Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I Stand With Planned Parenthood Because They Stood by Me

I've talked about my support of Planned Parenthood before because they've helped me when I needed them. I don't think I've ever shared the story that was the genesis for my appreciation for them, but I thought I'd do so now. Whatever your political inclinations, I am speaking from my own experience and need and I know that I was and am one of millions of women who have needed medical services and Planned Parenthood was there.

Here's the story: It was about 6 months after I moved to Nashville and a year after my mother passed away. I needed to a gynecological screening and all that entailed and didn't have a local recommendation or  a doctor that could fit me into the schedule in a timely manner. I passed the Planned Parenthood office nearly every day on my way to work (nonprofits tend to be grouped together in every city--it's a combination of cheap real estate and being near those you serve), so I made an appointment.

The doctor and nurse practitioner who saw me were great. They were sensitive. They took their time. They listened to me and even consoled me a little when giving my family history I cried a little recounting mom's recent death from breast cancer. I had my exam. They said they'd follow up and I left all taken care and feeling thankful for the service.

Every woman I know has had an irregular Pap smear at one time or another. It happens and most of the time it's not a big deal. However, to have an irregular Pap smear that could be a sign of cancer when you just lost your mom to cancer and you're in a big(ger) city alone is scary as shit. The nurse there must have remembered me and realized this because she called me back into the office to talk through it, took another Pap, didn't let me get hysterical and rushed the results. All because, she said "I knew you probably didn't have anything worry about and I didn't think your mom would want you to worry either."

I don't remember her name. I don't remember exactly what she looked like. I remember she smelled like "Beautiful" from Estee Lauder (which my mom used to wear) and that she was kind to me.

I have had other experiences at Planned Parenthood since that have been just as effective (but not as emotional, thankfully). And I find it utterly ridiculous that when nearly 75 percent of women do not have a primary care physician but do make it a point to see a gynecologist, that we would take away one of the most effective services for them. Or that we'd let men talk down to other women who are qualified to be speaking about women's healthcare simply because those men were elected.

I may not always agree with everything Planned Parenthood does (there has yet to be an organization that I've completely agreed with), but I support them.And I just wanted to share why.


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