I went to the gynecologist recently for my yearly checkup. I’m usually a procrastinator in general, but making this appointment is rarely high on my list of priorities. I know that going to the gynecologist is for preventative maintenance, just like making sure you change the oil in your car every 3,000 miles but don’t most people try to make it to 5,000 miles before changing the oil?
Everyone knows it needs to be done, but nobody I know ever wakes up and goes “Yayyyyy! It’s gynecologist appointment day!”
I get to the doctor’s office and sign in, then head over to the waiting room that is currently hosting several pregnant women and now me. I feel like the new kid in school that everyone stares at because she’s different.
After 40 minutes or so (who’s counting?) the nurse calls me back.
We go through the typical steps. She checks my blood pressure. Normal. Pulse? Normal. Then I get on the scales. I drop my purse, jacket, and take off my shoes. I even remove my Pandora bracelet in fear that it will add another few ounces. I let out all the air in my lungs and lightly step on the scales, like it will take a pound or two off the final result.
“Oh, you’ve gained a few pounds since you were here last year.”
Seriously? Does she not realize that I don’t know my pants are tighter this year than last? Do I need the nurse at my gynecologist’s office bringing that to my attention? This appointment is getting off to a bad start.
I’m already in a bad mood lady just because I have to be here. Don’t push it.
I am led into a little room with all kinds of posters on the walls with pictures of vaginas, birth control, babies in the womb, etc. Wow. This is not helping.
The nurse lays out a gown and sheet and I’m told I’m supposed to strip down to my birthday suit and put on the gown.
After a while, my doctor and his nurse come into the room. He’s new to the practice so I have never met him before. He looks like he just graduated from middle school. And he’s so cheerful that it makes me want to slap him. I’m thinking, “Please don’t be this happy while you are looking up my vajayjay because it will make this experience even more uncomfortable.”
He asks me tons of questions.
How many children have I had? Am I married? What do I do for a living?
Sounds like I’m being picked up at a bar. I squeeze my eyes shut. Please stop the small talk and get this show on the road.
He checks my tiny boobies out to make sure there aren’t any lumps in there. My chest is flatter than the table I’m lying on, and all the while he asks me if I have dogs, isn’t the weather nice today, and whether or not I watch football.
I lay back and he does the “other” part of the exam. My knees are like magnets. They instinctively keep closing back together. It is clear that I am not enjoying this experience.
Then he does an ultrasound to see what my baby makers look like. They are 44 years old so they are probably starting to look like shriveled up raisins, but he says that everything looks good.
“Just please don’t see a heartbeat in there”, I say.
“Oh, nothing to worry about. You’re getting up there in age so unless you are trying to get pregnant, you probably won’t.”
The humiliating part of the exam is over. I can only compare a gynecologist exam to prostate exam. In theory of course, since I don’t have a prostate. You just had someone poking around in your no-no spots and he hasn’t even bought you dinner.
I sit up on the exam table and he asks me more questions.
“How old are you?’
“Just turned 44.”
“Ahh. Are you experiencing hot flashes? Weight gain? Mood swings?”
“Yes. Oh my God, am I dying? What do I have?”
“Oh it’s nothing. You’re probably just experiencing early menopause.”
Early menopause? Seriously? I’m 44! Not 104! Didn’t my grandmother just go through menopause? She’s 93. I’m too young to be going through menopause. Here I was worried he was going to tell me I’m pregnant, and instead he tells me my girly parts are antiquated.
I sit there, stunned, as he goes over other symptoms. These are just some of the fun features of menopause: Hair loss, loss of libido, brittle nails, anxiety, paranoia.
“Oh great”, I think. I’m going to turn into a bitchy, bald, edgy, sweaty, freaked out sex-hater. Sounds like my husband is just going to LOVE the new me.
He asks if I have any more questions. I mumble “no” as I’m still trying to process the fact that he not only insinuated that I’m getting old, but he also just had his hand up my hoo-ha. I sort of feel used.
I could use some chocolate.
And as I’m leaving, Doogie Howser hands me a slip of paper, smiles at me and tells me to have a nice day.
I leave the office and go sit in my car. I look down at the piece of paper.
That little bastard. It’s a prescription for my annual mammogram.