now is a good time to panic

get all up in there!

Good morning my faithful readers! I have a little something to share that’s even more personal than usual. Don’t be afraid. Don’t fight it. Just go with it. It’ll be over soon. 

When I first joined the military, I had my first PAP smear. For those of you who don’t know what that is, let me enlighten you. 89% of women regularly subject themselves to this, and I’d like to paint a little picture for you. For this exercise, you’re going to be a woman. (not in a sexy, fun way, though)

Buckle your seatbelts.

You go into a room (often with a technician that couldn’t care less about the indignities you’re about to endure) and are instructed to strip completely, then handed a ‘gown’ that is essentially a backless 1 ply paper napkin. It inevitably tears while you struggle into it, and don’t bother trying to figure out which side is the front and which one is the back. Whichever you choose (to have your ass exposed or your frontal goodies on display) is going to be embarrassing. (or em-bare-ass-ing… if you will) You want the gown to open in the front, though. Trust me.

After tearing the ‘gown’ while dressing, tearing it again while attempting to pull it around to cover your lady bits, and then tearing it a third time when you hoist yourself onto the table, you now appear as though you put the ‘gown’ on at home and then ran through bramble-filled woods to your appointment this morning. Sit on the table. Don’t move, because your napkin will rip.

Anywhere between 2 and 92 minutes later, a doctor comes in. The good ones will introduce themselves and their tech, wash their hands, crack a joke or two, and get down to business. They will ask you some preliminary questions, and then gently ask you to lie back, pull some hidden stirrups from the sides of the exam table, and guide your feet into them.You are positioned correctly when it feels like you’re going to poop all over the doctor and the floor.

Yes. This is entirely as awkward as it sounds. You are now lying on your back, legs wide open, feet in stirrups, torn napkin gaping apart at areas of your body previously untouched by sunlight, and there are two people on the other side of your view. You can’t get visual confirmation on this, but just assume that the doctor is lubing up her gloves and plastic speculum while the tech stares creepily at your scared little butterfly from over her shoulder. Awesome.

The doc tells you that you’re going to ‘feel some pressure’, then it feels like she jams her entire arm straight into your delicate flower. In reality, it’s two fingers, and then she puts a curvy piece of plastic in there to make sure that when she withdraws her hand, you won’t be comfortable again. Not even for a minute. Once the speculum is in there, she will ratchet that bitch open until it feels like you’re about to give birth and then she proceeds into aforementioned delicate flower with a little tiny bendy light on a cord and some swabs.

I have counted up my PAPs, and found that I have had a minimum (MINIMUM) of thirty of these procedures. I try to come up with a different comment every time, and so far, none of them have produced more than an eyeroll. In case you’d like to borrow some to make your own appointment even more awkward, please feel free to do so. Some are:

-Can you at least buy me a drink first?

-This is the most action I’ve seen in a very long time.

-Is this as good for you as it is for me?

-Have you been looking forward to this all day? I know I have been.

-Is this fun for you? Because it’s AWESOME for me.

-I waxed just for this appointment.

-Hey, since you’re down there…

-What’s your name? Are you a Capricorn? I normally don’t let dates with Capricorns get this far.

-Do you think I’m pretty?

None of these will actually do anything except to distract yourself from the incredible discomfort that you’re feeling. You can try, though. I actually had one doc (the only male ob/gyn I’ve even gone to) do that thing where he tried to suppress a laugh, but it came out as a snort. Then I got the eyeroll. Yeah, he was totally into me.

A few paragraphs ago, I mentioned that this is how it goes down when you have a GOOD doc. The bad ones will walk briskly in, impatiently arrange you how they want you, then begin to roughly fist your poor twinkleflower. These doctors are not typical, and if you get one that has the bedside manner of a steroidal gang rapist, you should probably file a complaint and request a new doctor to care for your (now abused and terrified) lily.

Anyway. The doc goes in with a swab and scrapes it all over your cervix, then hands it and the bendy light to the tech. The plastic speculum is clicked closed again and (mostly gently) removed and tossed into a red trashcan. Thank God, it’s all over now.

JUST KIDDING! Now for the MANUAL exam! The doc’s hand goes back up into its new home, which is no less uncomfortable than it was the first time. Her other hand palpates your abdomen, and once you feel like she’s trying to mash her knuckles of both hands together through your pelvic walls, she’s done. Then you get the breast exam. Remember how I told you to put the gown on so it opens in the front? This is why. She’s going to play around with your boobies. Try to enjoy it. You can’t, but you know… do your best.

After you are pronounced lump-free, the doctor thanks you (for what, I have no idea. This couldn’t have been fun for her, either), and then tells you to go ahead and get dressed. You now feel dirty, abused, have lost your underwear,  and have lube leaking down your leg. Gross. Wait until the doc and the creepy tech leave, then clean yourself up, for God’s sake. You’re disgusting.

Now wasn’t that fun? Thanks for coming along with me on this. There’s a reason that I shared all this with you, but this post is already too long. We’ll talk tomorrow. Have a good day, my lovelies!


7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Omg I have never seen a more accurate discription of what a pap is like!! You should get paid for this kind of helpful information!!

Comment by kathy

Consider it a public service announcement ;) I was cracking myself up while I wrote it.

Comment by kathelldorfer

You need a new doctor, the one that delivered you- I still see him every year- is gentle, thoughtful, laughs at my jokes and stories and does not keep me shivering for long periods wearing a napkin.
Ah- doesn’t your also do a rectal exam?

Comment by susan

Nope, no rectal. Maybe your doc just likes getting near that sweet, sweet ass of yours ;)

Comment by kathelldorfer

I dread this kind of appointment every year. Thankfully last year I started seeing a new doc & she’s pretty cool. I’m very intrigued for your next post as to why you shared this. :) On a side note, this post brightened my day. Your way with words expresses EXACTLY what it’s like.

Comment by triing2survive

At my last appointment, I actually batted my eyelashes and asked the doc ‘do you think I’m pretty?’ She was not amused.

Comment by kathelldorfer

You rendered tears from my eyes and a possible snot bubble. People prob think I’m having a rabies attack. Omfg lol!!

Comment by alfg610

I'm dying to hear what you have to say...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: