The Female Annual Exam

Yeah, I recently went in for my annual female checkup. The mammogram and Pap test, plus the somewhat vague interest in my overall health my doctor evinces. The annual was okay – after so long, I am resigned to it, and the yukko parts are over quickly. My main complaint is how long you have to wait with that skimpy gown over your body with a paper drape sort of unfolded over your knees. And my doctor has nothing interesting in the examining room to look at. So I sit on the edge of the examining table with a breeze chilling my nether parts, and learn more about the structure of the inner ear than I care to know, since that is the only colorful poster in the room. At least my old doctor had posters plastered on her ceiling, so you could lie there and look at George Clooney or a peaceful mountain stream while making chitchat over your private parts. It wasn’t the same thing as a glass of wine or a romantic dinner, but it kinda made the whole thing less intimidating.

Anyway, it is always quick and business like when the doctor finally arrives, and other than the fact that my IUD seems to be MIA, everything looks good. Since she does not have the people skills of my old doctor, she runs though a list of questions in military fashion, orders up an EKG (or whatever that test is, when the nurse attaches electrodes to your body), and a blood test, and vanishes until the next time I have a sinus infection. The nurse is way more interesting because she obviously spends all her off hours in a tanning bed, and wears the brightest purple eye shadow I have ever seen. She makes jokes while she sticks those electrodes to my flesh.

Then it is all over for another year, and I am off to the mammogram. This time they have a new tech, who shall be known as the Torquemada of the Tit Twister. I had no idea you could squash my breasts that flat without me passing out. I wonder if they use this technique on female prisoners at Gitmo. Boob boarding. God knows, I was ready to say anything to make her stop. Mean while, they forgot to tell me I needed to drink a 50 gallon drum of water so they could ultrasound my womb, in an effort to track down the missing IUD. So they make me drink water for an hour, in a little cubicle, in my gown. The lady in the next cubicle brought her toddler, who is bored and fussy (Yeah, kid, believe me, I know the feeling), and entertains himself by crawling under the curtain to my cubicle.

By the time they decide I have drunk enough water, and I decide to memorize the fastest routes to all the bathrooms in the building, the ultrasound chick fetches me, and spends an inordinate, and uncomfortable amount of time pressing her little camera thingie right over my bladder. It appears my IUD is floating around my womb, so I am reassured that the thing is still there.

The next day the doctor’s office calls and says maybe I should see an OBGYN and have the thing removed. Why? It’s not hurting anything. It’s one of those copper jobs, so maybe we can just let it deteriorate in my uterus. It would give things a nice patina, that verdigris, greenish color I like. And it could be melted along with me, when I am cremated, perhaps forming an odd shaped objet d’art. Maybe some day, a future archaeologist will find it, and do a monograph on ritual burial objects. Or someone can make a nice pendant out of it. Hah, my final laugh.

Yeah, when you are forced to endure the female annual exam, you have to take your laughs where you can get them, because, they are few and far between in the radiology department. If any health care providers want some strongly worded suggestions about making this whole ordeal less hideous, you know where to find me.

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