Last night I shaved my legs and armpits, washed and dried my hair and went to bed anticipating today. I woke up this morning, shoved my novel in my purse, got the older two off to the bus, dressed my three-year-old (who walked out of this house with a pink shirt, black yoga pants, and a pair of bright yellow bloomers pulled up on the outside of her breeches) and dropped her off at the neighbors. With giddy anticipation, I pulled out of the neighbor’s driveway and headed to Starbucks, to indulge myself in my favorite treat: a venti half-caf, two-pump mocha latte. Four dollars worth of mocha, chocolate-y goodness; a treat I don’t indulge in very often any more because my thighs were starting to resemble turkey drumsticks of Renaissance proportions.
Headed down the street toward my morning destinations: Shopping? Lunch with friends? A rendezvous with my husband? Nope, nothing that exciting, just an appointment with my chiropractor and OB/GYN.
It’s a sad day when going to the doctor is tantamount to mom’s day out. I can justify asking my constantly benevolent neighbors to watch my daughter when I need to work or when I have to go to the doctor, since working helps to pay the bills and the doctor, well, I don’t think age three is the right time to introduce her to the world of stirrups—at least ones that aren’t attached to a saddle and belted to the back of an animal that neighs. I cannot bring myself however, to leave my daughter in the care of someone else in order to go shopping (unless that someone else is my husband which is altogether different). That just feels a little too Real Housewives of New York for me.
But with a doctor’s office excuse, a day out it was, and I started the morning with a mixture of trepidation and excitement. Obviously the latte was the exciting part (another sad statement) and the thought that I might be able to catch up on my current novel (downright pitiful). The trepidation part was knowing that after my 10 minute neck and hip manipulation, I was going to have to visit the dreaded OB/GYN.
I think going to the Gyn-ie doctor doesn’t rank high on most women’s list of Fun Things To Do. In fact it’s utterly unfair that men don’t have to go to a man-specialist to get their urethra swabbed annually, which is the closest thing akin to a pap smear I can think of. My physician is great and a very nice man, but when you are sheathed solely in a tissue-thin, crisp-folded Johnny, heels cupped in metal stirrups, and edged all the way down to the “end of the chair please,” it just feels humiliating. Yeah, yeah, it’s a necessary evil, I get it, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less embarrassing. Unless of course, you have gas.
Because of all the mornings in all the days of all the months of this year, I realize as I’m sitting in the very small exam room that I’m gassy. Maybe this wasn’t the morning to suck down a venti-sized coffee filled with dairy product. The good news is that I experience my first tummy rumblings before I’m undressed. I slip out the room, visit the parlor, and guess what? No gas. None. Not even when I try really hard. My face is red, my abs are tight, and I’m giving my body every fair opportunity to do it’s thing. Not even a blip.
Reassured, I head back to the exam room, change into the Johnny, and resume my seat up on the pleather, paper lined table-chair. The rumblings start again. Dammit. What to do? I can’t really head to the bathroom again with my arse hanging out the back of the stylish garb I’m wearing, and I can’t relax and let things go (as it were) because the room is so small and there is no fan. No air freshener. Not even a spare pack of matches lying around. Holding it in, I run the risk of something accidentally slipping out unbidden, right while my very nice OB/Gyn is performing his medical due diligence. In fact, the whole exam passed relatively quickly because the only thing running through my brain was, Do not relax. Do not relax. Hold it in. You can do this. You’re almost done. Three more minutes. You will never be able to set foot in this office again if you relax. My doctor could have told me that the reason for my “lower left quadrant discomfort” was a rusted Volvo he found lodged in between my uterus and my ovary, or that the cause for my jumping-jack induced urinary episodes were a result of a runaway circus clown honking my bladder while trying to make my other organs laugh, and I would have just nodded. That’s how hard I was concentrating.
Yes, I know, this doctor delivered my youngest girl and no doubt witnessed all kinds of horrors on the other side of the white sheet that I prefer to not think about. But that was different. Delivering my baby was the point, no matter what else came out with it.
You’ll be glad to know I made it through the appointment with my dignity in tact, although I have to go back next Friday for an ultrasound. The good news is it’ll be another mom’s day out—two in one week!! This time I’ll remember to treat myself with the venti mocha after my appointment. Lesson learned.
What’s your most embarrassing doctor moment? You know you want to share it! Don’t leave me to sit in the exam room all alone—start dishing!
More from GEM:
Rachel Vidoni is a professional writer and blogger and former classroom teacher. She is a mediocre mother to three pretty neat kids. You can follow her humor and family blog at www.eastcoastmusings.blogspot.com. You might not be a better parent after reading her blog, but you will feel like one. Follow her on Twitter @rachelvidoni