We are all busy–work, school, chores, bills, kids, parents, friends, church, life…I am used to putting myself last. First one up, last one to bed. I eat when I can, bathe when I have time and take time for me…never.
I would love to get a makeover, go shopping for fun, read a book, lay on a blanket and watch the clouds roll by, drink coffee and not make a list…but I don’t. I don’t make time. I have a family that needs me and I am always short on time.
I have to get my 3 boys to the dentist, eye Dr. and to the pediatrician this summer. The Hubs has to see a Travel Dr. for his trip to Haiti. A midst all the swimming lessons, cook-outs, water parks and fireflies…I am hosting a family reunion, planning play dates and a birthday party–with two mini vacations to see family–do you think I have time to get a check up…?
The Pap, The Annual, The Smear….none of those sound all that appealing. I have to work around the hubs schedule or get a sitter, bathe and shave and get ready for prom–when I haven’t been out of yoga pants in months and my hair is always in a MOM knot. So, I want to spend the only me time…getting…THE ANNUAL?
Gals…we have all been there. The waiting, the sweating, the paper napkin to cover your plus size frame. Then the greeting. I have had GYNs that were my friends (awkward)–that were my Mom’s friends (even more awkward)–Men, Women–It doesn’t matter if Santa Clause or the Virgin Mary was doing the exam…it is awkward. I try to make sure I am scooted down far enough, teetering in the edge even of the pelvic bed…and still I get the directive to “Please scoot down a bit Sara”…I do, but because I am damp, damp everywhere (I sweat when I am naked and nervous) I make an embarrassing plbbbbbbbssst sound as I drag my booty to the edge.
Word like ‘pressure’ and ‘pinch’ really don’t describe the feeling…it is what it is let’s just get this over with! I don’t want to talk about the weather or my job or the kids…I want to stare at the Monet print on the ceiling and pretend I am not there!
Then when the South pole exam is over it is time for the Doc to look for lumps in my mashed potatoes…yeah…weird! Mashing the boobs and chatting about gardens and sports! Good Times!
Let me take it from here sister…
I, on the other hand make my annual (not biannual like Sara) while I’m checking out from this year’s. I tend to to be fearful so I assume the worst and know in my heart of hearts that if I don’t reschedule the cancer will get a memo and start spreading….
I notice the date approaching on the calendar and I begin to fast. I’m not gonna cry this year…I’m not ready for the BMI conversation. The morning of, I shave myself like a surgical patient and pray for an acceptable outcome.
I arrive early, read through 2 entire People magazines while I wait. My name is called approximately 30 minutes past my scheduled appointment time. I cringe at getting weighed, make pleasantries with the nurse who approvingly proclaims that my blood pressure is “great” little does she know that my blood pressure is normally REALLY low so the number she is charting is me pre-heart attack.
The nurse gets ready to leave the exam room, she hands me a Bounty quicker picker-upper and instructs me to undress and use this “napkin” as a cover. I strip quickly, sit on the paper and worry that by the time the Doc comes in it will be all stuck to my backside. Apparently all of my sweat glands are working over time, pumping out salt water as quick as humanly possible . Why all of a sudden are the folds under my National G’s and in between my thighs a water park? “Oh well” I tell my self, surely they see others that are worse than me (think STDs).
When the Doc finally comes in I’m over the exam, I don’t care what I have – I’ve shot my kid-free afternoon and I haven’t even been to Target yet…she (I would never see a man) apologizes for being busy (we all know she wasn’t at the hospital delivering babies, she was in her office checking facebook).
She comes in – we make pleasantries, I decide – if I’m uncomfortable she should be too…
After I’ve scooted, I ask her why she has a mascara wand in her hand? She tells me it’s tool to collect samples for the lab. I ask her about the shiny metal duck-bill thing, she explains what a speculum is…I’m sure she hates me and probably deliberately reaches for the “Large” tool, but at least we aren’t talking about the weather.
I try not to toot and poo during the rectal exam but let’s be honest – I’ve been semi-constipated since I was 8 so if you put a finger up there, something is gonna come out. Has this Doc not heard that if you don’t want to find a fever, don’t check the temperature?
The Dr. throws the gloves away, tells me everything “looks good” (what the heck was she looking at–c’mon-the thing doesn’t win awards for aesthetics) and tells me no news is “good news.”
I assume I’m “ok” but I check the mail in anticipation for the next few weeks. I wait for “the call”. Alas, the blue postcard arrives in the mail, I breathe a sigh of relief. For the next 12 months I eat what I want and start growing out my leg hair….
Why, why, why…Why are we here? Not really for us–for THEM…for our family, our kids, our hubs. We want to see our children grow into adults. Cancer is not a ‘Ole Lady Disease. Our Aunt Died at 47….we are 38 & 41. This is here, this is now.
Just DO IT!!! Call today! Get it over with…and stop and get a Starbucks after–you deserve it!
Remember…no news is good news.
Sincerely, Sara & Honestly, Amy (Thanks Carrie!)