Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Waiting in the Gunslinger's Office

This is actually a much more
substantial gown than I was
given.
Yesterday afternoon was the annual event known as my Lady Day. Let me rephrase that properly my Lady Parts Day. The annual day where myself (and women everywhere) get to dress in paper clothes, have nightmares from the posters we are forced to look at, and genuinely curse our womanhood. So, if you're a dude and actually still surfed in despite the picture, now might be a good time to move on out and wait until I have another sports post.

Still here? Don't say I didn't warn you. I was in sort of a pickle (that's not a reference to any body part or smell, just a phrase). I had gone to Planned Parenthood last year because I was working but did not have my insurance yet when I needed my annual exam. Thinking that a year was surely PLENTY of time for me to find an actual doctor, I left and went about my business. Until I realized that I was due for another annual visit and had not actually found the aforementioned doctor. Which is why I again found myself in the waiting room of Planned Parenthood typing "Gyno" into my iPhone only to have autocorrect change it to "Gunslinger." Which I kind of prefer calling it now. Except not Planned Parenthood because I imagine saying "Gunslinger" near Planned Parenthood is akin to saying "bomb" on an airplane.

I can imagine the intense self-reflection that goes on in the Planned Parenthood waiting rooms, as I could see it on the faces of others. I, on the other hand, was reflecting in thankfulness that my mother had been overly open about sex as teen. So much so that I actually put off doing the deed way past the national average. But the upside is that I can sit in a Planned Parenthood (or rather ANY gynecologists' office--as I will have a "real" doctor next year) and reasonably predict how my visit will go. And in case I didn't know for sure, the receptionist told me when I checked in that the wait time was about 2 hours from start to finish. Which is another reason that I'll have a real doctor next year. Because those people don't play.

I waited, filled out paperwork, and then was lead to the back to answer those lovely questions. Except now at my age they don't make me blush and when I answer them saying that I have a husband, it seems to relax the nurses a little more. I only wish I had seen my old Nashville doc this year. He had been with me so long and while I kept assuring him that I was loyal to my one man, he was always a little suspect of my truthfulness. Of course, he ran a menopause clinic so I was his only patient smack in the middle of child-bearing years. I halfway think he asked me the litany of questions just to flex his old gyno reflexes. I actually miss him. He was really good.

Yes. That's Kathy Griffin getting a
pap smear in public. 
But I digress. I answered the questions and realized that I couldn't really scoff at the pregnancy and "family planning" questions because I wasn't too young any more. Not that I was technically too young in my twenties, but the nurses used to breeze through those questions if you gave a laugh as an answer to "Are you planning to get pregnant in the next year?". Now when I laugh, they look at me funny and ask again. I straighten my face and say yes before realizing that I'm getting old. Pretty soon those questions will give way to new ones that even question whether I can have kids. Such a turn of events so quickly.

After the third degree, that assistant left and I was forced to strip down to a paper vest and an over-sized lap napkin. . .in 60 degree office climate. . . for 45 minutes. Waiting in a room in my clothes is one thing. Waiting ensconced in paper is entirely different. To pass the time I read about someone who made friends "everywhere". I do not think she made them in a Planned Parenthood Clinic, so she might need to redefine "everywhere." I am bold, but not that bold either. Instead I passed the time by reading and then studying the poster of the male's sex organs. I am finally educated enough to know where the prostate is. Yippee.

My actual exam took all of 5 minutes. Literally. And then I argued with the nurse who did the exam about giving me a prescription for something she insisted vehemently that she had to give me on-site. I finally gave up and said "Fine. Whatever. Just give it so I can get out of this napkin." Three minutes later (and me fully clothed) another nurse came in to say that the previous nurse was indeed wrong and I could have the prescription I asked for. I'm guessing Nurse A was too embarrassed to come tell me but after seeing my who-ha up close and personal, could she really be the one who was embarrassed?

All in all, not a bad gunslinger visit. And it came in at just 3 minutes under two hours, so there's that.

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