2005-03-15 @ 10:45 p.m.
Well, I saw two doctors with the letter “A” in their names today. One of them touched my cervix. One graciously didn’t, but it’s been a long, long day and now I am well medicated, so who knows how this will come out.
First there was the ever effervescent “A”. The shining light on my Tuesday morning. Naturally I had to listen to the list of crimes from my last appointment. Last week was I pretty depressed and rejected just about every last thing he had suggested that I do to make my life better. I’m a hard head. I admit it. But he knows that. And so is he. But I need that and I really give hats off to anyone who has to listen to people whine and kvetch all day and not want to commit physical violence on them. It must be rough. I had a little tiny piece of it yesterday when I CO-facilitated a group at work and this woman kept saying how depressed she was and how stupid she was (although there was no solid evidence of this. Only stories about an abusive husband who used to put her down all the time). I finally couldn’t stand it anymore.
So I started doing my best “A” impression, telling her what a good job she was doing by getting out of the house, and seeking help and going to groups. When she complained about having fibromaylgia, I totally wouldn’t let her get away with that. I told her, I have fibro too, and even though I’m in a lot of pain most of the time, I still am an avid walker and go to the gym and exercise any way I can, because there are no down sides to exercise. It gets you up and moving, it helps to release some kind of endorphins, I’m fairly sure, and it give you time to either think about things or clear your mind, according to whichever school of thought you’re a fan of. So I was pretty much knocking down every single negative thing that came out of her mouth. I wasn’t being a bully about it. I was very positive, because many of the things I suggested, I have done over the years. And they have worked (especially the exercise aspect). And its all been because of “A”s influence. Of course “A” doesn’t exactly run a democracy. I pretty much have to toe the line with him or get in trouble. But he only does it because he cares about me and the outcome of my therapy. And even if you only have one person in your corner, it really makes a difference.
So I was channeling “A” yesterday. And what was weird was that it was fairly empowering. Now I can see what he gets out of it. The pleasure of helping someone realize their own potential even though it may be buried under 3000 lbs. of depressional hubris. Who knew?
So fortunately, I was able to turn things around from last week (the invisible week) and make tomorrow seem a little more hopeful. And yeah “A”, you were on that list of people who help me, you know....the watching thing. I just didn’t what to say that when you asked me that this morning.
After “A”s appointment I headed over to the gym. I wasn’t feeling all that well, because that sinus infection, whose ass I thought I had kicked Sunday, was really coming on strong. I felt like somebody had punched me in the head. But I still did the treadmill for about 20 minutes. I mean, just because I’m congested doesn’t mean I can’t walk. I was actually wasting some time, because I was to have my yearly physical in the early afternoon. After the gym it was onto Subway where I collected my free sandwich, via the card with purple stamps affixed. I also did my laundry and hit the library. I knew I needed something cheerful, so I picked up a couple of Monty Python tapes containing such sketches as Killer Sheep, Silly Vicar and Wife Swapping. Monty Python has a new theatrical show on the verge of hitting Broadway, based on “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, called “Spamalot”. Sounds pretty funny, especially since I heard that Tim Curry will be playing King Arthur. I can just imagine.
Finally at 2 p.m. I went to my doctor’s office. She too is a doctor with an “A” name. She’s been my doctor for about 7 years now. She’s a lesbian. Not sure how that happened, except that she has always been the nicest medical doctor I’ve had since moving to the East Coast, so voila. Today was my yearly physical.
Of course I did have to wade through the first ten minutes in the office with psycho-bitch Nazi nurse. I can’t stand this nurse and she’s been working there, since I’ve been going. She’s blonde and she always feels the need to tell you what is bothering her. In other words, your ailments are extremely paltry compared to her’s. Hey, kinda like my mom. Ah hah! That’s why I don’t like her. But she’s in charge of weighing you, taking your height (during which she told me I was slouching, to which I replied “I have my dad’s posture. that’s just how I stand”). I then managed to fail the eye test. She had to announce it to all the nurses in the general vicinity. You would have thought she would have guided me, Helen Keller, back to the examining room, but she was just thinking up new ways to humiliate me.
Like telling me how to do a urine test. I’m 47 years old. I’m fairly certain I get the general drift of a urine test. But evidently I didn’t. No, I really didn’t. Because after I got in the restroom, I read the directions on the wall about how to get a “clean catch”. Wash your hands. Ok. Good. I do that a lot anyways, since I’m a germ-a-phobe. Remove urine cup cap without touching it. Huh? Oh, without touching the inside of it. Ok. But then that was where it got tricky. Sit on the toilet and swing your left leg out to the side. That’s easy enough. But then came the next part of the directions, I had to read several times. Take the antiseptic wipes and part your labia, and wipe from front to back on the left side. And then the right side. And then the middle. I went through about 5 wipes, because I wasn’t sure if I was holding my labia correctly. And gee, it kinda felt good. So I got to combine two of my favorite things. Cleaning and parting my labia with my fingers. Whee!
But that was where it went all wrong. It said to keep holding your labia open and to wrangle some pee into the cup which you can’t touch. Well, for the first time in my entire life, I managed to pee on my hands. And I’ve done a gazillion urine test. Not sure why I did that. I guess I’ve never actually read the directions on the “clean catch” page before. And probably will never again after today. I was thinking of giving the pee-soaked cup to the psycho-bitch Nazi nurse in its original condition. Warm and wet. But I realized how totally wrong that would be. Even if she HAD announced that I was blind to all the nurses. So I wiped it up. And washed my hands about 23 times and headed back into the examining room. Nazi nurse was waiting for me. Had to do blood pressure and looking in the ears. She said my blood pressure was kind of high. She didn’t know of my evil pee plot. I guess your body doesn’t lie. Ok, it was more likely that I was nervous about my pap smear that was about to be done by a lesbian. And the breast exam. “The girls’” big public naked debut for 2005. I mean besides outside doing naked snow angels.
