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Gynecological Adventures {Part 2}

Oh my gosh!  I thought I could pull this off – describing what I thought was a comical visit with my GYN, but I’m starting to get a really bad case of the nerves.  I mean, we ladies do this every year but NO ONE is talking about it.  Well, I did say that I’d take one for the team, so for better or worse . . . here’s Part 2.  

Psst: If you’ve missed Part 1 you’ll definitely want to get caught-up.  It’s where I discuss front desk (in)efficiency, paper gowns which are purposely sealed shut, and how Murphy’s Law is in full effect when it’s time to potty into a urine cup no bigger than a thimble . . . Yeah, it’s chock-full of gynecological bliss!  So click here to catch-up.

WARNING: If you have an aversion to discussing stretch marks, girdles, or if the term “pelvic exam” makes you break out in hives . . . RUN NOW!!

∼  part 2 ∼

The Blessed Breast Exam

I sit on the exam table and Doc opens my gown.  She’s a medical professional who has delivered my last two babies, and still, I feel completely exposed . . . and embarrassed!

She examines my breasts to check for lumps.  This is a routine exam that could save my life – an exam that women in other countries don’t have the privilege of having – yet, as I sit there with my gown open – bearing it all – all I can think of is how I’m unable to conceal my roly-poly rolls of fat without my girdle.

Woman on exam table

OH MY GOSH!  

What is my problem?

This is a doctor who is  performing a test that can save my life . . . but is that foremost in my thoughts?

NO!

I self-consciously suck in my gut and then I release – knowing that she’s already observed that my stomach is the size of a small state – with rather rugged terrain, at that; so why even bother.  And then I self-consciously suck it back in!

I CAN’T STOP!

I keep telling myself that I have to put my best foot forward.  I mean, I even shaved my legs this morning in preparation for this exam.  (Unfortunately, I forgot to remove the half-worn nail polish from my toes.)  Can she even see what I’m doing?

The Pelvic Exam

table and toes“Lye down on your back,” I’m told.  “Move forward, and place your feet in the foot rest.”  Ah!  Here’s where the real fun begins!

According to what’s been written about gynecological exams, this is where I’m supposed to: “Let my knees and thighs spread wide open and relax, because the more relaxed my muscles are, the more comfortable my exam will be.”

Yeah, that’s the ticket!  Just lye flat on my back – completely bare – with my knees up and my legs spread.  Yeah . . . I can totally relax now because that’s so normal.  (So why and I hyperventilating?)

Side note:::As people, we’re usually our own worst critic and I’m no exception to that rule.  I’m lying there thinking that my stomach looks like I landed on an explosive.  I’m talking stretch marks to the umpth degree, people!  And my doctor gets to see all of this without the benefit of me wearing my girdle?  My girdle is my friend.  It covers a multitude of flaws.  It helps me “hold it all together” quite literally.  Why don’t they make girdles for women to wear during pelvic exams?  It’s a conspiracy I tell you!

Since I’m NOT relaxed what do you think my muscles are doing?  If you guessed GOING CRAZY you’re 100% right. They’re revolting and throwing a tea-party: No taxation without representation or GIRDLES!

Then I see IT.  IT knows who I am.  IT remembers me from last year when we parted on non-speaking terms.  IT is NOT my friend.  IT is my foe; and IT is coming for me . . . getting closer and closer.  It’s the . . . the . . . dreaded SPECULUM!  {Insert diabolical and scary mood music here . . . Really, do it – ’cause this guy is the worst.}

Did I tell you how much I love being a woman?

Doc uses the speculum to facilitate a pap smear.  I know this stuff is important, but remember – I’m lying here exposed without the benefit of my girdle OR my other best friend – my Brassiere.  Me and “Bra-Bra” are on a first name basis.  We are BFF’s and we do everything together.  Without her, gravity is cruel and unkind.  She is so supportive of me and I just love her.  This whole procedure really needs to be re-evaluated.

Think about it: only my husband gets to see me like this, and even then I’m deceptive about what he sees: I use carefully selected undergarments and lighting to trick him – and I really don’t think he’s caught on yet.  Even after 20 years of marriage he thinks I’m still as smooth as a baby’s bottom and as perky as a 17-year-old.

But seriously, why the speculum?  Can’t I just drink something like people do for a glucose tolerance test (preferably a thick and rich chocolate shake) and then take a blood or urine test and get the same results?  Because that’s more my comfort level…..

