My doc is thoughtful enough to provide soft cotton gowns rather than the dreaded paper "gown" but they're usually still too short and small for my liking. I'm a master at wrapping myself so tightly with the back of the gown tucked so far underneath my backside, a coin could be bounced off of my flabby belly. I'm in a friggin' skin tight cocoon! My muscles are usually so tense, they start quivering. And it never, ever fails...as soon as I hear the doctor retrieving my file from the little holder beside the door of the exam room, I absolutely have to take a nervous tinkle. I could be severely dehydrated to the point of near death and when the doc is outside of my room, I need to take a nervous tinkle! I swear, they should put potties in the exam rooms because I'm sure this happens to other women.
Once the doctor is in the exam room, there's the usual polite talk, all the while the dark cloud of the internal exam is hovering. Sweat usually flows from my armpits and my feet turn really cold and clammy. When the dreaded time arrives and I'm instructed to scoot to the end of the table it takes me a while because I'm so tightly wound up in my gown I can't move.
Now, let me digress for a moment; did you ever notice that for this particular exam, you have to get your hiney so far at the end of the table, you can feel your butt cheeks drape over the edge? Even if you have a tiny hiney, your butt cheeks are going to hang over the edge! That's demoralizing enough but then you have to put your feet in those horrible stirrups which, why do they call them stirrups anyway? Are you riding a horse? NO! Riding a horse would be enjoyable and putting your feet in those dang things are NOT enjoyable, so they should call them something like feet clamps or mortification mounts or something a little more descriptive.
So there I shall be, lying on a teensy weensy narrow hard table with my butt cheeks hanging off of the end and my feet in the mortification mounts and the doc will say the words that I've dreaded for 48 years..."open up your knees." Nuh uh, it's not going to happen without a fight. Every time I have to have this exam I'm sure that there's a pre-warning on my file that notifies the staff that I'm a tough case.
See this thing? It's commonly called the "jaws of life." It's used to pry things open that have been hopelessly compressed together like smashed up cars (or my knees). These things have an absurd amount of torque like 10 million pounds per square inch and open just about anything. Except my knees at a gynecological exam. My knees are clamped so tightly together the bones begin to fuse together! And when I'm instructed to relax and spread I usually press more tightly together and begin whimpering and almost crying. Most times the doctor will gently place her hand on one of my knees and try to show me the direction she wants it to move and that's about the time I leave my mind. It's like what you hear described when someone is horribly abused and they leave the present moment and find their "happy place." I have to leave my head.
My doctor is a very gentle, kind, understanding woman and she's very good about warning before she makes any move but it doesn't matter. I'm still majorly freaked out and jump to the ceiling as soon as she touches me. Once they pry my fingernails out of the ceiling tiles, things usually proceed fairly quickly. I'm out of my head and the doctor is poking around my tidbits and the nurse is probably over in the corner laughing quietly at my absurdity.
I know that this type of exam is supposed to be performed once a year. You notice that I said "supposed to be" because that ain't the case with me people. I'm doing good if I go in once every 3 years. That's because that's how long it takes me to recover and be discharged from the mental hospital. I'm going to be a good girl though, and make an appointment because it's only been 2.5 years since I went in and I'm a responsible girl. I'll make sure to trim my fingernails so I don't get stuck hanging from the ceiling. I'll shave my legs and make sure my toenails are polished because maybe, the doctor will look at that rather than poking around my tidbits.
I know I need to set a good example for my daughters and teach them about taking care of themselves so that's why I will NOT take them to this appointment. I don't want them to see me wrapped up in my gown cocoon, dangling from the ceiling tiles because I jumped when the doctor touched me. I don't want them to hear me whimper and cry and I certainly don't want them to see me when I leave my head and try to find my happy place. I want to snivel and shake and quiver and have my knees fuse together all by myself. I don't have to worry about the doctor because she has all kinds of privacy laws to worry about and I know she won't tell anyone what a nut job I am. Thanks HIPAA!