Dec 9, 2008

You Really Want to Know??

Today I would like to lament the fact that, while I am quite healthy overall, when I do have to go to the doctor it tends to involve symptoms and/or parts of the body that can be a little awkward to talk about. Now don't anybody freak out, I'm not talking STD's or anything. Just run-of-the-mill maladies that, unfortunately, require the utilization of a paper gown or some variant for a proper examination. Past and present nursing moms and women in general can identify here, I'm sure.

One might think that by this point in life I would have finally ridded myself of all sense of modesty and dignity when it comes to healthcare. Like the strangers you encounter in line at the store, who tell you about their recent bout with diarrhea and how it has affected their liver function and intimacy issues. That's always fun. And while it's true that in the process of pregnancy and birth ladies tend to throw propriety to the wind, I somehow managed to run out and grab mine right back after His Highness was born. I'm a total prude when it comes to these things.

Which is actually kind of interesting, because in my younger days I had a tendency to talk about all sorts of bodily functions and issues in front of anyone and everyone (youth group leaders included)--partly for shock value, and partly out of exasperation at instrusive questions like "why aren't you participating in the swimming today?" They asked, so I told them. Oh yes I did. Mandatory fun, my eye.

Let me throw one caveat in here about talking about girl-things with girlfriends--the vast majority of the time it doesn't bother me. First of all because they are people I know. And second, because we're girls and we're talking about girl-things.

And really the thing that bothers me the most isn't the appointment itself as much as making the appointment, where I'm having to talk to a receptionist, or call center agent, or worst of all, the poor, random senior airman who is filling in for the day and needs me to spell the more clinical terms. I say "I need to make an appointment." They say "What do you need to be seen for?" I say "Such-and-such," and think please oh please don't ask for any more details, because any doctor will already know exactly what I'm talking about. But no, they say "And what symptoms are you having," and the poor senior airman says "and can you spell that please?"

And THEN once I'm in the doctor's office the tech says "It says you're here to be seen for such-and-such. Tell me about your symptoms." I already told the receptionist about my symptoms, but no, the tech has to write them down again. This wouldn't be terrible, except after I give a brief description they don't say anything, so I assume they want more detail, and I end up rambling until I sense that they are thinking please oh please don't give any more details, because the doctor will already know exactly what you're talking about.

It's redundant, that's all I'm saying.

The upside of all of this is that, in exchange for some minor embarrassment, I'm not having to be seen for more painful things like bronchitis or broken bones. Kinda makes the paper gown worth it. Almost...


linda t said...

I will never forget when many years ago Oprah said "Does anyone do what I do? When I am told to disrobe before the Gyno comes in the room, I hide my underclothes under my clothes!! How silly is that! I mean, come on... they are about to see way more than that... but God forbid that they should see my unmentionables!!!"
I laughed till I was crying, because I so do that!!!
What we women will do to retain our dignity!

Skerrib said...

Hahaha--I do that too! That's why they are called underclothes, after all!

Suzanne said...

I can relate. But hey, at least you get lots of practice describing your ailment, so by the time the doctor comes in, you know exactly what to say and how to say it!