By Popular Request: I’d Rather Have a Root Canal

I have given up all hope of convincing people I really am sane.

I have two stories requested the most, Fisher’s Of Men, and this one.

And I wonder why people think I’m neurotic.

I would rather have a root canal than go to the gynecologist:

  1. I get to keep my clothes on.
  2. I can watch TV
  3. The dentist has better drugs.

Not that I don’t like my doctors I do. I just don’t like being there. I am a social bug, yes. A social bug who likes to stay fully dressed. I’d rather host one huge barbecue in my back yard, have them all come over, serve beer and brats and call it good until next year.

I realize I should put on my big girl panties and deal with it, and I would if they let me keep them on, but they don’t. Let’s face it, we will burn our bras in public, let our bra straps show in the summer, even throw our panties on stage at a rock concert, but the minute we undress in the doctor’s office we hide our underwear. Why? Because we want to keep that Victoria a secret, that’s why.

I do not know a living soul who wakes up and says “oh boy I get to go for my Pap Smear (or colonoscopy or mammogram) today. Hurray!” No one in their right mind thinks that. To make matters worse, I am a redhead and I blush when people say hello, add naked to the equation and I look like I fell asleep in a tanning bed. Even if the doctor are brilliant, the office is clean and efficient and the staff is super nice, we’d still rather be elsewhere.  This is the one place where wham-bam-thank you ma’am could be deemed acceptable. Unless of course something is wrong and we wish to dialog. Then we want them to listen and take their time.

Some doctors like  to converse during exams.  It’s their way of gauging our emotional state as well as trying to put us at ease; only it doesn’t work does it? Whilst I am normally fond of warm, intelligent conversation, their conversational style can seriously mess with my dis-associative groove. I’d rather close my eyes and run my to do list through my brain than make eye contact while pretending I can follow our conversation.

And yet, we talk. Or rather they talk. I ramble incessantly about God knows what. My neurosis factor increases exponentially with the realization that well… I am at my gynecologists office. My brain is so deep in denial that when they ask which doctor I am seeing, I can never remember his name.

To call me an introvert would be a kindness.

To be expected to carry on a full conversation with a doctor, complete with eye contact, while sitting naked on a table, holding my gown closed with my hands, needs more Valium than their office is willing to provide. Personally, I am all for sedation gynecology.  Knock me out and wake me when it’s over.  It’s not like it’s a new thing my dentist offers sedation dentistry, it could happen.

Left without the comfort of clothing, or drugs, I grab the only shield I can reach – my gift of sarcasm.

  • You want to screen me for colon cancer? – That’s gonna cost you a roofie.
  • When was my last breast exam? Last year. I always fail those even though I cram all year for them.
  • Every day I gather up the twins and cram them into a wonder bra.
  • Raising teenagers feels like I’m walking a high wire, I need all the support I can get.
  • Do you know why they call them wonder bras? Because without it we spend our day wondering where our breasts went.
  • I know where mine went, they are hiding in my arm pits, they don’t want to be here either.

They’ve added a new trick to their trade by the way — a two for one deal really, you can now get checked for cervical cancer and colon cancer all in one visit. REALLY? Now I know why my dogs hate going to the vet.

Not only are the new tests rude, some doctors talk  more during our exams than our husbands do during sex. Why can’t they all be Woody Allen?

Some days going to the doctor is more than a girl can handle. Granted after dealing with me, I’m pretty sure it’s my doctors who need Valium.

Have a great week everyone and remember you are amazing! Nobody can take that away from you.

My Surgeon is awesome: Girl Talk

Robert Downey Jr, as Iron Man.
Oct 18, 2011 – This particular piece received a lot of hits this week so I thought I’d look at it to see why and oh wow I really shouldn’t publish blog pieces while still on pain meds. I’d delete this, but there’s some good stuff in it, even if it does reveal a mild (and short lived) post-op crush on my surgeon – so I’m keeping it. You should have seen it before I scrubbed it — mortified does not even begin to describe how I feel reading this a year later and realizing it has gone viral locally.  I wrote this back when I had all of four readers — my family — and then I promptly forgot about it until now. — This is part of a series I’d written during my hysterectomy in 2010. You can tab to the older entries to see the full story if you’d like. or not. Either way – enjoy.