This is an abrupt and weird ending but I’m cutting it off right here (so sorry, no part 3).  I figured I’d do you a favor and spare you the blessed details about the bimanual and rectal exams.  Some experiences are just too sacred and precious to share.  (Warning: Do NOT Google either one of those exams or you’ll end up fasting today from loss of appetite!  Consider yourself warned.)

Oh, Lord, I’m so glad that I’m a woman.  

Twirling, high heels and pap smears really make my world go ’round!

Being a Woman 2.jpgWhy only once a year, Lord?  Why?

(And you thought I was forgetting to go on my birthday for no apparent reason.)

Sloppy kisses 

Tiffiney


If you’ve cheated and read Part 2 first – go to the back of the line and >>click here<< to read Part 1.

Comments

  1. The joke about mammograms above reminds me to share this important information: Did you know that you should schedule your mammogram during or soon after your period?
    https://articles.earthlingshandbook.org/2013/07/31/mammograms-and-monthly-cycles/

    I laughed at your story about the specimen cup in Part 1, but I don’t really relate to this part because I don’t mind gynecology nearly so much as some other exams. The dentist is the worst for me! My dentist and hygienist are very nice, but there’s something about having my gums scraped with a hook that is just unbearable.

  2. Oh my! I laughed and cringed reading this! Oh the dreaded pap smear! I’m past due for own check up, so thanks for the reminder. I think. Thanks for putting a light hearted spin on the thing all women dread so much! I so admire your bravery!

    • Hi Marian: thanks for cheering me on in being brave enough to write this. So glad you enjoyed it. Now hurry up and schedule your next visit. Oh, the joy! You’ll be so glad you did. :o)

  3. Thanks for sharing, you know laughter is good medicine. I am a family practice physician and have done probably thousands of pelvic and other exams. I will admit that I am tempted to laugh when ladies apologize for not shaving their legs- because you know what, I DO NOT CARE. I am there to help them and that is my only concern; appearance only matters as it pertains to their health. So relax ladies we’re not judging you, we’ve been there ourselves. We’re in this together. #cozyreadingspot

    • Oh my gosh…there’s a doctor in the house! So good of you to stop by. Thanks for giving us insight on what you’re thinking when we akwardly apologize for not having groomed ourselves. I think I’ll just stop prepping all together now!

  4. Laugh out loud, funny! And we’ve all been there. That’s the best humor . . . something we can completely relate to. If we didn’t laugh we just might cry! Great stuff here!!!

    • Hey Deb, Yes, I’d much rather laugh than cry. A cheerful heart is good medicine! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Hey Kate: glad this post gave you a little laughter. I love linking up with you guys. See ya next week!

  5. too funny! but at least an annual exam is in Private… unlike giving birth in a hospital… hey, just let everyone in.. the gang’s all here! of course you are in too much pain (natural childbirth here) to care at that point! haha… oh and, have to share this, I have a friend who said that she advises younger women to practice for their first mammogram by slamming their boobs in the freezer door! hilarious! thanks for a good laugh this morning! blessings to you!

    • Hey Karen: I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. And your friend’s suggestion on how to prep for a mammogram actually gave me a laugh (so thanks!) and is not such a bad idea because, good grief – that’s a lot of pain! :o) Thanks for stopping by.

  6. You are hilarious, Tiffiney! I don’t think I’ve seen or read another blog post on this subject! 😉 So you take the cake, sister! But it truly is an experience that we all know too well. Thanks for being the humor on this “hump day!”

    • Hey Beth, I am your humble servant. Anything that I can do to make you happy (and to help you get over that mid-week hump) is my service (and honor) in life. Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

  7. Oi, the all-elusive pap smear. Way to go, you, for having the guts to sit down and write about it.
    It really is funny, something that literally every woman goes through at some point, and yet we’re all silent about it. Maybe I should start writing about the things we do not speak of as well :p

  8. I’ve only been to an ob/gyn once for an annual exam. Other than that I have seen my midwives for exams. Much better.

  9. So thankful that you had part two here for me to read!! I would have died waiting to read it. That’s such a good idea to go around your birthday. I need to do that because the last time I went, I thought it had been a year but they told me it had been four!!

    • Hey Judith: I wish I could take credit for the birthday idea. And as fantastic as it is – I still don’t make it there until, well, like you said…sometimes its years later. :o)

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