Disclaimer #1: In part for the benefit of the ladies who have gone through this, today’s post might get a little graphic. Gentlemen, this is what your wives/girlfriends/partners/surrogates/significant others, etc. go through when they’re ttc or are pregnant. Just deal with it.
Disclaimer #2: I like my doctor a lot. I respect her experience and knowledge. She is a holistic gynecologist who has opened my purview to the joys of acupuncture and is quick to remind me that I needn’t miss a therapy appointment (if you know me, that’s a tough point to dispute). At our first appointment, MKL thought we were doomed to choosing an alternate provider when she saw my face following the blood pressure and weight check. You see, my doc is blunt. She tells it like it is, not because she wants to be rude, but because she wants her patients to hear the truth about the things we need to do to maximize chances of conception. I realize this now. At the time, I heard, “you’re too fat to have a baby and your blood pressure is through the roof.” A) I am not at my goal weight, but in the past several years, I have lost well over 100 lbs; I am aware of how much I weigh and how much I should weigh. B) she took my blood pressure (which was a little higher than normal, but certainly not “through the roof”) after she weighed me and interrogated me about why the number wasn’t lower. C) I was at the doctor, about to find out whether or not we could proceed with this whole baby-making concept to begin with. Of course it was high! White-coat hypertension, anyone??
Also, she has some Amish tendencies.
Let me explain – it’s not that she wears a bonnet and apron when examining me, nor is there a horse & buggy parked in front of her office. But, ladies, go with me on this: picture yourself in the stirrups, your beloved smiling sweetly at you while she peeks over the drape, the soft sounds of the easy-listening station playing in the background, and next thing you know – BAM – the doctor mistakes the vaginal ultrasound wand for a butter churn. I type this with the full knowledge that my female readers have just crossed their legs, and the men among you have just google imaged “vaginal ultrasound.” Yep – that’s what it looks like, and that’s what it feels like. “Let’s take a look at the left ovary”… clockwise churn…”and now the right”…counterclockwise churn. Then she has the audacity to utter the words, “ECL, I need you to relax.” Right. If you’re about finished hand-cranking that 1920’s car you’ve found down there, I’ll do just that.
Were it not for her excellent reputation city-wide for getting lesbians knocked up, we probably wouldn’t have gone back after the first appointment. I’ve been very lucky to avoid serious health problems in my 35 years, and the doctors I’ve seen have always had a very kind, caring way about them. Doc is kind. And she cares. Apparently not about bruising me from the inside, but she cares. Fortunately I made the decision a few hours after the appointment to remove my head from my ass. It doesn’t happen often, people. But in this case, leaving my head up there and refusing to return could’ve meant missing out on becoming a mother. And that’s unthinkable.
However, if I could make a few suggestions to those of you in the medical community:
- Smile. You might be having a horrible day, but I guarantee your patient is less happy to be in your office than you are.
- Laugh at your patients’ nervous jokes. It will put them at ease and likely prevent bad healthcare humor from becoming their go-to routine.
- Work to understand your patients’ full medical and mental history before you
call them fatquestion their weight.
- And for the love of Christ and small animals, go easy with the wand already!!!