Thursday, September 01, 2005

vivi goes to the icky doctor

Today is the first day of school, for teachers, anyway. Steph got up and the ungodly hour of 7am and left 45 minutes later. I've got all day to ease back into my old housewifely duties, but so far I've only managed to start laundry and goof around on the internet. Well, you know what they say about jumping in with both feet.

So, yesterday I went to the gyno, or as my friend Dana and I always called it, "the icky doctor." Since this is a sensitive issue (pun intended), I've hidden the rest, so if you're interested, please click on "Tell me more!" to continue.

I've written about my impressions of going to the doctor before here, but I'm sure you can imagine that going to the icky doctor might pose some subtle differences.

We arrived on time for my appointment, but we did have to wait half an hour to see the doctor, which is rather unusual, but I think that this is mostly because it was the last day of vacation for many people. Once it was my turn, I left Steph in the waiting room (much to his relief) and joined the doctor in her office. She asked me all the usual questions (what medications do you take, have you ever had surgery, are you having any problems, what do you think of President Bush, er...wha?). Then I was invited to step into a small examination room inside her office, where I stripped down to my birthday suit and climbed up onto the examination chair with stirrups.

If you're American, you may have already noticed a couple of small differences. First of all, I was not invited to wear a modesty-preserving and stylish paper suit. To tell you the truth, it is rather silly to waste money on the paper suit, when the only people who are going to see you are the doctor and possibly his assistant, and they're gonna be checking out all your private bits anyway, so from whom are we actually preserving ourselves? I already knew the doctor would be checking out my private bits, so I didn't have any problems stripping down to my socks in front of her. Also, there was no assistant standing by to make sure the doctor didn't do anything, er, odd to me. This is a practice that started some years ago in the states, because some crackpot sons o' bitches started actually raping their patients. Now the doctors feel safe because they have a witness to prove they didn't do anything weird, and the patients feel safe because the likelihood of their doctor raping them is greatly decreased with someone else present in the room. Makes you shake your head in a very grave and sad manner, doesn't it?

Anyway, the rest of the exam went the way you'd expect it to. I was weighed (gah! - ok, it really wasn't as bad as I thought it was gonna be, but it's still pretty gah!), got dressed and met the doctor at her desk to get my prescriptions. Instead of receiving a card in the mail with the results of my exam, the results are sent directly back to the doctor and she will call if there's a problem. Now, I have to go to a laboratory to have blood drawn (I have to say that I prefer that everything is done in the same place in the states, kind of like One Stop Shopping) and she has also told me to get a mammogram at the same lab.

Now, this has taken me a little bit as a surprise. Usually, doctors don't send patients to get mammograms in the states unless they feel something or the patient reaches 40 years old. I didn't get the impression that she felt something, but she did ask if my family had a history of breast cancer (which it doesn't). Of course, I don't think too well on my feet, so it didn't occur to me until much later in the day that I could have asked her, "But did you feel something?" In any case, I've got to call and make an appointment to have my boobies squished into pancakes. I know you're jealous.

Anyway, she gave me another prescription for birth control pills (actually, Steph and I are in negotiations as to whether I should take them after this prescription runs out - yeah, that's right, I said it), I paid my 27 euros (19 of which will be reimbursed by insurance), and we were out of there, in just about 45 minutes total, which I have easily spent in a waiting room at my old icky doctor's in the states. That alone gets a thumbs up from me.

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