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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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this is where no one is actually surprised at all
children of dune - leto 1
The only legitimate defense I have here is that I paid absolutely no attention to the words "Annual Physical" on my appointment notice. I thought it would be a blood pressure/breathing/how's your thyroid doing these days (slowly degrading past the point of having any kind of functionality in my body other than decorative, thanks for asking) kind of thing.

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.
Me: Huh?

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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Wait--I don't understand a surprise pap smear. When I have one, I make the appointment specifically for that. (And my ob/gyn is different from my gp, so there'd be no surprise when I got to the office.)

I think the only times I went to an ob/gyn were my first pap smear, when I was taking birth control regularly, the complete physical I got before I went to study abroad, and when I was pregnant. My regular doctor--who really is awesome--usually handles it during my physicals, and since I'm low risk and pretty much without any conditions or activities that would make more specialized attention advisable, it also hasn't been a regular feature.

I love you because it's nice to not be the only weird one in the room ;)

The German language should have a word for this by now; like, a more positive, weird related version of schadenfreude. Like, Seltsamkeitfreude, but not something I made up by googling 'German for weirdness" and is less terrifying to try to spell or pronounce.

I love you and your doc. Good times.

So, I have that same thing, too, right before my period, oh woe and darkness and EVERYTHING IS AWFUL and not worth living, and then I check my calendar and go "oh, might want to wait 12 hours." I have met no one else that's admitted to this. ::smooch::

And now I want chocolates. ::shakes fist at you::

So, I have that same thing, too, right before my period, oh woe and darkness and EVERYTHING IS AWFUL and not worth living, and then I check my calendar and go "oh, might want to wait 12 hours."

God, this so much. And it's always a huge surprise, too, even though for me its' almost a checklist at this point.

Me: Hmm, tired, cranky, contemplating that entropy isn't ending the universe nearly fast enough, extra salty fries would be good here, life has no meaning, weird desire to sit on roof and write terrible poetry involving depressing birds....huh, why does this seem vaguely familiar? Its not like it's ever happened before or anything.

Heh, yeah. Though I also crave red meat and grumble about needing new bras as they're too small, but there's a certain intensity of doom and it is a checklist for me now, because I know that doom and I have an app called, "Aunt Flo" that tracks your period for you. I always, always check that before the doom really takes me.

I'm supposed to do something really nurturing for myself, once I realize. I say a burger and fries is nurturing, yes?

You'll love this:

Hilariously, I always mistake initial cramps for hunger and end up making myself sick trying to eat and wondering why this isn't helping. Because I'm not actually hungry, which is why food doesn't look appetizing. And my thyroid problem makes it worse; my thyroid is always sending off hunger signals that I know how to ignore, but cramps give it an edge.

Oy. I get mine confused with my back pain, which can radiate into my groinal area. Pfah!

Oh, I'm so sorry people have been holding out on you when they could have been expressing solidarity. I'm like this for days. It used to be this nagging sense of "I am so bad at everything. If I'm this bad at all the things all the time, how am I still alive?! ...oh, wait, I'm only this bad at all the things two days a month, right. Well, that's ok then."

(Nowadays I'm off hormonal birth control and it's much, much worse, but...)

Thank you! Yeah, now I'm off birth control , it's muuuuch worse.

Wow. I do so enjoy your experience of life...

And also loathe pap smears.

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