Two weeks ago I called my gynecologist's office to make an appointment.
The first available appointment was this past Friday (the 5th) at 8am.
I scheduled the appointment, & made the necessary arrangements at work.
Thursday morning, however, I was informed that my Doctor was not going to be able to see me, & that I would have to reschedule or see someone else.
Rescheduling was not an option.
Before I go any further I would just like to say that my gynecologist is a woman, & she is AWESOME. I found her after a horrible experience with a very judgmental uptight, overly religious bitch of a doctor. I prefer that my gynecologist be female. No offense male GYNs, but I like my doctor to have the parts they are working on. I mean, have you ever experienced cramps so bad it felt like your uterus was trying to shred the entire lower half of your body? No, because you don't have a uterus. Have you ever had PMS so bad that you felt like you were on a one way trip to the looney bin? No, because your hormones don't combine like a tilt-a-whirl and the scariest, most death defying goddamn roller coaster every fucking month. You don't know what it's like to have blood gushing out of your genitals as if it is trying to reenact the scene from the shining when the elevator doors open and a tidal wave of blood descends You don't know what it's like to be judged for your sex life. You don't know what it's like to be terrified that you might be pregnant...& you goddamn well have no clue what it's like to need some fucking birth control pills just because you don't want to put up with a very inconvenient period. So, I'm sorry, but I require a female gynecologist.
They scheduled me with a male gynecologist...and he was absolutely lovely.
ENTIRELY way too attractive...but I can't hold that against him.
He was kind, considerate, listened to my concerns and treated me friendly and with respect.
It really made me reconsider my stance on male gynecologists.
For the sake of the story...and because some of my readers are male and have no idea what a trip to the gynecologist is like...I'm going to regale you with the tale of my Friday morning.
When you arrive at the gynecologist's office, depending on what time of day it is, you will be seated in a large room with a bunch of women, many of whom will be in varying stages of pregnancy. Inevitably there are always kids running around, crying, screaming...and one or two men who are there to see their growing offspring via sonogram. For these reasons, and because I'm known for disliking humanity (especially ill-behaved children) I try to schedule my appointment as early as possible. I only had to sit in the waiting room a grand total of 15 minutes because my superior planning.
When you first go back, a nurse (and none of the nurses in my hospital are human, they are angels. ABSOLUTELY FREAKIN' FANTASTIC ANGELS. I have never met a nurse in any part of my hospital that was less than fabulous) will take you back to a little 'station'. There she will weigh you and ask a boat load of personal questions. You grin and bear it...which wasn't so hard with my nurse because she was hilarious, even at 9am (see, angel). From there you will be given a little slip of paper and directed to a restroom to pee in a cup. The sinks have a million clear, plastic cups and wipes sitting on it. You take a cup and a wipe and you go in the stall. Use the wipe, fill the cup, then place the slip of paper and the sample in this little window behind the toilet. Wash your hands, leave the restroom, and then you go sit in one of those chairs with a desk...like in high school. Here another nice nurse will prick your finger, and take a blood sample. It doesn't hurt, because they are angels. She gives you a band aid, and it's back to the waiting room.
I was in the waiting room less than 5 minutes when they called me back to a room.
So, I strolled back to room 3, and waited.
I sat in a chair in the corner...putting off getting on the examining table as long as possible.
A few moments later, another nurse came into the room to take my blood pressure. She explained how to wrap myself up in the 2 paper towels they provide (more on that later). Another example of the infinite kindness of these angel nurses, she asked me if I wanted to meet the doctor before I undressed. She saw that I had only ever seen female gynecologists, and decided that it would help my nerves to meet him for the first time while still dressed. Freakin' amazing woman. I will forever love her for that. She also said she would stay in the room for my examination.
She left the room and I sat there...and that's when I noticed the very loud, very religious music playing overhead in my room. I thought to myself, "Oh, this is not gonna be good".
About 10 minutes worth of praise and worship music later, I met the doctor. He was very kind, and answered my questions about my choice of birth control in such a way that I felt informed and confident in my decision. He had a very soothing presence, and that put a lot of my nerves to rest. Then he left and it was time to get undressed.
I don't know about you, but for me, being naked in front of anyone is stressful...in front of a total stranger? Mortifying.
I removed all of my clothes, and wrapped myself in the 'sheets' provided. Now, let me tell you a thing or two about these 'sheets'. They are basically 2 big paper towels...or 2 big ass napkins. You wrap one around your boobs/top...and drape the other around your lower half...the back is open...of course. So, you're sitting on an examining table (That's 1/2 the length of most examining tables, with 2 stirrups jutting out of the bottom), with your bare ass sticking to the paper on the table, and all that's covering you is two fucking napkins.
So...there I sat...in my napkins...freezing...listening to christian music...
10 minutes later, the doctor returned...with my nurse, as promised. First he listens to my heart...which is beating a million miles a minute because this has to be one of the most nerve wracking situation women have to go through. After that, I get to lay back on the table for my breast exam. I have freakin' huge boobs so there is a lot of ground to cover. While I am having my breasts kneaded, looking for lumps, 'Holy, Holy, Holy' plays overhead...and I am sure this is the most awkward experience of my entire life.
Then comes the pelvic exam...
A pelvic exam would be considered cruel and unusual punishment if it weren't so vital. You get to put your heels in the stirrups, scoot your ass down the table until it's almost hanging off, and spread your legs for a stranger. There's even a lamp so they can get a better look at your holiest of holies. I just want you to take a minute to appreciate the fact that at this moment a woman is on a table, her legs spread wide, while a stranger has his face in her most intimate area, under bad lighting!!! It's not fun in the least!!! The doctor will then bring out these metal duck lips, and if you're lucky (like me), your doctor will at least warm them up before proceeding. These duck lips are going up into my fairy cave (thanks KittyKitty BangBang/ @DeadDecadent on Twitter for my new favorite way to describe my vag). When they are inserted, they will then be cranked open so that the doctor can get a good look at the cervix. Normally, this 'pinches' like fucking hell. This doctor was so good, I didn't really feel a thing. Now it's time for the Pap. For the Pap the doctor will stick a long ass Q-Tip up to the opening of the cervix to collect cells. Again, this normally stings a little..as I am one of those women who do not enjoy having their cervix bumped...and I usually jump high enough to qualify for the Olympics. This time? Nothing. He was so gentle. Now, we're almost done. It's the home stretch All that's left is having my uterus checked. For this, the doctor inserts a finger into the vagina, and places the other hand on the outside of the body, and basically massages the uterus. It's awkward...and I usually cramp like hell hours later.
Horray! We're at the end. From here, it's all writing prescriptions, telling you to use condoms to protect from disease (something I am very passionate about), and 'nice to meet you' 'thank you very much'. As an added bonus, I didn't have to pay a co-pay.
There you have it...a routine gynecological exam.
I went in with my pre-conceived notions of male gynecologists, and was proven so very wrong. This was one instance, I was very happy to admit to being wrong. If not for the music, it would have been one of my less awkward naked experiences.
Note the stirrups...and the big ass paper towels