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The only thing I hate more than going to the doctor’s office is going to a MALE doctor’s office. I don’t do doctors. I especially don’t do MALE doctors. Hmmm. Nope, not my style. And yet what do I get with my referral on Easter? A Male doctor. Nice.

Color my Easter basket un-thrilled. It’s bad enough I was in so much pain I had to leave Easter Services to go to the hospital, now I find out that I need to see a guy about my female parts?  Can I just please fall down a rabbit hole and stay there? I mean, it worked for Alice didn’t it? —

Oh that’s right, she came out of it eventually.

Drat.

I tried to drown my pitiful sorrows with chocolate marshmallow bunnies, but it didn’t help. I needed to see a specialist and he was available and it turns out, it didn’t kill me.

My surgeon at looks kinda like Robert Downey Jr (or at least he did post anesthesia), is a College Lit major before med school, artist, poet,  loves the rock band U2, happily married with children, is a total brainiac, and he cares as much about my emotional well-being as he does my physical health.

Can I keep him if I say he followed me home?

Okay, well no probably not. I’m pretty sure my husband wouldn’t go for the whole followed me home bit. Worked with the cat, but not a doctor.

Still, the whole reason I know he loves U2 is because I told him once that my husband and I have tickets to see U2 in Denver on June 12 and how I think that I “need” to be well by then.

That isn’t going to happen, and Bono is in the hospital as well, so I’ll see them in 2011 instead.

Even though the answer is no climbing the Rockies so soon after my hysterectomy, my surgeon did at least empathize with me. He also found a way for us to connect emotionally – a mutual appreciation for the rock band U2. That connection took me from freaked out scared to “I think I can do this.”

I like that.

I tell him a lot of things actually, and I am pleasantly shocked to discover that he not only listens to me – he repeats facts I’ve shared back to me at various times and uses them work through a plan of action for my recovery. He hears me. Wow.

 

My MALE surgeon rocks like Bono….

                                                                                                                          ………………. only better. Who knew?

So why is this news?

Because I only use female doctors thank you very much.  Always have always will. Except for this time. This time I needed an emergency referral and opted for first available and got R.D. Jr.  Edited on June 29 to add — my surgeon is my new GYN. I’m not going back to someone else. He’s an excellent doctor, and I can get over his being male — eventually. (laughs)

Common myths I’ve always believed.  

1. A female Doctor will understand me in ways a male doctor cannot.

2. A female doctor will listen and be compassionate.

AND

3. I’ve always thought of Male gynecologists as a creepier than normal Mr Rogers. (I’m serious, grown men in cardigans have scared me since I was a toddler.)

What I’ve learned in the last 40 days –

It’s not the sex of your doctor that matters, it’s the doctor that matters.

My female doctor listened to my complaints about my cycle getting worse and said “Welcome to Peri-Menopause” without looking into it.

RDJ said let’s look for the cause.

My female doctor listened to my complaints about my bladder getting weaker and said “Welcome to middle age, it comes from having babies dear.”

RDJ said, “I might be able to fix that, if you need me to, but I’m not sure you do yet. Let’s find the balance between too much and just enough, okay?”

My female doctor listened to my complaints about random abdominal pain and said “here take these pills, I think you are getting depressed.”

RDJ. said “This is why you are in pain, …… I can fix that.”

My female doctor felt the top of my mass, said my abs had split and told me where I could get a tummy tuck.

I never asked him where I could have gotten one of those. That would have been well… too much for me. But what he did so is spend more time doing the surgery right (albeit the hard way) so that I could recover more quickly. And it was the fibroid pressing on my bladder that was causing my “issues” and not my babies after all.

