It was only when my Monday got away from me, and I was I sitting with a couple of girlfriends that evening, and I realized, 'I guess I can blog about anything.'
We weren't speaking ill of husbands, which is usually what happens when you get a few vaginas together. We weren't chatting about how children can suck both your energy and a few of your brain cells, so effortlessly and successfully. We were however, speaking of dentists, one mouth doctor, and gynecologists, the other mouth doctor...... come on people, they both say "open wide."
We found ourselves sharing phobias, terror in the chair and a gynecologists visit that went so wrong, you could only laugh. As that's all you could really do, because the thirty minute visit was so unprofessional, irresponsible and a farce of an appointment; that had I known what I was truly in-store for, I would have B.Y.O.B. Brought my own BArTeNdEr! And maybe even my own BoUnCeR!
I hadn't shared the experience in two years. At the time, the only person I shared the experience with, was the young lady I knew, whose work was affiliated with a local hospital, who seemed to have a great head on her shoulders, and who referred me to this doctor. The very dreaded, gynecologist.
Unlike most women, I don't mind the 'downstairs' doctor. He or she has attended medical school, can prescribe drugs, can deliver a new baby into the world and can keep my 'downstairs' healthy and in working order. I have a wonderful 'downstairs' doctor in Florida, but recently moving to Georgia, was shopping for a new one. Took the advice of a friend, as noted above. A 'downstairs' doctor is not someone you do business with based on a billboard or an ad in the yellow pages. You go to reputable friends and have them suggest reputable doctors. Although, what I learned with this experience, I should have checked my reputable friend's references.
Allow me to share my thirty minute appointment with you. Though I am one to embellish and even exaggerate, there was no embellishment or exaggeration needed with this 'story.' Sad but true!
I had just seen my doctor in Florida for my annual visit. We discussed heavy bleeding, he suggested a procedure where the inside of the uterus is burned a little bit to prevent such heavy bleeding. Or maybe we discussed roasting marshmallows, this has been almost 3 years ago, so I really don't remember. So, my doctor had suggested finding a local doctor, learn that doctor's opinion and go from there.
My visit started off like any other. I signed in, they took my license and insurance card, I filled out a book worth of paperwork, signed on the dotted line and waited. It should be acknowledged, from the initial phone call to the office, to the day I was now in the office, I shared many times (not to waste the doctor's time) that I had just seen my Florida doctor and I was there for a consultation and a possible second opinion.
The waiting room was standard, clean and loaded with every issue of Parents magazine. I noticed through a vertical glass panel of the office a very young assistant. I didn't know what her role was; I knew that she was in scrubs, looked young enough to have not even started her first period, yet was holding a clipboard. I can remember laughing to myself, wondering, 'since when do you need a clipboard to clean a doctor's office?' Well, five minutes later, with the most comical of irony, the scrub-wearing custodian must have gotten promoted, because she was now in the waiting room, calling my name to come on back. I'm walking beside her, wanting so desperately to ask, "is it bring your daughter to work day?" But, I couldn't say anything. I could only stare. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail, she didn't look a day over fourteen and she seemed to be a little too happy. Annoyingly bubbly. We start with the blood pressure. She's asking me how my day was going, I was looking for hickeys on her neck. Blood pressure kind of high, no hickeys to be found. Now I notice she's chewing gum. Did she buy this with her allowance or her paycheck? She's taken my blood pressure and is about to record my weight, now I'm annoyed that she probably makes more than I do and got to work on her Huffy banana seat bike. There's no way she's old enough to drive. Then she asks me to get on the scale. My Hubba Bubba chewing, hickey-free, underage, money in the bank, cheerleader records my weight without laughing out loud, or batting an eye, and invites me to follow her back to a room. A room? What does this mean?
When you have your initial appointment with a gynecologist, there is always a consultation in their office. An office where you can view their medical degree, see family photos and maybe some artwork their child did in third grade. This is the only doctor's office where this takes place. There is no such consultation, or meet and greet, if you will, with any other doctor! As we were walking down the hall, I could tell there was not going to be such a meet and greet today. I could tell I was walking away from the welcoming zone. Several steps later, my Hubba Bubba princess opens the door, escorts me in and politely tells me the doctor will be in soon. She asks me to put the gown on, open in the front, and leaves. Just as I'm thinking, 'I'm here for a consultation,' I notice my room. My exam room. My suite. My suite was unlike any other. If I had an iphone back then, I would have taken several pictures for evidence. It's amazing what a woman who is expected to be naked in five minutes can notice in five minutes. The room was the size of an exam room, but with no exam room features. No pictures of newborns on the wall. No silk flower arrangements in sight. No small boxes of tissues to be seen. Most importantly, no screen or divider, no curtain, no separate room, no nothing for one to change. Believe me I looked. And when I looked, that's when I realized where I was. I was in a storage room, that just happened to have an exam table. There were many machines in the room, a filing cabinet and white walls with nothing but a diagram of a vagina you may have caught in Health Class. Not that all storage rooms have a diagram of a vagina in them, but I know a storage room when I see one. I was in a storage room. Any second a man who I have never met, will be in and is expecting me to be naked, wearing a worn hospital gown that never closes properly in front.... and I'm still dressed. And there's nowhere to change. And I'm pretty sure Ashton Kutcher is going to walk in any moment with a camera crew, letting me know I've been 'punk'd.' And, I would welcome him. I would welcome Ashton with a hug, because there is no other logical explanation as to why this is happening to me. But, I can't think about hugging Ashton now, I need to remove all clothing and get into the generic gown, like ten minutes ago. Hubba Bubba and Doc Baker (yes, that's a Little House on the Prairie reference) will be in any second. The only thing that would make this more uncomfortable is if Bubba and Baker walk in, mid-change. Or so I thought!
