I had a doctor's appointment today. More specifically, I went to my OB/Gyn, and had my annual exam today. The "once over" that should have taken place about four months ago. Should I be embarrassed that I'm a tad overdue?
Many of you will remember how much I love my doctor. I do. I mean, I really really do. And I should, considering how often I was in his office last year ... (three times a week for eight weeks for my insanely expensive high risk pregnancy). Of course, it felt funny walking back in there this time. Skinny. Not pregnant. Not worrying about how much I gained since my last visit. In the last eight years I've only been to the Gyne for prenatal care, post natal care, or annual exams that involved discussions about future pregnancies. This time it was strictly a well woman exam... and nothing else.
After signing in with the receptionist, I went to take a seat in the newly remodeled waiting area. However, before my tush could even hit the couch, the nurse called my name and sent me into room 4. She took my weight and then instructed me to get completely undressed and put on the pale pink gown with the ties in the front. I undressed as quickly as possible because I have this irrational fear of changing too slowly and having the doctor walk in on me with my butt in the air and pants around my ankles. But who am I kidding ... I'm usually left waiting long enough to read a trashy magazine. Or two.
This time though, the doctor came in before I even had a chance to open my email on my iPhone. He had a warm smile, and a bunch of questions about India all ready for me. He remembered. Or he was smart enough to check my chart. Either way, we started chatting away. He worked his way from "North" to "South" with nary a second of silence. He started with my neck and told me all about his office, his staff, his practice. He got to my breasts and I told him about Matt's job, his position in Iraq, our upcoming move to D.C. And as he made his way to my nether regions, with my feet now in stirrups, he started telling me about his son, his graduation from Annapolis, and his new job with submarines or somethingorother.... It was then that I realized I was only partly listening. Because uuuuummmm... is it just me or is it awkward to chat away while a doctor is "looking at London with his fist high in France?"
In a flash he's done and he has me sit up. Only to continue talking to me. About his upcoming trip to Kenya next week. About his future work trips overseas with the hospital next spring. About his family. About his new office remodel. About recommendations for doctors in D.C. And all the while my head is swirling because remember...
... I AM STILL NAKED.
Ok, technically I'm not entirely naked. I am wearing that pale pink gown that ties in front. But let's be honest, it ties at my collar bone. So the only thing that's covered up are my shoulders and my clavicle. The rest of me is hanging out. Literally.
I must be a good conversationalist because he is not getting the hint that I'm ready to get dressed and that he should go see other patients. Or he is just so immune to talking to naked ladies all day that he doesn't quite pick up the signs. Either way, I'm a tad uncomfortable. Since I'm as sober as can be, I figure that if he's going to see me naked, the least I can do is offer up entertaining dialogue.
We continue to chat for about five more minutes. Five more minutes of me shifting on the crinkly paper. Five more minutes of me crossing and recrossing my legs (not a la Sharon Stone thankyouverymuch) so that I maintain some semblance of modesty. Five more minutes of building a relationship with him. Chatting away about life. That I'm almost surprised about the next two sentences out of his mouth before he walks out of the room.
He recommended I have a pelvic ultrasound for the cramping I've been having since my tubal ligation. And because I've had a breast reduction, it's difficult to tell whether or not what the doctor is feeling is due to scar tissue or breast tissue, so he's sending me for a diagnostic mammogram. Neither of these two test are because he suspects anything wrong, rather as a preventative measure he wants baseline images.
So off I go for more tests in the next few weeks. Where I can undress for another set of physicians and technicians, who will ultimately see a whole lot more of me than this doctor just did. But this time I'm planning ahead. I'm wearing perfume, I have a no-talking rule ... and I'm bringing the cocktails.