Hello down there!
This morning was my annual date with the nurse practitioner to have all my girl bits scraped, poked, and prodded. I really don’t mind it. I mean, I don’t enjoy it, but I prefer it to going to the dentist. I’m not an anti-dentite, but at least I don’t leave my gynecologist’s office with gritty teeth and my mascara smeared up to my forehead.
My mom informed me that it was time to start having this annual “check-up” when I was a teenager.
“They’re going to do what?” I asked. “Are you sure this is completely necessary?”
On the day of that first appointment, I was nervous. Yeah, just a tad bit teeth-chatteringly nervous. After the nice doctor introduced herself and left the room, I stripped and changed into the paper robe fast as lightning. As I sat on the examination table I eyed the instruments that had been laid out by the nurse. The plastic model of the female reproduction system.
The stirrups at the end of the table.
I wondered if it was too late to change my mind.
The doctor breezed back in. “Okay, Liz! I’m going to ask you to lie down, put your feet in the stirrups, and scoot down towards me. I’ll tell you everything I’m about to do, and what it will feel like.”
I stretched out on the table and put my feet in the stirrups.
“Move down a bit further, all the way to the end of the table.”
I inched slightly closer and waited. She looked up at me. “All the way down.”
I sighed and moved all the way down.
“Good! Now go ahead and separate your knees for me.”
I moved them two inches apart.
She looked up again. "Just let them fall apart, as far as they'll naturally go."
Sweet Jesus. Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret.
Make conversation! a little voice said. Talking will help you forget that she's viewing your insides with a headlamp!
"I must, I must, I must increase my bust!"
Not THAT, genius. Something else.“So!" I said, my fingers gripping the sides of the table. “How did you get interested in this?”
The doctor’s laughter pretty much drowned out the sound of me bashing myself over the head with the plastic uterus.
But I survived. And every year since then, I’ve gone faithfully. My husband got curious about these “special” appointments and wanted to know what happens when I go. Perhaps he was imagining luxurious spa treatments? Massages? Lingerie-clad pillow fights with other female patients?
Liz: Well, first you change into a paper robe...
M: Uh huh…
Liz: ...and she's checking for any lumps. Then they take a speculum and they use it to…
M: What? WHY?
Liz: It helps them see what’s going on in there. And then they take a little spatula and…
M: They SCRAPE?
Liz: Well, it doesn’t hurt, it’s just to get some cells so they can check for abnormalities. So after that, she removes the speculum and then she…
M: …with both hands?
Liz: Well, it’s not her entire hand that’s up there; it’s just a couple of fingers. One hand inside, one outside. So she feels around to make sure everything is okay…
M: They’re just randomly… swirling things around in there?
Liz: I hear it’s widely used, medically-sound procedure.
M: Okay, good.
Liz: ...and that’s pretty much it. It’s over.
M: Wow. All that and they don’t even buy you dinner first?
Liz: No. But they do take my temperature and blood pressure. Oh! And once they gave me a free pack of birth control pills! That rocked.
M: At least a glass of wine!
Liz: Yeah, they should really have a bar in the waiting room. They could put it next to the lingerie closet. Or the mud-wrestling pit.
M: Now you're just being silly.
Liz: Or by the cotton candy machine!
M: I knew it!
Liz: Yeah, it's just like Disney World.
Labels: Inside My Head