The Air Down There

WARNING: If you are a man, or a woman who’s squeamish about discussing “lady parts”, you may want to skip this post, because that’s what it’s about…..well, that and the fact that I haven’t seen a doctor about them in over eight years.

I’m not proud to admit that. I’m a nurse, I know better. I’ve still got all the equipment I came into the world with, and having gone through menopause doesn’t mean that I get to neglect it. But it’s all too easy to do when your primary care doctor never addresses it and you don’t have a gynecologist who will. I mean, NOBODY likes pelvic exams—that horrible position you have to get into for this event is bad enough—and the rest of it is just…..icky. “Scoot down,” they always say, even though you feel like you’re about to fall off the table. And right when you KNOW you’re going to fall off, they say, “Okay, now scoot some more”.

Now, after five babies and 21 years in healthcare, I don’t have any modesty left, so that’s not the issue here. But I am uncharacteristically nervous, not just because this is being done on something of an urgent basis, but because it’s a new doctor and I don’t know yet what I’m in for. It means talking about my health history, my medications, and yes, I’m sure the bipolar will come up. But I’m also going to have to talk about the most intimate details of my life, and I’m not thrilled with that idea at all. I don’t even discuss those things with Dr. Awesomesauce!

I won’t have any trouble talking about my past experiences with gynecological exams, though. I’ve had some pretty gnarly ones thanks to a couple of cancer scares, and I’m not looking forward to repeating them. I’ve had endometrial biopsies (ouch), where they snip bits of tissue from the uterus and examine it for signs of cancer. I’ve had ultrasounds (gotta love having a transducer wand up in your business along with the 32 oz. of water they make you drink beforehand so they can visualize things better). I’ve even had the ever-popular D & C (no description is necessary). None of which I remember fondly, what with all the cramping afterwards, but I got through it.

However, that was also when I was a lot younger, and the parts of me which make me a girl had not yet seen the end of their biological usefulness. Now I feel just like my mother did when she had to go get checked out after having some postmenopausal bleeding (and yes, I’ve had that too)….more scared of the procedure than of the possible outcome. 

Oh well, what must be done, must be done. I’ll let you know how it goes. ~sigh~


Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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