Fingered and Smeared

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Why is a throat culture a culture and a Pap smear a smear?

IMG_7857Forgive me, Doctor, for I have sinned. It’s been six years since my last physical. It’s not that I didn’t want to go, it’s just that I am doctor’s daughter, and I learned at a young age that if my head was still attached to my neck by at least one singular strand of tissue, I was absolutely fine and in no need of medical care. Don’t judge. I’m trying.

I called my internist after my six-year hiatus to schedule an appointment. I like her because she does the whole shebang, physical, Pap, boob job, the whole enchilada. Except, come to find out, that six years later, she doesn’t.

Because I see a doctor who is part of an enormous medical group of internists and specialists who work on a huge campus, I was able to choose another doctor who did it all and who happened to be available when I was. Did I ask for recommendations or search for reviews? No. I just wanted someone, anyone, who could look under the hood and send me on my way.

Dr. K greeted me with pleasantly forced smile on her pinched face and a light handshake. She was probably five to ten years my junior and a few inches taller. Under her doctor’s coat, she wore a form-fitting red dress cut above her knees that accentuated her exceptionally ample and gravitationally defiant rack. Imagine Benny Hill’s head on Joan Harris’s body.

Benny Hill

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Now, while I live in a very diverse town, the medical group on this enormous campus is elsewhere and pulls from many other less diverse towns. So, I was sadly not at all surprised when I handed my new doctor my new patient form and we had the following exchange as she entered my details in the computer:

Doctor K: Married?

Me: Yes.

Doctor K: Two children?

Me: Yes, two.

Doctor K:  Did you intentionally check homosexual on the form?

Me: (Here we go.) Yes.

Doctor K:  And you’re married?

Me: Yes.

Doctor K: So, then you’re married…to a woman?

What I wanted to say: And you graduated from medical school?!?

Me: That would be correct.

Doctor K: Ok. I’m just making sure.

What she wanted to say: Don’t blame me for making a completely normal assumption that you were straight, and also…ew.

What I wanted to say: And you “make sure” with all your new patients that they intentionally selected “heterosexual” and “married?”

Me: It’s fine.

But it wasn’t fine, because I spent the rest of the exam wondering if she thought I made the appointment just to get some action.

Doctor K: Any problems with your breasts?

What I wanted to say: Only that I can never find a good bra. That is clearly not an issue for you, and I’d love for you tell me where you get yours.

Me: No problems.

Doctor K: Now, people like you have the option to do an STD screening. Do you want it?

What I wanted to say: What the fuck do you mean, “people like you?!?” Parents? Jews? Women with such pretty vaginas?

Me: Uh, I’ll pass.

Doctor K: Move down a little further on the table and place your feet in the stirrups. And two fingers…

What I wanted to say: Are you sure there are two up there? Not much girth to those girls, is there?

What I did say was nothing and walked out vowing to find myself a new doctor.

IMG_7858A lovely art installation caught my eye on the way out of the complex. Seemed an appropriate representation of my visit.

 

 

 

 

 

25 comments

  1. Tracey   •  

    I think she meant “people like you” as in, people who are so naturally attractive.

    • Deborah   •     Author

      I’d like to believe that is exactly what she meant.

  2. Gina   •  

    I’m going to say that trumps my last gyno check up–the one where I had a sleeping baby in a stroller, a toddler reading a book and a five year old all up in my cootch asking questions as the pregnant doctor checked it out. I was giving him the lowdown on how babies grow, how he grew in his Birth Mother’s uterus, etc. and the Doctor laughed and said she just tells her kids that Jesus put the baby there.
    (I switched doctors.)

    • Deborah   •     Author

      Switching doctors? Good call. Oy vey.

  3. Susan   •  

    please, please, please – send this to her. And her supervisors. Maybe take out the stuff about her rack first, but for the love of God, she and they should know already.

    • Deborah   •     Author

      I should, shouldn’t I? I think I’ll leave the rack comment in, though. She should feel good about something, after all.

  4. Vikki   •  

    You look adorable in your little gown. Also – WTH? I wish you’d had Hot Gyno.

    • Deborah   •     Author

      I wish I had Hot Gyno, too. Ask her if she’s got Hot Gyno relatives in New Jersey.

  5. Karimoxa   •  

    I was eating cereal while reading this and spit milk all over my monitor when I read the line about not much girth. I’m okay now…just a little teary-eyed after coughing/laughing so hard. It seems like every time I visit my doctor, he has 3-5 student doctors in the room all learning from my anatomy. It’s like “Hands Across America” down there! Thanks for the laughs, love your blog!

    • Deborah   •     Author

      Clearly I shouldn’t be eating/drinking before reading your comments, either. “Hands Across America” HA!

      And thank you for reading and commenting and laughing and making blogging way more fun for me!

  6. Leslie Farber   •  

    I can’t believe she asked you questions like this. I know a good internist in Millburn who is “family.”
    BTW, that guy in the photo looks like Marcus Bachman (Michelle’s husband).
    Leslie

    • Deborah   •     Author

      I’ll take that name! I’ll send you an email. Anyone would be better than that. And Millburn is so much closer. Win – Win!!

      And I never thought of that before, but Benny Hill and Marcus Bachman could be brothers. Both perverted – but one more is definitely funnier than the other.

  7. Esther   •  

    “People like you” is a quote that deserves a good kick in the shins.

    I want some punishment! – argus filch

    • Deborah   •     Author

      Points for the Argus Filch quote! And yes, I wanted to kick her in the shins…but they were difficult to find underneath the shadow of her bosom.

    • Leslie Farber   •  

      As to smear vs. culture, the late-comedian George Carlin used to wonder why we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway.

      • Deborah   •     Author

        He was a genius, to be sure.

  8. Marguerite   •  

    And some wonder why it takes six years to go for a pap/shmear! So inappropriate. Btw, please share name of “family” doctor in Millburn?

    • Deborah   •     Author

      If I find a good person, I won’t wait another six years, and I promise to share if I do get the name.

  9. alexandra   •  

    I’m trying to understand how she thinks. I mean, “are you homosexual?” “but you are married?” “To a woman, correct?” What specific choice did she want you to mention?

    It was beyond stupid.

    Pfft. Mark me down as not liking her ONE BIT.

    “Ok. I’m just making sure.” Now, that’s the only part I do understand — and that’s because she wants to ask you out.

    • Deborah   •     Author

      If I had a dime for every time a straight woman wanted to “make sure” I was unavailable because she wanted to ask me out, well… I’d still be waiting for my first dime…HOWEVER, it’s a much happier way to interpret the doctor’s comment. I’ll take it! Thank you, Alexandra!!

  10. Jenilee Accurso   •  

    This post is funny but also brings up the topic of stereotyping. It’s the closed minded people that question “out of the norm” things that hard holding back social progress.

    • Deborah   •     Author

      Exactly! I do hope I made her think and possibly move forward a little bit. Then perhaps it’s worth the aggravation. Thank you, Jenilee!

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