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Friday, April 25, 2014

A Trip to the OB/GYN, or My Day as One of the Three Stooges

Note:  If you're a guy? You may find this entire post either boring, gross, or TMI. Word to the wise.--J.

Yesterday was just...silly. Ridiculous. Stupid.

On Monday, I drove 46 miles round trip to see the doctor, only to be told that my appointment was on Thursday. Huh. In my own defense, I did call Monday morning and ask, "I have an appointment today, I'm afraid I've forgotten the time," only to be told "Three o'clock."  Evidently the phone answerer did not hear the "today" part or it could have prevented a lot of problems.

So I shower and get ready to head out there--the day after shitting my brains out and feeling like hell--not feeling too awfully bad, just a little dizzy, and I pull up the GPS program in Google Maps on my cell phone to get there. I was pretty sure I knew where I was going having just been there on Monday, but I wasn't 100%.

So I hit the road. It was a glorious, gorgeous, smooth as pudding, wind like fingertips on my skin kind of day. I drove with all the windows down. Marvelous.

I got lost, of course. Finally I pulled over and looked up the doctor's address and plugged it into the GPS. I walked in the door at exactly 3pm. *whew* I hate to be late.

I was given a clipboard with a bunch of papers to sign, and I handed them back along with my ID and insurance card. The nurse called me back up and asked, "You're not taking any medications?"  That's right, I had left that section completely blank. Duh. She gave it back and I finished it. 'Doih.

She called me up for several more things, not my fault, but I waited a really long time. I read a TIME magazine, and Avon catalog, and was halfway through a Reader's Digest before I got called in. One woman came in after me, got called back, and left before I even got called in. Odd. But I had free time and reading material so it was all good.

Then I went in to leave a urine specimen. They had this pile of shiny little cups, like a mini Dixie cup, only white plastic, and a Sharpie pen to write my name on it. I was hoping I could hit that little cup. I got about 1/4 of a cup, which is enough, and set it precariously on the sink. I wanted to wash my hand because I had just peed all over it.

I wash, dry, and stupidly, pick up the little cup which is covered with pee, wipe it down, pick it up, and open the pass-thru door to the lab...and drop the cup which spills all over a paper towel which has been put inside (thank g*d).

I clean it up, put in a clean paper towel, look in my cup, and there's about 1/8th of an inch in there. I put it in, then go back out front and tell the nurse what happened. She said if they need more they'd let me know. They didn't so I guess it was enough. But really? Drop the pee cup, Jules? 'Doih.

I waited in the exam room a long time. Probably an hour. By this time it was after 5:00 pm and quiet and I was starting to wonder if everyone had gone home and I was locked in.

Then next door I heard crying. Then sobbing. Then a very young voice in Spanish--I could tell she was distressed even though my Spanish is bad--and it was heartbreaking. I could hear another voice, a woman, talking to her in low tones. I don't know if she had gone into labor and was scared, was just finding out she was pregnant at 15, the baby was....???  I don't know. A million things went through my mind and it broke my heart.

Finally the nurse came in and took my vitals (good) and went over my history and we talked about my ankle, my eye, and my recent DS surgery. I gave her one of my doctor's cards so she would know what I was talking about (it has a diagram of DS anatomy), and also showed her my oozing belly wound.

Then she told me the doctor would come in and talk to me before I got undressed. I like that. Good. I had caught the back of someone in khaki's and a Hawaiian shirt and I was pretty sure it was the doctor and that made me feel comfortable also.

So the doctor comes in, we talk, I tell her everything that's going on. She tells me thermal ablation is not a guarantee of pregnancy prevention. The previous OB/GYN, a guy I did not like, said the same thing. So she talked to me about an IUD. That is what my doctor in Southern California, the first time I was going for weight loss surgery, ten years ago, recommended. She also said eventually it would stop my periods. I like that. They had me watch a video about a certain IUD and it didn't change my mind; I still think it's the best birth control for me. I skipped a period in December and so far haven't had one this month, so I am thinking menopause is starting. And about damn time if you ask me. Sick of it already (menstruation).

She was able to get a copy of my ultrasound with the fibroids on it, and she said they were so small that she wasn't concerned about them, but she did want to do an endometrial biopsy just to rule out cancer. So I asked, "When you say biopsy, what do you mean? Needle biopsy? Cutting...?"

"No, it's actually a suction."
"Does it hurt?"
"A lot?"
"I'm not going to lie to you, it can be painful."

I started freaking out. I don't feel well already. I have an oozing tummy wound. I'm dizzy. I get lost easily, and I have to drive myself home 23 miles.

I said I couldn't do it. Not today. I wasn't prepared, and dammit, I started to cry. "I have a low tolerance for pain," I said. I do. After my DS surgery a nurse asked me, "Have you always had a low tolerance for pain or is this new?"
"No," I said, "I've always had it."

I've had three "painless" Avastin injections in my eye to improve my vision, and each one hurt like hell. I had to stay at a motel after with frozen peas on my eye, a lorezapam and a vicodin.

I told the doctor all this, and said I just wasn't up for it today. I'm sorry, I just can't.  She looked a little startled but said she was fine with it, she wasn't going to force me into anything. Thank G*d.

So she did a pelvic just to see where my cervix was for the IUD placement (later). "Oh," she said, "you're easy. No problem. I just had one today I had to get down on my knees and look way up at the moon to find her cervix. This will be no problem."

I forgot to ask her not to push on my belly. Ladies, you know that part where they leave a few fingers inside you then push on your belly to see if they feel anything? I gasped and said "AH!" and came up off the table. "I'm sorry," she said. "I was trying to be careful of your wound."
"No, it's my fault, I meant to ask you not to do that. My guts were just rearranged a few weeks ago and I'm very sore."

We all looked and felt chagrined.


So I go back in two weeks for the biopsy.  I can handle it if I have someone drive me home (like my husband if he can get the afternoon off).

Then the first of June I have the well woman, i.e., pap smear, and the IUD...installation? Insertion.
As for sex? We're not having any since surgery. This belly wound is problematic. It hurts, it's stinks, it's gross, and my husband doesn't want anywhere near it, either. Should this change in the future, we're going to be using both the Sponge and a spermicidal foam. I'm guessing a few more weeks.

So long story short? I will be unforgettable at that office, that's for sure. I liked the doctor a lot, I suspect she is gay but somehow that made me even more comfortable. I can't explain it. I have a lot of gay friends and I love them all and I know what compassionate people, as a rule, they are. So I'm happy with her and she knows her stuff. Win/Win.


  1. The endometrial biopsy does hurt. Not gonna lie. But it is quick. There is a wee bit of bleeding but no pain when it is done. Take Tylenol prior and a pad.
    I had a copper IUD for years and loved it but the placement sucks, like a bad menstrual cramp. Good luck.

    1. I just wasn't up for more pain less than six weeks after major surgery with a leaking belly wound--my psyche just couldn't take it. I felt melt-downy. I'm so tired of painful medical procedures. I know you get it.

      Thank you