I can’t tell you if my surgeon is good at making eye contact, because I wasn’t. I still have some issues with the whole male gyn thing, BUT: What I can tell you is at this office, and at Saint Whosits  in Tulsa, I felt cared for, cared about, and taken care of. He listened to me and he included me in every step of the process. He went out of his way to make me comfortable and help me understand.

While I’ve worked with men almost my whole life – I prefer to stay in my head. Intellectually I can match any man. What I don’t do well, is  vulnerable. And in order for this patient/doctor relationship to really work, I have to be vulnerable. What’s great about this office, and this particular surgeon is they make it easier to do that than I had expected.

I couldn’t ask for more in a doctor, male or female. Can you? So, question for you dear friends, what is your favorite thing about your doctor and what is your least favorite thing?

 I realize I am being more well, personal than usual. I mean yeah, I can wear my heart on my sleeve,  but today – I want you to see my internal heart.

Added May 31, 2011 – It has been exactly a year since my hysterectomy. (Read update here) I cannot even put into words how much better I feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually. While I wish I could have avoided the surgery, I’m grateful for the staff of doctors and nurses who walked me through it every step of the way.   

This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart. All rights reserved. Please note that no goods or services were provided in exchange for this post.

We Have a Referral and I’m learning peace

I can be a bit controlling, especially when I’m scared. My husband will laugh when he reads that and add a “you think?”

I know that control is never a solution to fear, especially not on this side of the Resurrection. But knowing and doing don’t always mesh in my world. We are working on it.

I’ve had three days of phone calls, not only for myself but for my son with epilepsy. I’ve learned through his disorder how to be assertive with doctors and when to follow-up and when to call. D needed a script refilled and for whatever reason, I was the hand holder between the pharmacy and the pediatrician. I’m glad I called it in three days early. It took the full three days to get it refilled. It never takes that long.

My doctor issue really frustrated me. I got frustrated because they were not giving me correct answers. I followed up on Monday like the hospital told me too, and received a call back stating that my referral was being processed and that I should receive a phone call later that day. No phone call came.

Tues: I called back and left a message for the gal in charge. The gal up front read the notes on my file and assured me everything was being processed. No return call came.

Wed: (Today) I called the processing gal directly and was saddened — and slightly angered — to discover she had no clue who I was, and had received no such paper work nor a message that I had called on Tuesday. The gals in the front office did not lie to me — there were notes on my page that indicated a referral was being processed. Sadly it turned out the referral was for the wrong patient. My gal promised to get to work on it right away. True to her word, she did. It took three hours, but I have my referral as promised.

I had a lot of choices this morning. I did succeed in the choice not to lose my temper, and yet still communicate I was angry. I chose to ask to leave a message for my doctor and when I was told that won’t be necessary, I could choose to call the office administrator and speak with them — once my referral was complete. I chose to say a silent prayer rather than speak out what was in my heart at the moment.

Lots of choices. Right now.. I can choose to be happy I have my referral completed. I see a specialist on April 14 at 10 am. I have instructions to call every morning between now and then to see if they have a cancellation.

I know that God does not make bad things happen to people. Things happen because we live in a sinful and fallen world. God is the ultimate hand holder. He holds me in his every day.

I know that he still has plans for me and the phone call from Thelma on monday was all part of that. I talked to her (via email yesterday) and she had no idea I was going through something. We aren’t friends, even though we’ve met. (I hostessed her a couple of years ago) I am however part of You Go Girl. Thelma is someone I intentionally put myself at the feet of to learn. 

The phone call is part of something new she is doing with her You Go Girl mentoring network. It just so happened the devotion on her heart for this month was Jeremiah 29:11. And so together we got to thank God for doctors, modern medicine, and telephones of all things.

So now, I wait some more and know the his plans for me include a future and a hope. And I can rest in that.  And finish my laundry.  It’s kind of piling up.

Let’s talk about plans.  Will you share with all of us a time when your plans and God’s didn’t totally mesh, but his turned out so much better?