I’m not crazy about the whole diary thing. I know I said I’d post more, but we’ve been down this road before with the whole promises thing. I’m not good at promises. I cross my fingers a lot.
I’m also not good at doctor’s appointments. (Oh yeah, you knew it was coming.)
It doesn’t matter if they’re regular physicals, sick visits, or “hey dude, I just need a work excuse” visits. I’m the queen of awkward doctor/patient relations. It’s mostly because I’m nervous. What if I get diagnosed with something life threatening? What if there’s an electrical fire and I’m trapped in the room clutching my paper placemats and running around in circles with my ass hanging out? Then the fire people show up and hose me down because I’m hysterical and it turns out there wasn’t a fire, some lady just lit a match in the bathroom next door? You just never know.
As some of you may recall, my last doctor’s appointment didn’t go so well. I seem to have this knack for finding physicians without a shred of bedside manner. And yet I keep going back for more. I suppose if they were nice and normal I wouldn’t have anything to write about.
Tuesday morning I woke up really late. I ended up having to take the kid to the doctor, which took me until after noon. My appointment was scheduled for 3 o’clock so that gave me about 2 ½ hours of work time. Nice. Totally not planned, but nice.
By 2:45 I was cursing myself. I should have brought regular clothes to change into. Pantyhose are a bitch. What if the doctor tried to come in before I finished undressing? I’m not graceful. I could be hopping around the room pulling on one of the legs or lying on the floor and yanking on the feet part, which really only makes them stretch out, not come off, but I’m stubborn like that.
Their office is in the building connected to mine so it took me all of two minutes to get there. As doctor’s offices go it’s really nice, but I’ve noticed a trend. Vagina physicians always have nice waiting rooms – muted lighting, plush furniture, calming music. I imagine they told the interior decorator, “Make it look like we have no intention of torturing them with fake, expandable penises and slathering their nether regions with a gallon of lube. And throw in a lot of Jesus stuff just so they don’t think we’re perverts.” Well, I’m on to them. It’ll take more than classical music and pictures with scripture to make me comfortable about laying out my bits under florescent lighting.
After I filled out my yearly checklist form (Do you smoke or drink? Are you depressed or anxious? That kind of thing) a nurse called me back.
She held open the door for me to pass by then let it slam behind her. Ah, the ominous sound of entrapment!
“How are you today?”
I gave her a smile that clearly said, “Even though I’m smiling and nodding, I really don’t want to be here. You know this, I know this, don’t ask me about it.”
“I’m well, thanks. How are you?”
Again, clearly what I was saying was, “Stop talking to me. I know you’re thinking about me naked. Lesbian.”
“Good. Come on in here and sit down. Let’s take your blood pressure.”
“Ok.” I shuffled into the herding room. You know what I’m talking about? It’s not an exam room, it’s an open area with a lot of medical looking things and stuff where they brand you, squeeze you, and watch you pee through a little metal door in the wall. (Privacy, ha!) They shuffle them through all day: squeeze, poke, push, peek, and shoo out. Moo.
“Which arm would you like me to draw blood from?”
She laughed. “Do you mind if I draw it from this one while the machine is taking your blood pressure?”
“Whatever. It doesn’t matter.”
Clearly, what I was saying was, “Look bitch, just do your job and touch me as little as possible while you’re doing it. FUCK look at that needle!”
“Are you ok”, she asked when I turned my head away.
“Yep. Don’t like blood. Don’t like needles.”
She laughed again. “Relax....”
To distract myself I started to hum: “Relax, don’t do it, when you wanna go to it. Relax, don’t do it, when you wanna cooooome.”
I belatedly realized that it probably wasn’t the best choice of song. It was going to be stuck in my head for the remainder of the appointment. See? Like I said: awkward.
She asked questions while she drained the blood from my arm. “You’re here for your yearly, is that right?”
“Yes. And can you please make sure you do a full STD panel?”
“The doctor has to approve that, but I’ll note it on your chart.”
With these uppity, exclusive vagina doctors you have to ASK to be tested during your yearly. Isn’t that a crock of shit? Then they look at you like you’re The Outbreak monkey and probably go off and whisper to each other, “Yeah, that one’s been around. What a whore! Better make it a double glover, Gladys!”
I mean, when I was younger and going to the health department, so no one would know I was...busy, all you had to say was, “Fill her up!” Then two weeks later you’d get a phone call saying, “You’re clean. See you again in 6?” With these bastards you have to whisper it and walk around with your head down like you’re ashamed for being conscientious about sexual health. Ridiculous.
When she was done I was herded out to wait in a small alcove right across from the doctor’s office door. There was a woman sitting in front of me reading a health magazine and a woman sitting to my right with a laptop. Vaginas everywhere.
I could see my doctor sitting in his office, slouched in his big chair with his feet stretched out under his desk, doing gawd knows what on his computer. Lazy bastard.
Another nurse escorted me to an exam room and closed the door. She was a...much older lady, but very friendly and chipper. Of course that irritated me. I didn’t feel there was really anything to be chipper about. Who likes looking at vaginas all day? Perverts and hippies, that’s who.
