Too Much Information Alert.
If vaginas scare you, stop reading now.
I mean it, I’m going to talk about vaginas, so stop reading.
Today I took a big leap and scheduled an appointment with a new doctor. My main reason is to get a prescription for a rescue inhaler, but I also need to get my annual exam. Unfortunately, my asthma is acting up. Double unfortunate is that this has scared me away from the gym or any aerobic exercise, so I’m gaining weight little by little.
I took a friend’s referal and called her doctor. But her doctor is good and doesn’t have time for a lengthy appointment for two month. My options were 1) take an appointment on Monday for the asthma, come back in 2-3 months for the pelvic exam or 2) make an appointment on Friday with a male intern for both the asthma and the pelvic exam. I took a deep breath (as deep as I could with my asthma acting up) and took the appointment for Friday.
Why? Why not meet with the real doctor? Because I’ve been promising doctors for seven years I’d call back to schedule my pelvic exam. Blue Cross even sent me cards with photographs of lillies on it, to try and get me to take advantage of my insurance benefits. “Come on,” it said, “go get a doc to look at your vagina. We’ll pay!”
Why didn’t I ever schedule the appointments? Why would a woman in a post-Vagina Monologues, post-CUNT, post-I worked at a Rape Crisis Center in the same building as PLANNED PARENTHOOD for goodness sake, avoid the annual exam like the plague?
Plain and simple. Fear.
I’ve had one pelvic exam. It was my junior year and I was trying to get on The Pill, to avoid being put on Prozac. In order to get the pill, you have to have a pelvic exam. At that point, nobody had seen me naked in the bedroom and certainly no doctor had ever had me up in stirrups. And it wasn’t a doctor, it was Millikin’s nurse practitioner.
Before we get into the details, here is something that was planted in my head by an upperclassman in high school physics. We sat next to each other, I was a sophomore and she was a wordly senior. She was telling me worldly things like, “Girl, tell the doctor you are a virgin. When you are a virgin, they use these special small tools and it doesn’t hurt. But if you tell ’em you’ve had sex… Hoo Wee! They crank you open with some monster tools… Just tell ’em your a virgin.”
That scared me and didn’t prep me well for my visit. I was a nervous wreck and finally got the nerve to put on the thin shirt and climb onto the table. I couldn’t relax enough for a proper pap smear, in the end she said screw it, you’re young, you’re healthy.
Something about me you should know, if I’m nervous, I get tense, and if I’m tense, I get ticklish. So I’m nervous and ticklish and unable to relax and she says, “If you’re like this, I don’t know how you’ll ever have sex.”
Thanks Nurse, that didn’t have any effect on me in the bedroom AT ALL.
Needless to say, I’ve been putting off another mortifying experience ever since. But since I’ve recently discovered a family history of cervical cancer, I decided I better get some cells checked. I’ll just pray they use the virgin tools on me, cause I’m still a little scared.