Dear readers, I’ve been watching a lot of 30 Rock, as in I finished it for the second time this weekend. This post is both inspired by Dr. Spaceman and my gynecologist. Enjoy.
I have been getting pap smears and going to the gynecologist since I was 17 yeas old, aka when I started having sex. Now around my senior year in college it turned out that I kept getting abnormal paps and needed to see a gynecologist outside of the University provided services. This is where I was recommended to Dr. Spaceman, all credit to this joke goes to 30 Rock and Tina Fey. Well the first visit was fine. I had a Colposcopy done and Dr. Spaceman decides to tell me all about his daughter, who if I remember correctly is about 5-6 years older than I am. While he is inserting things into my vagina he’s just talking about her. I know it’s to make me feel comfortable but I really don’t want to hear about your daughter as you are about to look at my cervix. After the procedure I left the office shook up, called my mom, and cried. It wasn’t from anything the doctor said/did but the fact that hey we’re checking to make sure you don’t have cervical cancer.
After that initial visit, the tests came back negative and I had to wait a year and get another pap, normal procedure. Well this time I come in, a year later, waiting in my paper gown and Dr. Spaceman comes in. First he does the normal breast exam, sees my tattoo and decides to read it. Which is fine. I’ve had female healthcare professionals do the same exact thing. Then when he starts to do the pelvic exam, which if readers you don’t know, a doctor inserts two fingers into your vaginal opening and presses down to check your ovaries and uterus (again someone correct me if I’m wrong with terminology and what they are actually checking for. Would not want to spread false information). As he is about to do this, and he knows I’m Russian, Dr. Spaceman asks me, “What do you think about the Crimea situation?” You are about to put your fingers into my vagina and you think that the conversation to have to put me at ease it my political thoughts about Crimea? I don’t remember anything about the exam except for having to talk to my gynecologist about what I think about Putin’s decision to annex Crimea. Anyways, the pap came back fine.
I like to get myself tested for STDs pretty frequently. So while I was taking a break from Dr. Spaceman and our yearly meet ups I decided to go to a free clinic, because even with insurance, paying for healthcare services is a bank robbery. So I go, see if I qualify for a study (because in the name of research), and wait for the nurses to come in. The first nurse turned out to be so empowering when we talked about my sexual health. She said and quote “Have as much sex as you want with whoever you want but always make sure to be safe since it’s your body and you should respect it.” I practically cried in the office.
My next nurse turned out to be a Ukrainian nurse practitioner and we had my appointment in a mixture of Russian and English. I told her about the research I do and she seemed very impressed. So after talking about my sex life, her giving me another bag on condoms on top of the bag of condoms I got when I came in she told me I could be on my way and she’ll call if anything comes up. Well halfway on my drive back to work I get a phone call where the nurse practitioner asks me to come back. I immediately start freaking out. So I come back in and she just told me that she felt something odd during my pelvic exam and wanted to get a second opinion. I change back into the paper gown, put my legs up in the stir-ups, and wait for the second nurse practitioner to come in. My legs were in the stir-ups, no underwear, ready to be examined, and my initial nurse practitioner turns to the other nurse practitioner and tells her about how I work in research and they both ask me to elaborate on it… I talked to them for a good 10 minutes about the research I do, legs up, vagina out. Again, they must be so used to this that talking about something novel was more interesting than looking at another person to screen them for STDs but I was shocked. I needed to get back to work and now very much so exposed I had to talk about the type of work I did. Everything turned out to be okay, my uterus is just shifted to the left a little bit.
Lets go back to Dr. Spaceman. After the last pap smear it was again my third year in to go see Dr. Spaceman for my yearly pap and check up. The appointment went fine. I brought up that I wanted to get an IUD since now instead of my birth control being free, my new insurance made me have a $10 co-pay with it. Robbery. I have been fine with the pill for so many years now, except when I had to switch around for new pills and went crazy, that paying $10 was the breaking point. Again, he mentioned his now 28 year old daughter that also has an IUD. Great. My blood tests came back negative except I was deficient in Vitamin D. I literally have to take prescription strength vitamin D. Looking for requests to workshop a pick up line involving vitamin D and the D… “Guess what vitamin I’m deficient in? ;)” #NeedTheD
So the exam went fine but something came up and we had to hold off on the IUD procedure. When Dr. Spaceman and I talked on the phone one of the first questions he asked me was “How do you meet the guys that you meet?” Okay, understandable that you want more information to understand my diagnosis but again so odd. So a month later when I went in for a repeat procedure he brought this up again. More specifically, he brought up Tinder. My doctor is now interested in my dating app use. I told him that the only people I sleep with are people I met in college or people my friends have introduced me to, and while I did have a Tinder, for less than a year, I don’t use dating apps anymore due to wayyyyyyyyy too many bad experiences. Maybe I should have given him the URL to this blog.
I guess while all of these things are incredibly routine for doctors and health care professionals it’s the little things that seem out of the ordinary when I go on these visits. It’s always nice to talk about something that is outside of what you do day in and day out, I do get to come out of these visits with some stories to tell me friends and get a laugh out of people. Personally, I wanted to laugh at the situation while I was in it. But that would be unprofessional.