“If this makes you start to cry, we just won’t do it.”

When your doctor says those words, you just know you’re in for a treat.

It had been a while since I’d been to see my GP, and by “a while”, I mean years. It’s not that I have any distrust of medical types—I go to the dentist regularly, and I would have sent my chiropractor cookies if I didn’t think that would be weird and stalker-ish—I just figured that if my arm wasn’t falling off or something, there was no real reason to go.

If it’s not Baroque, don’t fix it!

Until now, that is. Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the Fulbright people want a medical evaluation done as part of the grant conditions. It makes sense—you don’t want to give large amounts of money to someone who, it turns out, can’t actually go to Malaysia or wherever because they have tuberculosis. So, my mom made an appointment with my GP.

I show up a bit early, in case there are forms I need to fill out. There are, of course—lots and lots of forms, which I proceeded to complete with the wrong date, because it’s Wednesday, and nothing ever really goes well on Wednesdays, does it? After that, I spend fifteen minutes or so perusing the December 2011 issue of Parenting magazine. Eventually, I get called back.

The nurse and I have a nice chat, talking about the weather, and how Miley Cyrus’ engagement makes us feel old. Enter my GP, stage right, to explain what’s on the menu for today’s physical. Eyes, ears, lungs, it all sounds normal—“and we’ll be doing a Pap smear.”

Yeah. Like that.

I’m sorry, what? I’m pretty nervous now (the sudden appearance of the word ‘speculum’ tends to have that effect), and I guess it showed, because my doctor says, “Don’t worry, if this makes you start to cry, we just won’t do it.” That is hardly reassuring, but it’s too late: the room is empty and it’s time to get changed. I am getting a burger after this, I think to myself. A big one. With bacon.

This seems like reasonable compensation for my pain and suffering.

In all fairness, the GP and the nurse did their best to make the whole thing…not terrible (although how anyone honestly thinks you can “just relax” under those circumstances is beyond me). And it’s one more thing I can check off The List. All the same, I feel like everyone can agree that surprise pelvic exams are No Fun.

Surprise! There’s an uncomfortable and embarrassing test here to see you!

Next time: Me and the Police (warning: this post will contain multiple references to Sting)


3 thoughts on ““If this makes you start to cry, we just won’t do it.”

    Legit, Pap Smears are the worst. They are truly torture (I even called my married friend and told her I was never getting married because I was afraid sex was going to hurt like that. She just laughed). But I then took Medical Sociology and it basically changed my life and now I refuse to get them- I just say straight up there is no way I could have a pap problem, it really hurts, and I promise not to sue. The docs at NYU have been really understanding. Also, go here and watch from 2:54 (just a second, but it makes me laugh)

  2. Pingback: People I’d Like to Have Dinner With: David Sedaris « marillenbaum

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