You know those crazy-long posts in which I share waaay too much personal information about myself?
Consider yourself warned.
Last fall I took an online critical thinking class that basically turned into a writing class for me. My teacher loved me because I am a decent writer and I have a pretty good grasp on grammar and punctuation. This is what made me really start writing again; it made me realize how necessary it was for my well-being.
During this time period I really started thinking about creating a blog. Instead of doing it, though, I would send messages to my friends with the stories I would have written into a blog post.
This is one of those stories.
I hadn’t had my last pap smear since I was with my ex and still had insurance, so it had been about three years. It’s not something I think about much because it’s AWKWARD and, since I’d been going to the local women’s specialty clinic for issues and birth control, I didn’t want some stranger all up in my junk (literally). But a friend of mine had recently had some precancerous cells pop up in her pap and that pretty much scared the shit out of me. Well, that and my mom, who didn’t realize it had been three years since my last one, but still was freaking out on me.
I had to go to the clinic anyway because I thought I might have had a bacterial infection again (BV is the devil) (I just had irritation from shaving; stupid), so I asked if they would take care of the pap smear while I was there.
They were totally excited.
Feminist pap smears are weird.
Firstly, I got the new nurse practictioner who hadn't been a vagina peeper very long, but had been in the medical field for, like, ever. Secondly, the first thing she did was hand me a mirror and ask if I wanted to look at my cervix.
I totally did. You know, since she asked nicely and everything.
My old doctor just narrated what she was doing, which was cool because I never felt like I needed to see. But apparently being in a clinic full of people who promote self-awareness like I promote Junior Mints makes me feel as if it would be awesome to see what exactly this woman is looking at.
So, she lubes up her glove and starts checking shit out.
At this point I was leaning back on the table, which had been moved into th lay-z-boy position, with half my ass hanging off the end and the other half stuck to the paper, clutching the mirror to my stomach with both hands and chanting, “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.”
Okay, maybe I wasn’t chanting.
Then she started feeling around my junk. Speculum goes in. There is not enough astroglide in the world to make that comfortable. She got it on my cervix, which is about when I decide I'm done even trying the mirror bullshit.
This is about when the AWKWARD and WEIRD part started. She was concerned that there was something wrong with my cervix because she had never seen one that points down (toward the spine) before. Apparently. So she asked if she can have someone else make sure she's not doing something wrong. Which was cool. I guess. She went out to get one of the women who has worked there forever to come in and check out her handiwork.
But when she left, she left the speculum IN ME.
I’m just chilling on the table with my speculum. Regular old relaxing Tuesday evening.
Then I suddenly had two women peering between my legs. Enter giant cotton swab. Which they sniffed prior to explaining the purpose of a (and I shit you not) “whiff test.”
Nurse practitioner lady wanted to reposition the speculum on my cervix two more times, just to make sure she's doing it right while someone is watching. Who am I to interfere with someone else’s learning experience? I mean, it’s not like I was really paying them anyway.
Then again, maybe I should have gotten paid for this.
While they were discussing my cervix, the not-nurse practitioner looks at me and asks if I'm about to start my period. Which makes me want to do two things. 1- Run out screaming, “Witch!” 2- Get one of their take-home viewer kit things and check out my cervix like the day before I start. Then I, too, can predict the future.
I did neither, primarily because I wasn't wearing pants and that somehow made it seem excessive.
At conclusion of this strange little adventure, I found myself sitting in my car and smelling like vinegar with a paper bag full of condoms… Feeling more than a little violated.
Which I think is everything the poon doctor should be.