This all changed when the nurse put little cloth covers on the stirrups of the medical bed (pink) and a fresh sheet on it while I stared in incomprehension and then laid out a fresh sheet and gown and told me to put the ties in the back. You would think--anyone sane would know--that this is the point I should have gotten with the program as I slipped on the gown, wrestled with the missing ties (what the hell is up with that, why do I always get one with a broken tie?) and saronged my sheet of choice over unshaven legs while still clinging to my underwear in a state of what at this point must be considered truly epic denial.
Doctor: Okay, slide to the edge of the bed and put your feet in the stirrups.
This is when I realized--with the canny brilliance of Sherlock on the hunt for a particularly dim criminal--that apparently, I was getting a pap smear, and the strange equipment that the nurse had been taking out was for the purposes of verifying that my reproductive system was keeping on keeping on.
This is a reproduction of the actual conversation that followed.
Me: I have my underwear on. I also haven't shaved my legs.
Doctor and Nurse: *blank stare*
Me: *shimmies out and tosses without any kind of subtlety toward chair on top of blameless jeans and waffle shirt without losing sarong blanket* This can't be worse than what doctors see on Discovery Channel reality TV shows, right?
Doctor: *knowing me and stops me from reproducing the latest plot to Trauma: Night in the ER, because I would do that* Okay, slide to the edge of the bed.
You may not know this, but to shimmy down a sheeted medical bed with sheet-sarong and one-tie gown intact is a fucking art, one which I excel at. Managing to remain entirely covered even while the stirrups are slowly and inevitably parted is one of those things that science has yet to explain, and I can't even tell you why. I'm not actually all that modest.
My doctor looked at me with the patience of someone who has known me since my teens and still remembers when I came to an appointment after seeing a psychologist to say, "I got a really high score on the obsessive compulsive disorder test, but that's more because I score well on standardized tests. Right?" and that glorious day I said, without any self-consciousness at all, "I don't want to take Ambien anymore. It makes me fall asleep."
(I could explain context on these, but I'm not sure they would raise your opinion of my self-awareness.)
Doctor: We usually do a STD panel and...
Me: About as likely as this being ground zero for a new religion.
Doctor: *again, knows me* We can leave it out, then
Me: Sex is usually involved in getting those, right?
Doctor: *looks fond and whips out the gloves*
Anyway, as I finally stared up at the ceiling to think of England, the word 'travel' came up, and if you've met me, you probably know that I variate between two states of being when awkward or nervous; blank, staring silence that makes everyone around me deeply uncomfortable or saying literally anything that comes into my head. This is the only explanation for what comes next.
Me: I want to go to Ohio.
Doctor: Really? Cleveland?
Me: The state motto is "With God, all things are possible."
(Goddamn Dean/Castiel fic.)
Doctor: *reaches for equipment*
Me: *talks about Ohio, no idea what the hell I said. Possibly the plot to said fic. Your guess is as good as mine.*
Doctor: Going to check your ovaries now.
Me: This reminds me of the time in college I had a rectal exam and the machine turned me mostly upside down.
Doctor: *grimly checks those ovaries*
Note: this was nothing like that, but now that I think about it, I wonder why those machines don't show up in kinkmemes more often.
Doctor: *stands up* Everything looks good!
Me: No antichrist around?
Doctor: *snaps off gloves* Not that I could see.
After which I got dressed and considered the possibility that I really need to read the notices. As it turns out, it's mentioned on there! Who knew I should read past the time and date?
I know what you're thinking--this has been a learning experience. I want to remind you that I am still amazed by the coming of my period and currently my phone is set to alert me that I'm going to want to listen to my "cut your wrists" playlist and stare into the backyard pondering the meaningless of life and file truly sarcastic defects at work. Sometimes while thinking I could have been an astronaut (I'm claustrophobic) and why I fail at knitting as a life skill (I stab myself with the needles; it's weird). I've learned nothing. Check back here June 2014, and you'll see what I mean.
Final Note: You may not think this, but in general, if my doctor had chosen to Surprise!Pap me instead of stating it very clearly in unambiguous terms on the appointment notice, I wouldn't blame him. Historically--and he knows this--anything more than a blood pressure/breathing/how's your thyroid doing these days (it's being a lazy fucker, we're not speaking right now, thanks for asking) kind of thing results in the blank, staring silence that makes the entire situation feel about as comfortable as an autopsy, requiring him to fill the silence, hearkening back to the days that we all stared in bafflement at my lung x-rays after those two bouts of atypical pneumonia when he said "It's just interesting, how the ones now (April) are identical to the ones from November! Your hospital-requiring bouts of pneumonia are weird, you know? No idea why this is happening." because he's a doctor and this is what they like to talk about. Generally, it's much better to set me off into a monologue on the relative merits of Ohio.
(Similar to the specialists who during the second bout came into my room while I was gripping an oxygen mask before breakfast to crowd around my bed and say excitedly "It's not cancer! Or Legionaires! But we have a ton of possibilities to go! We need to bioposy your lungs!" and ten minutes later I remember to ask the space where they'd been standing "Wait, cancer?" because again, the blank staring silence thing is apparently desperately uncomfortable.)
I live life like a box of chocolates without fingernail marks on their bottom to check contents before consumption. Why don't I fingernail mark them and find out if this is a lemon or a caramel? Like the love of God, it passeth all understanding.
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