So Doc “A” came in. She’s a tall, folksy kind of woman with very kind blue eyes. I totally trust her and she always compliments me during pelvic exams. I guess I’m totally awesome. Down there. No, I’m just kidding. She says I’m very relaxed during pelvic exams...not like the Early Years. I think that has, largely to do with getting over 250 massages in the last 5 years. See, I have no problem being naked in an office anymore. So see “A”, at least one good thing came out of the Married Guy era. Free and easy pelvic exams. Yay me!
She quickly determined that I had a sinus infection. Guess the clogged up head and fever of 100.1* were dead giveaways. She did the breasts exam. Whee...um...that feels really nice. Stop, witty. And then came the pelvic exam part. Oh yay! Stirrups...but not the fun kind. I always feel like I’m doing a porn movie when I get a pelvic exam. Like “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeVille.” Except that its my vagina, and somebody is about 2 inches away from it with mid-evil metal torture devices to hold it open. Argghhhh!
And then came the yearly, you have gotten so good at pap smear speech from my doctor. Why thank you. I’ve been practicing all week. Wanna see the pictures? Gosh, that’s actually true, believe it or not. I photographed the Garden of Eden this week. Not sure what’s wrong with me. I guess I’m just fascinated with it. I just hope I don’t die in a car accident and someone picks up my digital camera and sees all the pictures. As in, “What....is...that?” Oh. A close up of witty’s labia, how interesting.
But this was where the whole pap smear went terribly wrong. God must have been punishing me for the labia shots, because my doctor suddenly said, “You’ve got a very large polyp on your cervix.” She asked me if I had experienced any unusual bleeding. And I do occasionally, but I just thought it was my body being fickle about the onslaught of menopause. So she was like, “Anytime you see blood, you should tell someone.” and then she told me about a story she had just read about Ellen Degeneres (how perfect. A lesbian with an Ellen Degeneres story) and how they had discovered something similar, but then the doctor had told her it was okay to wait a week to get it looked at. Doc “A” didn’t think that was such a great idea, because anytime you see blood, you have to worry about the big “C” (cancer).
Naturally those word struck immediate fear in my heart. I’ve had several encounters with the “C” word before. Or at least the possibility of it. In 1996 I had a lump removed from my left breast. It was benign. And then several times since then, I have had polyps removed. The last one was two years ago when they discovered 7-8 polyps, several of which were pre-cancerous. They took them out of course, but I had been really ill with diverticulitis preceding that. I had lost like 12 pounds in a week in the rarely advertised Diverticulis Diet.
So she asked me if I wanted her to take it out or go to a gynecologist. Well hell, who wants a possibly cancerous thingie growing in them, so I said to take it out. She said she had to go get some different instruments and a nurse to assist (oh fruck, Nazi Nurse?). She was only gone about 4-5 minutes, but in that time I got totally panic stricken. She had told me how they were going to do the procedure. Basically they crank you open with a speculum which locks, and then they take forceps and twist the polyp off your cervix. Sound simple? Ummm, not really. Didn’t like the sound of twisting anything off anything that was attached. Ouch. But then I had to consider the alternative. Possibly having a cancerous thing growing in me until I got an appointment with a doctor I didn’t know.
Meh, it didn’t really help calm me down. I was pretty much a total basket case. I even wondered if they could give me something to calm me down before they did it. But, by then, the doctor was back with the Nazi Nurse, and I was back into the stirrups, being cranked open for the the arrival of the
Fruck. Don’t really need to hear that. Nor did I need to hear about the fact, that the medicated stuff they put on the “polyp wound” looks like cat poop. Yeah, the nurse actually said that. “Oh, it looks like cat poop!” And then she changed her mind. “Oh, I guess it looks more like mustard”. Cat poop and mustard in my vagina. Yay, me!
The torture finally ended when Doc “A” took the speculum out and said I would need a sanitary pad for possible bleeding and/or discoloration from the cat poop stuff. Are we sure now, that cat poop stuff, is not a medical term? Naw, I guess not. Not even Guard Cat would want to refer to anything as “cat poop stuff”.
She then showed me the polyp. How many of you have ever seen any of YOUR own polyps? Am I cool or what? It was about the size of a blueberry and looked rather innocuous, if not bloody floating in its little vial of fluid. She told me they would ship it off to a lab, and I would probably hear something from them in a week. Naturally I had to leap to the worst case scenario, because that’s just how I am. She said if there was anything awry to expect to have some minor surgery for a D&C which involves the scraping of my internal girly parts. Fortunately I would get knocked out for that. Well, good. Than I wouldn’t have to listen to cat poop comparisons and fake dialogue about the history of polyps.
I was shaken by the whole thing though. I then had to go to the yuppie grocery story pharmacy for a bunch of my meds as well as the amoxicillin. I was feeling rather poorly by time I got there, between my pounding sinus headache and my very weird feeling cervix. And it didn’t help that it took them an hour to get all the meds. Fortunately I was able to sit down and wait, and read all about how Angelina Jolie had come between Brad and Jen in a nearby National Enquirer. But I was really wiped out.
After I got home, I called my mom about it. Not much sympathy there. She mainly had to talk about all the things she’s had scraped from her vagina and how everyone in the world has pre-cancerous cells floating around in their body. Well, good. Glad to hear that I’m just like everyone else, except possibly a little less than you.
I then sent “A” an e-mail, telling him about what happened. He’s pretty religious so I asked him if he could maybe put in a good word for me, since I’m pretty much a heathen and he probably has better connections. And he wrote back a very nice note and said, “I pray for you each day silly.”
Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty