Last October I was laid off and replaced by a 20 somethin' male who had about a tenth of the work experience I have for about half of what I was making. I hit the ground running and found a job within a month. I was lucky. But not lucky enough to have health insurance. No bennies where I work now. Needless to say, the news that I may be able to get my female "exams" done at the drug store down the street was about as refreshing to me as a new box of Summers Eve douche.
It is that time of year for my annual OB/GYN exam so this morning I headed on down the street to the drug store. My plan was to get there early in case there were other women in line to get their PAP smears and breast exams done. I was completely surprised when I got there and found that I was the only one wondering around looking for the exam table.
After several jaunts down the grocery aisles, I found the table. It was set up in the feminine hygiene section right next to the pads, tampons and refreshing douches. I was impressed with the planning that went into this bold new plan. It would be easy for the Doctor (I assumed it was going to be a doctor) to reach over and pick up a pad if something went horribly wrong.
The table was constructed of one of those old blood pressure check stations. I was curious how the stirrups would be made. Those drug store employees are crafty little buggars! They had put two step ladders on each side of the blood pressure stool so that I could put my legs up. Actual potholders (decorated with little black teapots) were laid on the top of each stool for my comfort. They even thought of my desire for privacy. They had used some crochet yarn to hold up two strategically placed shower curtains (decorated with goldfish...I was bummed that they didn't match the potholders) from the ceiling. Both of the curtains were clipped together with some green potato chip clips.
I asked the guy sweeping the floor "Is this where I get my OB/GYN exam?" He replied "Yes, Ma'am! I'll go get the examiner." He was really excited at my question. He walked off and disappeared around the corner. I was curious so I pulled the curtains aside and looked up. A beautiful poster of a blue lake surrounded by trees had been taped to the ceiling tiles. Yes! This reminded me so much of my own doctor's office. I wasn't quite sure how I would be able to lay on this blood pressure chair for the exam but sometimes you've just gotta have some faith in the process.
I heard footsteps and to my surprise a very young male in a green coat walked towards me. "Hi, my name is Grant and I am a pharmacy intern here. I'll be doing your exam today." I was, quite frankly, a little shocked that he wasn't a doctor intern but I was still trying to stay positive. Sometimes you've gotta look at the glass as half full; not half empty.
I don't think Grant knew what he was doing. He told me to sit on the chair but he didn't have me get undressed. I sat down. He looked at me the same way my dog looks at me when I sneeze. He fumbled around in his lab coat pockets and took out two shoe horns.
"I guess I am supposed to use these to get your PAP smear done" he said. "Shoe horns?" I asked. "Yeah, I was told to use these. They overnighted me a couple of cases of them after the Colbert show aired" he said. "Is there any particular color you would prefer?" he continued. "I have them in pink, green and blue."
I was baffled. I chose the pink ones.
"Grant, I think I need to take off my pants and underwear for you to...you know....get up in there" I told him. He blushed. "Okay, I'll step out and let you take off your pants" he said as he backed out of the exam area. "I will need something to cover up with, Grant" I said. He handed me a towel complete with a price tag.
I disrobed and covered my legs with the towel. Grant came back in. He had the two shiny plastic shoe horns in his hands. He still looked a little befuddled. "I think I need to put my legs up on the step stools, Grant" I told him. I moved my legs and exposed my hoohah (I've also heard it called a vajayjay) to him.
Staff came running to resuscitate him.
I guess I will have to go to Planned Parenthood afterall to get my PAP smear. That drug store thing just didn't work out too well for me...or Grant.
**Thanks much for the kind words and recommends. I appreciate all of them. I did want to address one poster who felt this diary was offensive to women who have cancer. My intent was not to offend anyone with cancer. I have had my own cancer scares (going for another CA-125 tomorrow). Sometimes you've just got to laugh through your own tears to get through this life.**