions they ask you. For instance, here were a few:
I mean, thank goodness Tom is the only man I've ever slept with.
Suppose I had been with over five men though. Would I have gotten a lecture from the doctor?
I picture the doctor stroking his chin while glancing at my paperwork and going, "You know, even though Samantha off Sex and the City makes sleeping around look like fun, it really can be quite dangerous."
Anyhow, Tom watched the kids while I went to my appointment. I wasn't about to bring them with me. I can picture Natalie staring at the doctor intently while he did his...erm..exam and saying something like, "DUCK! Quack!" when he pulled out the speculum. And I'm sorry, that could totally warp a child's view on ducks, you know? I will not do that to my daughter.
I checked in with the front desk and had to wait all of five minutes before they called me back. Neat.
The nurse weighed me first and when the numbers flashed on the screen my mouth fell open.
"Is this accurate?" I asked. Actually, I meant to just THINK that but the words tumbled out before I had chance to stop them.
The nurse looked amused and didn't even bother looking up from my paperwork. She just calmly scribbled the number down and went, "It's normal for your height. You're fine."
She wrote a few more things and I leaned over to see if she was marking the General Appearance section.
Hey, I had even added a little hair spray to keep my hair in check. That way she couldn't write, "Patient has hair like Russell Brand."
I couldn't quite see the chart and if I had leaned over anymore, I'd have landed flat on my face. And then they'd probably think I was suffering from vertigo or something and I'd be all, "No, actually I was just trying to read my chart."
The nurse pulled out the lovely paper top and drape for me to use.
"Just undress and the drape goes across your lap," she said before leaving.
No kidding? I thought it was a cape.
I started taking off my clothes at lightening speed. I have this fear that the doctor will walk in when I'm bending over. I'd never be able to live it down.
So it was like someone had pushed a fast forward button because I was moving at light speed. I made sure to hide my underwear and bra too. I always do that. I suppose I'm worried that the doctors may gather and gossip about undergarments.
"My patient had these horrid gray underpants. It's a wonder she even GOT pregnant with those things!" I picture a doctor saying.
Look, I watch a lot of those medical dramas and I know doctors talk.
I was sitting on the exam table twiddling my thumbs when the doctor knocked and walked in.
That's another thing: every doctor I've had have only knocked once and then walked right in. Suppose I was in the middle of undressing? He could still walk in and catch me in the buff.
Not that it matters, I guess. Because he's going to be seeing me naked anyhow.
But it's different to be naked on an exam table then being naked while standing in the middle of the room with a deer in the headlights look.
Trust me on this one.
The doctor glanced through my chart while the nurse shuffled back in. Because my doctor was male, she had to be in there. She sort of looked bored as she took a seat across the room. She started pulling out the supplies the doctor would need and I tried not to look.
EW, THAT LOOKS LIKE A GIANT Q-TIP!
Amber. Focus. Focus.
EW, WHAT'S THAT??
I was so busy trying not to panic that I didn't even realize the doctor had asked me a question. He was staring at me, waiting with his pen poised over some paper.
"I'm sorry, excuse me?" I asked sweetly. I tried not to look at the giant Q-tip.
"I was asking how the Micronor was going for you," the doctor repeated nicely.
I nodded. "Oh great. Fantastic. Wonderful." Then I felt like an idiot. I mean, wonderful? Fantastic? Could I not have left it at "oh great?"
"How are you periods?" he continued.
I felt my face grow warm. I mean, I know these sort of questions are asked but it never gets easier hearing them when the person is sitting less than two feet away from you.
"Disgusting," I blurted.
Which IS true.
But the doctor chuckled and went, "I imagine, but you aren't in any pain are you?"
Well, doing the dishes and laundry is painful. But I don't think that's what he meant.
So I just shook my head.
Then he started the exam. I always want to jokingly say, "Maybe you should buy me a drink first," when they start poking around at my breasts.
But I'm always worried that I'll get a doctor with no sense of humor.
Then it came to the gross part where feet go in stirrups and all that fun stuff.
I tried to focus on the ceiling.
But then the doctor decided to narrate whatever he was doing. Which was NICE but..
I really didn't need to know that he has to swipe the giant Q-tip five times.
"Because that's what the medical professionals are told," he told me knowingly.
"So if you wanted to do it four times then that would be frowned upon?" I found myself asking.
I really wish I could shut myself up sometimes.
Because the doctor sort of raised an eyebrow and then smiled politely and looked at me as though I were a halfwit before saying, "Five is what we do."
Then it was all over.
The doctor scribbled out the prescription for birth control and looked me right in the eye as he handed it over and said,
"You're very healthy. The folds of your vagina look great."
He said this as calmly as if he were telling me that it was a lovely day outside.
I immediately felt my face warm and I couldn't look him in the eye. I concentrated on the floor and stuffed the prescription in my purse.
"Thank you," I muttered. I didn't know what else to say. I mean, no one had ever told me that the folds of my vagina looked great before. I didn't know how to react. I figured giving the doctor a thumbs up sign and going, "Fantastic!" would be frowned upon.
"Your cervix looks great, too," the doctor continued. "So if you wanted more kids..."
I looked up with a start. "No babies," I said quickly.
He looked a little stunned.
"It's just," I felt I needed to explain. "Natalie is finally sleeping through the night and I like my sleep."
He nodded but still looked a little baffled.
Sorry, but not every patient who comes in here wants to be the next Michelle Duggar, Doctor.
We said goodbye after that and I came home and Tom asked how it went.
"The folds of my vagina look great, apparently," I explained as I put my purse on the counter.
His eyebrows furrowed. "Huh?"
I shrugged. "That's what the doctor told me."
Tom just stood there quietly and finally admitted that he had no idea what to say to that.
"Me either. I just said thank you," I said.
Because really, there was nothing else TO say.