She handed me the placemats and instructed me to take everything off. I was debating on asking if I could just borrow some scissors and cut a hole in the crotch of my pantyhose so I didn’t have to struggle with them. In the end I decided not to because they were my last black pair. I can be practical on occasion.
I stripped down, unfolded my placemats and climbed onto the exam table. By the time the doctor came in I’d managed to tear two holes in my boob placemat from tugging on it the wrong way. You’d think they could afford better material, what with all the muted lighting and guilt framed photos of "flower petals".
“Hello there. How are you today?” He took a seat on the black, rolling stool in front of the table.
“Good, good. We’re doing your yearly today, is that right?”
“That’s right. Unless you’d like to make this a monthly thing.”
“I doubt that’s necessary. Now then!” He fired a few questions at me about family history and previous medications. Then, “Are you sexually active?”
“Only with myself. Lately I mean. Heh. It’s a jungle out there, ya know!”
“And it says here you want a full test panel, same as last year?”
“The very same.”
To his credit he didn’t give me the Judgy McJudgerson face like the nurses. I thought he might have actually been a bit pleased about my healthy choices, but it’s hard to tell with people that speak in monotone.
“Alright then, let’s listen to you”, he said. “Big breaths.” He put the stethoscope on my back. I always feel silly when they tell you to take big breaths, because I was probably going to do it anyway. It’s like common sense. So when they actually say it, I feel I should try that much harder. So I was breathing in and out a bit more forcefully than normal and I probably sounded like a bit of phone sex gone wrong.
I also just knew he was staring at the crack of my ass. If I were him, I’d be staring. It’s there. People stare at things like that, doctor or not.
“Alright. Lie back.”
I did, lifting my right arm and laying it over my head. He flipped up that side of the placemat and started kneading my boob. I don’t think you’re supposed to look them in the face when they’re doing that, but I wanted him to know that I wasn’t embarrassed at all. Nope. I stared at him, wide eyed, waiting on him to stare back.
Usually he’s not a small talker. The guy is a total in-and-out merchant. But he started chatting, and I think it’s likely due to the attempted staring contest that he was losing. Ha!
“So, what do you think about this weather”, he asked. Knead, knead, knead, knead.
“It’s hell on the nipples! Ha, ha, ha!”
Nothing. “Lift your other arm please.” Knead, knead, knead, knead.
He talked a bit more about the weather and I gave a generic answer here and there.
“I’ll be right back”, he said.
He went out to fetch his nurse for the fun stuff. I stared at the poster on the ceiling of a field of flowers with this bit of scripture: “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. Let the fields be jubilant and everything in them.”
What does that even mean? Is that supposed to be comforting? Distracting? When your gynecologist is sticking things in your vagina, is that really a time to be thinking about Jesus and jubilant fields? Is it alluding to being fruitful or something? Because I don’t want to be fruitful.
He came back in, towing his ancient nurse with him. As instructed I scooted to the end of the table and placed my feet in the stirrups on either side of his head. I thought about accidentally on purpose having my foot slip out and slap him in the face. That made me laugh...on the inside.
He went on about his business, cranking that stupid tool open. I hate the click, click, click noise it makes. Like a wind up vagina, you expect your bottom half to start waddling off the table with out you, clacking up and down.
Then he said something to his nurse I couldn’t hear, she leaned in and replied and they laughed. HE LAUGHED. I’ve never heard him laugh. Ever. At first I was shocked.
Then I was irritated. How dare they laugh about something I wasn’t privy to when I was the one being spread like a buttered roll?
Then I was horrified. What the fuck are they laughing about? Is my vagina comical? What’s funny down there? Oh mother of gawd.
He finished the examination in silence then left me to get dressed. As I hopped off the table I thought, “He was probably laughing because he used almost a whole bottle of lube on purpose, just to irritate me. Blech.”
After spending an ungodly amount of time struggling into my pantyhose (fuck I hate them) I went to his office.
“Every thing looks good”, he said.
“Sure it does.”
“Yes”, he replied looking at me oddly over the tops of his glasses.
“We’ll send you a card in the mail with the rest of your test results. Do you have any questions?”
“Just one.” I fixed him with my “I’m serious” stare.
“What were you laughing about?”
He looked surprised. “Laughing....Oh! Just office talk.” He smiled.
Something was wrong with the man: Laughing, smiling, making small talk.
“Mmmph”, I said looking at him with suspicion.
He shooed me out of his office with a prescription for birth control. “I’ll see you next year then.”
“Oh, you bet.”
When I got home that night I went to the bathroom. I was going to investigate. No way were they laughing at “office talk” and if I had a funny looking vagina, that’s the kind of thing I’d like to know.
I grabbed a hand mirror and arranged myself accordingly. And that’s when I saw it.
That morning in the shower I was in a hurry and I cut myself shaving, like I always do. This time it was on my upper inner thigh. I’d pasted a sparkly bandaid with “YOU ROCK” written across it in big letters over the cut and forgotten it was there.
The fucker probably told the whole office that I was trying to send him a message via bandaid. Probably thinks I have a thing for him. I've been trying to get him to laugh, to just crack a smile, for years and in the end all it took was a sticker.
Maybe I can make it our special game. Next time I can use one of these:
The Itch - a story
6 days ago