Friday, April 23, 2010

Your Gyno and You

If I haven't scared away all the male readers of this blog with my posts about babies and vibrators, this post should do the trick nicely. I had a gynecological appointment today (pee ess, are you impressed that I can spell gynecological without spellcheck? hacha!). The first with a new doctor. See, I had the same gyno for the last forever years, we'll call him Dr. A, but my employer's insurance changed and I can no longer go to said doctor. Which is traumatic.

See, a woman's relationship with her gyno is complicated. Important. It's important to see the same gyno over the years because your body changes and that history is crucial. So for that, I miss my doc. But, even so, Dr. A could be a little Judgey McJudgerson when it came to my love life. Always nicer to me when I was in a serious relationship, always pestering me about my marriage and baby factory plans. Which I found stressful. Dating is hard enough without the judgement of my damn gyno, mmmk?

A word about male vs. female gynos: I have never had a female gyno. Mostly because I've never had the opportunity. Usually these women are in demand and hard to get an appointment with. And I'd rather get a good appointment with a man than wait 3 months to see a woman thankyouverymuch. Plus, a friend of mine had a female gyno that wasn't understanding or gentle at all. So there's no guarantee that female is better when it comes to your lady bits.

How to the ever, going to a new gyno today was still scary. Sca-a-a-a-ry. And the whole experience today made me miss Dr. A. Dr. A who knew me. Who asked about my job and my travels. Who was kind and his walls had Monets and his light fixtures had paintings of clouds. Dr. A whose nurses had the kind of warm smiles you see in airline commercials. Dr. A who had a changing room in the exam room so you could undress in comfort and privacy. I was very much missing Dr. A.

The experience isn't pleasant anyway. You recount every period and pain for a nurse, who weighs you shoes on (that pound is crucial!), and then sits you down in a cold room full of pictures of adorable babies that (depending on the day) either make you overwhelmed, depressed, annoyed, delighted (unlikely), or suicidal. The room also has posters of the stages of gestation or the female anatomy in full color. The room screams: BABIES AND PREGNANCY! If you're a single girl with ovaries that are not in use, you feel like a Swede on a train in Japan. Then she hands you a piece of fabric, makes you undress completely, and sits you on a table covered in  the kind of crappy, rough toilet paper they stock in rest stops on the way to Vegas.

Then the doctor comes in. He asks you the same questions about your period and your pain and any abnormalities (none for me, thanks). He checks your breasts for lumps, which is uncomfortable physically and emotionally. Then he sticks your feet in stirrups. STIRRUPS! And scoots your ass to the edge of the table. Your naked hooha might as well be sitting on the edge of the Grand Fucking Canyon and you can sure feel that desert breeze. Then the exam starts. And it's not like you can see what he's doing down there. He's sticking things up your vajayjay that feel like cooking utensils at best and torture devices on Fringe at worst and he's scraping in places that shouldn't be scraped. It's uncomfortable and awkward and often painful.

And you want the nurse and/or the doc to be making small talk through this. At least I do. It distracts me from the mayhem that's going on in my poonanie area. The nurse today was nice. She had kind eyes. It helped.

And once the doctor has finished poking and prodding, he takes off his gloves and announces that my uterus is tipped. Casually. Like I hear that news every day. Did you know that you have blue eyes? And your uterus is tipped? Good god, man! I tell him that I didn't know this (did Dr. A miss it or is this a recent development?). And he tells me that it's common and no big deal. Except, I did a bit of research today and it could be a big deal. It could cause fertility issues. Which makes me totally upset on a near hysterical level.

Seriously. Have you heard about the Baby Lust? It's avery real affliction that many women my age are stricken with. We cannot help it. And there is only one known cure. So this news is, like, ARG! So fucking frustrating!

On the up side, after much research, I decided to get the HPV vaccine. I'm not in the recommended age range for the vaccine, but I'm close. And I'm not on the vaccine bandwagon, but this is a vaccine that helps prevent cervical cancer. CANCER! A vaccine for cancer is a revolutionary thing. And while it doesn't prevent all strains of HPV, it prevents the most common known to cause cervical cancer. I've really been thinking about this a while and while all my paps have always been normal, you just never know. You don't. And while I don't plan on having dirty unprotected sex with a stranger like ever, it's important to remember that not all sex is consensual and rapists are unlikely to use protection. I'd rather take one more possible disease off the table should something like that occur.

One more lesson for the ladies: being realistic isn't necessarily being pessimistic It's perilous out there for the girlies. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

So I got the first shot of three today of the vaccine (and my arm is a little sore, yo), which could pose a problem when I move, but I'll worry about that then. I'm sure I can get my last shot somewhere else.

So to recap: many ways to say vagina, unbelievably uncomfortable morning, tipped uterus, HPV vaccine. What a day.

6 comments mean you love me:

TheTraveler said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Entertaining as always! Let me be the first to say that switching from a male gyno to a female gyno, was the best choice I ever made in my late 20's and now, in my 40's and dealing with the rollarcoster moil of perimenopause, I am thanking god that I have a female gyno. EVERY woman I have talked to who is going through what I am, who has a male gyno, has been given some very unaware, un empathethic advice/treatment...one (older) male gyno told my neighbor that it was all in her head! If you're in the market for a new gyno, do yourself a favor and get a good female gyno who understands what it means to bleed for a week and not die.

andygirl said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

thanks, Zea! believe me, I tried. the one female gyno they had on staff didn't have an appt until July!

andygirl said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

and I kind of wish this guy had been a little MORE alarmed than so blase. like, buddy, this is a big deal to ME.

Steph said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I have a little secret to getting around waiting all freakin' year for a female gyno appointment. I actually technically go to a male gyno but he has a female nurse practitioner, who FYI is a-freakin-mazing. So I just request to see her for my appointments. I only have to see the male if there are issues or drama or anything.

Sarah P said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

My uterus is tipped, too. We can be uterus twins.

Except my uterus is probably all big and sloppy because I had twins.

And it has a scar probably because I had a C-section.

So my uterus is like the deformed, fat twins. Yours can be the perky, attractive one.

andygirl said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Uterus twins! You have yourself a deal, but only if mine can wear animal print and get something pierced.

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