I've made my way through the clutter and am now on the exam table, very upset that I shaved. Not that the gynecologist caresses your legs anyway, but with today's events, it would have been nice that if he actually bumped into me, I would have cut him with my leg stubble. Damn it, I shouldn't have been so thoughtful!
He knocks (I'm shocked) and enters. Hubba Bubba in tow, clipboard and all. He shakes my hand, introduces himself and is seemingly polite. Draped in my open gown, I briefly reiterate that I was there for a consultation and had just had my 'annual' a month ago. We chat about the heavy bleeding, the recommendation and the fact I was seeking a local doctor. I did neglect to tell him I would still be seeking a local doctor after this visit.
Always the next sentence to hear, "Well, let's take a look." Hubba Bubba was off to my left, several feet over and my doctor for the day, Doc Baker was just about to start a breast exam... for my consultation.... for my heavy bleeding........ Where the hell are my BaRtEnDeR and BoUnCeR? Anyway, right boob pops out; more like falls out, and Hubba Bubba looks straight up to the ceiling, as if she just saw a shooting star. My hickey-free cheerleader couldn't even make eye contact with raw boob number one. She was uncomfortable and I'm sure was in some slight neck pain based on how fast she looked up when the boob fell out. Right boob isn't even the big boob, left boob, will undoubtedly put her in therapy! Thank God for my peripheral vision, but still waiting for Ashton Kutcher to arrive. Boobage good, now Doc Baker continues his exam 'downstairs.' Luckily, if Bubba stays where she is, the only thing she's going to view is side thigh cellulite. I wanted to tell her, "Stay Bubba, stay!" Doc Baker agrees with Florida doctor to procedure to prevent monthly hemorrhaging. While still stationed 'downstaris' he asked me something, and I made the mistake of looking up when answering. I now realize I have a height preference for 'downstairs' doctors. I looked up, but I didn't see him. I saw the top of his nose and his eyes. No mouth, no chin, no shoulders, no chest. He's too short to be a doctor, at least a 'downstairs' doctor. Was he sitting on a stool? I know when he walked in, I was the taller of us. I also know I was on an exam table. But, he was short. So short that all I did see was his head, and only part of it. Which took me back to birthing videos, when for the first few minutes of birth, all you see is a head. Here I am answering this doctor's question and all I see is half head. Next uncomfortable thought, 'so this is what I would look like giving birth to adult human head.'
He needed to stand up! Or buy some shoes with lifts, or heals! I need to close my legs, get dressed and get out! I am happy to report that when my Florida doctor asks a question, I can see his head, his shoulders and his chest and I have no notions of giving birth to an adult human head.
In sharing this very true story with the few people I have, the same question is always asked, "Why didn't you leave?" And to that I answer, "Are you f***ing kidding me!!!" I had to see what was going to happen next. Train wreck from the time I walked in, to the time I left. I wasn't in any danger. It was surreal and I wasn't about to cut my visit short. No way!!! I was not going to be rattled by Bubba and Baker!!! I paid the co-pay and left.
The office called a couple weeks after, asking if were interested in making an appointment for the procedure; I never laughed so hard in my life! Went on to explain that I would never return to their office and said several curse words, both old and new, in the process. After telling this story to the woman who referred me, she was stunned, horrified and embarrassed. She tells me she's always been in an exam room, with tissues and flowers and newborn photos on the wall. Well just rub it in, why don't you! When I asked about Hubba Bubba, my 'friend' later learned and shared with me, that Hubba Bubba was Doc Baker's daughter, she was seventeen and she was going to nursing school. The woman who called me back regarding a future appointment was his wife, she works in the office as well.
So, i guess it's, bring your family to work day... Everyday!
Even living in Georgia, I still visit Florida to see family, friends, and my outstanding, and tall; Bubba-free, 'downstairs' doctor!!!
Even if my all girl parts fall on the floor tomorrow, I would pick them up, pack them up and we'd be on our way to Florida! Maybe stopping for a few travel necessities, Slim Jims, bottled water, a Whatchamacallit and a pack of Hubba Bubba!