Dear Girl Doctor

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*Warning* The following post uses the words “cervix”, “naked”, and “origami.” Proceed at your own risk.

Considering that I already told you all about my disastrous pregnant home bikini waxing experience, my first parental sex talk, and the horrors of bathing suit shopping, it might surprise you to know that there are still a few things that I don’t feel are entirely appropriate fodder for my blog. Things like acerbic political mudslinging, breathless reports on the latest misadventures of Britney Spears, or detailed accounts of my annual woman’s health checkups, for instance.

However.

I’m going to strain the (self-imposed) confines of good taste for a moment, and open the blog door on my Monday appointment at the women’s clinic. Leaving out the most uncomfortable details, I do have a few tiny requests to make of my OB/GYN, and here they are:

1. Although I appreciate your desire to save a few pennies in these times of financial uncertainty, I do think you could splurge a bit more on the paper products you provide to protect the modest sensibilities of your patients. The paper tunic you instructed me to don (“opening in the back, dear”), while wide enough to cover two of me, was so thin I could count the freckles on my belly. Someone with origami skills might be able to fold it into a passable two-ply garment, which is something I will certainly look into before my next visit.

2. I don’t mind waiting in the waiting room, where I can quietly enjoy magazine articles until my name is called. I don’t mind waiting for the nurse to come take my blood pressure and check my pulse and write my weight and height down on her little chart. I don’t even mind waiting in that sterile, sunless, white examination room for a doctor to be available. Unless I’m naked. (And, as I addressed at length in point #1, that flimsy paper towel draped across my lap doesn’t count.) One naked minute is approximately equivalent to ten fully-clothed minutes. I waited for nearly two and a half hours in naked-time. That’s too long.

3. Two words: speculum warmer. They make them. Really!

4. Small talk before the examination may be useful for making your patients feel more at ease, it’s true. But when it’s time to get down to business, please just do your stuff and get out of there. Having to answer questions about where I went to college while you’re swabbing my cervix with a Q-tip feels like participating in some nightmarish reality quiz show.

5. Yes, I did scoot down. No, I can’t scoot down any more, or I’m going to fall off the table.

6. I know it’s kind of frivolous, but how about a picture or something on the ceiling? Considering the usual position of your patients, it makes a lot more sense than decorating the walls. I spent a lot of time looking up there, what with all those naked minutes. Oooh! You know what would be even better? Flat screen TV!

That is all. Feel free to implement any or all of these suggestions, dear doctor. You don’t even have to give me credit. A pre-warmed speculum will be thanks enough.

p.s. Yes, I know #5 is not really a suggestion so much as a whine. I just needed to get that off my chest.

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18 responses »

  1. I’m going today. Because of all my surgeries and stuff, the naked stuff doesn’t bug me, but the ice-cold speculum and lack of reading material on the ceiling are big peeves.

    I’ll be suggesting them today while we discuss my itch.

  2. 7. I do NOT want to hear about how much you love your job while you’re elbow-deep in my business. Ewww.(Seriously, this has happened)

    8. Please do not attempt to establish common acquaintances. I do not want to hear that you go to church with one of my coworkers. I do not want to be thinking about my coworkers during naked time. Ewww.

  3. If you have ever had the pleasure of taking along a baby to one of these visits, number 2 is especially applicable. My last visit I spent way way too long naked, handing the baby in the stroller one toy at a time, then one cracker at a time, until I was all out. All the toys were all over the floor, and there was no way I was getting off the table in that gown!

  4. 9. Could you dim the lights a bit, please? If you are already going to turn on that big spotlight, do we need the huge fluorescent bulbs showing every glaring dimple?

  5. First, I’m with you on the naked minutes! The kicker is that my doctor is so friendly with his patients, that by the time he actually enters the exam room (which does have windows and sort of bugs me considering my current status (you know, being naked!)) I have usually be sitting there for a good hour – a real hour, which would equate to what…600 naked minutes?!?!? Then the small talk ensues – he asks me about my dad, my sisters, etc. I guess that would be the penalty for seeing the same doctor that delivered your now 21 year old sister, huh? BUT, I have to say that MY doctor does have posters on his ceiling. The problem is that they change them out every so often, and sometimes they are funny. So, there’s nothing like laying back, scooting down, getting all situated after psyching yourself out for the cold speculum, then laughing 🙂

    It’s always an adventure to go get your annual… That’s when I wish I were a man…the one & only time that I wish that, but it DOES cross my mind!

  6. I just experienced my yearly exam. Good news: my woman doctor does have a warmer. I scooted until I could scoot no more. She does have a cheezy poster on the ceiling. I want something else. Yes, I agree… those naked minutes are in a time warp that stands alone. lol to the whole post.

  7. I totally agree on the speculum warmer thing. My OB/GYN in Texas actually DID that and I was unpleasantly suprised to find that it is not the norm. I almost want to fly back to Abilene once a year, just so I can go back to her. At my next appointment I’m going to refuse to scoot down until the speculum is at least run under warm water!

  8. Those are big reasons I haven’t gone back for naked time after my Ava’s birth last Oct. Modesty flies out the window when with child but I expect it will have fully returned by my next OBGYN appt.

    Yesterday, we learned that no man should be told what is really going to happen when he gets a physical prior to the appointment.

  9. “Small talk before the examination may be useful for making your patients feel more at ease, it’s true. But when it’s time to get down to business, please just do your stuff and get out of there. Having to answer questions about where I went to college while you’re swabbing my cervix with a Q-tip feels like participating in some nightmarish reality quiz show.”

    Okay. Seriously? This is the funniest thing I’ve read in ages. And it’s so. SO true.

  10. I had my annual ‘squeeze the melons’ and feel for lumps exam just yesterday. I dread most getting on the scale than the exam itself. But they did offer a classy freshly ironed, genuine cloth gown down to the knees and a paper blanket. The speculum must have been warmed as I didn’t feel it. I even thanked them so much for the pretty gown.

  11. No joke, there is a Garfield poster on my gyno’s ceiling that says “How’s it going down there?” freaks me out. never clenched so hard! it sucks when you have a funny one though, bad things can happen.

  12. i hate going to the doctors because of everything you just said… my doctor has NOTHING on the wall and there are NO windows… i hate it AND… i have to go to day=( WISH ME LUCK!

    Good luck!

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