Sunday, October 14, 2007

That Time of Year

In addition to family, there are two other people who are very important in a woman's life - her hairdresser and her gynecologist. These two people are irreplaceable, and if a woman is forced to replace one of them, it can be a very traumatic experience.

MALES, DO NOT GO PAST THIS POINT. The information that follows is too much information for you, and you wouldn't understand anyway.

Last April my "female doctor" retired. He actually delivered me 32 years ago, did my first exam, and other than seeing someone else while I was pregnant, has been the only female doctor I have gone to. He would have delivered my two children had he still been in that business at the time. Also in April I was due for my yearly exam. This is a day that I don't exactly look forward to anyway, but the added factor that my doctor had retired made scheduling an appointment unbearable. However, after going 6 months past due, I figured preventative health outweighed modesty and uncomfortableness, so I scheduled the appointment.

Who to schedule the appointment with came with much deliberation. Should I make an appointment with the doctor who delivered the girls? She now practices in Ft. Wayne, so that would be quite a trip to make each year when I could just go down the road. The only other female female doctor I am aware of has gotten mixed reviews from those I have interviewed, so that left the three doctors who practice where my former doctor practiced. One is new, so I didn't want to try him out. Another I had a brief experience with when I was pregnant and just didn't feel like that was the choice for me. That left the third - a doctor who I have only heard wonderful things about. The problem...I know him. I attended his Sunday School class several years ago. We attend the same church camp. I went to school with his brother. Our kids go to the same school. I was just having some problems with all of this, but the pros outweighed the cons, so in I went for the appointment.

When I schedule an appointment like this, it really is an all day procedure. My appointment was at 4:00, but I started preparing at 6:30 a.m. in the shower. Legs had to be shaved. Then after the shower toenails had to be clipped. I never know whether or not to keep the socks on or take them off, but just in case I was in the mood for them to be off, I clipped. I headed to work, playing the upcoming event over and over in my mind and thinking in just a few hours it will all be over.

After work I headed home to change into my most comfortable outfit. If I'm going to be stressing out, I at least want to be comfortable. I did my pre-appointment cleansing. I mean, when I go to the dentist, I brush my teeth really good first, even though I brushed in the morning. I then went to the appointment.

Sitting in the lobby was torture. There was a mother and daughter also waiting - the daughter was very pregnant, and judging from the conversation between the two, this must have been her first. They were looking at some parenting magazine, picking out items that would make their upcoming arrival a genius. I was hoping for a People magazine. Finally they called my name.

I headed back to a corner and got weighed. Then it was into the room for blood pressure and information. The doctor will be in shortly, she said. Well, something happened with one of the other doctors having to do a delivery, so because of this, my doctor was a little late coming in to see me. I had to settle for a parenting magazine that let me know about childhood obesity, back talk, and how to help my child with homework. Finally the doctor came in, we chatted, and then came the worst part of the appointment - the point where I had to undress and wear two oversized paper towels while sitting up on a table. I decided to take my socks off because they had holes in the heels. After sitting for several more minutes, the doctor came in with the nurse serving as a witness, and the exam began. I learned a lot about how to be a good friend from the poster on the ceiling. Thankfully, the exam did not take long, the doctor was very gentle, and after only a few minutes I heard the words every woman longs to hear at this point..."Okay, you can get dressed now."

All in all, it wasn't a bad visit. From start to finish I was in the office about an hour and forty five minutes, but only about 4 of those minutes were embarrasing. Now I have another 364 days to relax.


Blogger Keetha said...

I bet I HAD the same doctor as you - - - and I DIDN'T know he's retired until I called to make my appointment this summer. I was really bummed about it too.

October 15, 2007 11:59 AM  
Blogger Toevs said...

I have been making the trek to Ft. Wayne. Only now I am WAY past due for an exam and I keep putting it off because of the drive - and because I just hate those appointments! I have only ever gone to a female ob/gyn and I too have heard mixed reviews on the local female doc. So, that leaves me with three choices... go to Ft. Wayne, try out the same doctor you saw (I can guess which one that was...), or continue putting it off. Hmmm...

October 15, 2007 1:17 PM  
Blogger Bekah said...

I bet the one you saw was the very one I saw when I went for my first (and long overdue) appointment. I didn't care at all about the modesty part. I was just scared to death he'd tell me I was dying. The minute he walked in the room, I burst into tears and said "You're going to wish you'd called in sick today." I think he thought I was a TOTAL idiot by the time I left.

And the nurse? Well let's just say she was the worst part of my entire experience. She did NOTHING to calm my "I'm dying" nerves and just kept looking at me with this "Could you shut up now?" expression.

I actually wrote a whole thing about it - I'll have to get your email and send that to you. I'm not brave enough to put it on my open blog.

October 15, 2007 4:24 PM  
Blogger Marcia said...

I went to an OB/GYN in Indy who moved away! So I'm looking, too! I have an appt in a month with a female "female doctor" in Kokomo. Her name is Carolyn Greer.

All I've been able to get about the local woman doc when I talk to medical people is an emphatic, "NOPE! Don't know anything about her!" Then they shut up like a clam.

Keetha and Toevs, if you stall long enough, I'll give you a report on the Kokomo doc!


October 16, 2007 6:29 PM  
Blogger Keetha said...

Oh, I already went. I went to the young replacement of my beloved retired ob/gyn, the one who is related to half the Wesleyans I know in Marion.

He did a great job and I was pleased.

I got over worrying about going to a doctor I know/or know too many who know him ever since I worked for doctors and am married to a medical provider.

I prefer the convenience of going to a doctor right here in Marion. If I had to drive to FW or K or M or I, I'd just plain never go.

October 16, 2007 7:58 PM  
Blogger Marcia said...

My issue isn't whether or not I already know the doc—I went to a former college classmate for a while. I've just decided at this point in my life I want to be seen by a woman.

October 17, 2007 8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are your mother's daughter. What more can I say?

October 17, 2007 8:36 PM  
Blogger Kelley said...

You absolutely crack me up! I used to go to Dr. Blackmon, but have not been anywhere since she left town. I'm dragging my feet. Don't really want to go to a man, but have also heart the rumors about the other woman. The new general practioner who came to town about a year ago will do female exams so I've been thinking about going to her. I don't have a regular Dr. either. That would kill 2 birds with one stone. My fear is, "How good will she be if that isn't her area of expertise?" Then I think, well, she will probably be better than the make-believe dr I'm going to now. Can't be any worse, right?

October 20, 2007 9:23 AM  
Blogger Toevs said...

Totally unrelated to this topic, but I saw your "W" the other day. It looks great! :-)

October 28, 2007 3:07 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I go to Haendiges and Assoc. in Kokomo and see the female nurse practioner who specializes in ob/gyn. They are GREAT!!!

December 03, 2007 3:06 PM  

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