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My Gynecologist Should Have Been a Farmer

If that title provokes images of a man who’s very matter of fact, standing there with waders on, rolling a giant glove up his arm and just shoving it up the rear of a cow, then you’d be pretty close to the image in my head and thus sets the tone for my most recent experience with a Gynecologist. As you can guess, it wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t pleasant and now I have empathy for cows!

I have an IUD, which has worked wonderfully for me but as with everything else, it has a shelf life so I needed to go and get a new one installed (sounds like software doesn’t it, although there is nothing soft about it!). So I got a referral from the local medical centre (mistake number 1) and made my appointment which, like any specialist, took 6 weeks to get. Did I mention my IUD was already nearly 1 year out of date? When I realised that, 6 weeks seemed like an eternity but what can you do?


The day finally arrived and off I go to get new parts. The professional office was is an older house, with slate floors, brick walls, and the same padded metal chairs I remember seeing in the staff room of the primary school I went to. I tried not to judge based on my first impression but wait, it gets better. The receptionist got me to fill out some forms, then I noticed her folding them and putting them into a a gold envelope and hand writing my name and details on the outside of it. There were filing cabinets lining the back wall and they were using an old appointment book with a pencil and an eraser to write and remove names… It was then I realised there were no computers, nothing automated; nothing modern in sight. Oh wait, there was an EFTPos machine but other than that, it was all old-school/archaic.

After waiting an hour and a half for my scheduled appointment, I finally got to meet the Dr. Into the private room we went. He was an old, rather large (ok… FAT!) man and both him and the room were just as cold and impersonal as the waiting room. Oh and might I reiterate, COLD! I tell him why I’m there and he asks if I’ve had a pap smear, which I had planned to have at the same time as changing the IUD but he says there are risks and best to have the pap smear first, get the results, and then install the IUD. Arrgghhh… If anyone knows me, they know I’m not a fan of waiting when I know what I want. I was frustrated to say the least, plus feeling a little vulnerable and somewhat precious so that didn’t help. I reluctantly agreed to take the IUD out and have a pap smear before getting the new one in 2 weeks from there.

He relayed all the risks, hand wrote them on the card and then made me sign them which threw me a bit. It felt like he was just covering his ass, which didn’t make me feel any more comfortable. He then took out his old tape voice recorder and recorded exactly what he’d told me. Do people still use those things?? It wasn’t digital by the way, it had a real live tape in it! OMFG! If this guy can’t cope with technology, how up to date were his professional skills? Would he know of the latest treatments and options available? These questions were not building any confidence in him for me…

It was cold in the room, did you see the word cold? It was COLD! In temperature and his demeanor… He asked me to remove my underwear and get on the table, there was no curtain or any place to disrobe. All that was on the table was paper – no sheet just the vinyl covering it was made with. No gown or sheet was offered to cover me, and while I’m not normally shy to be naked, in this environment I felt more naked than ever before

I hate that contraption they have to put up there to gain access to the cervix, it never feels remotely good. I asked for lubricant to hopefully make it less traumatic, he said he couldn’t because it can interfere with the result. Ok, fine… No lubricant… So I ask for water because it’s better than nothing, he reluctantly agreed although I don’t think it was warm water, that might have been too much to ask!

So there I am half naked, no coverings, laying on paper towel (and not the nice kind) on a vinyl bench, in a room with slate floor and brick walls, no lubricant and with a man who has come across with the less sensitivity than a gnat! He starts sliding the contraption thingy in and I hit the roof!!! He says “relax”… Relax?!?!? WTF? I tell him to take it slower and not to shove it in (because that’s what it felt like), he said he wasn’t shoving it… could have fooled me.

Multiple attempts, multiple tears, lots of pain later and it’s finally in. He says “I never have this trouble with anyone else, it must be you” Again I say W.T.F?!?! I haven’t had this much trouble with any other Gynecologist OR Dr; my obstetrician was AWESOME when I had my youngest daughter. Mind you, his offices had real sheets on the bed, he put a warm blanket over me to make me feel comfortable, he had the latest equipment, I got undressed behind a curtain, he made me feel comfortable saying he would go as slow as I needed and he warmed the thing up first! I had gone from 5 stars to .5 stars, at least he disinfected everything and wore gloves!

Thankfully he got the IUD out and did the pap smear! I did not want to go through that again. But wait… the ordeal was not over. Long story short, the pap smear came back with CIN 1 which meant having to go in again and do a Colposcopy as well as a biopsy. In that appointment he suggested he put me under to do the procedure because he wasn’t confident I could relax enough to do it. He wrote the fact on the paperwork and then recorded it on his tape for the letter to the referring doctor saying “I’ve told Chantelle I cannot do this procedure if she can’t learn to relax….” WHAT?!? All this is MY fault? And did he have to advertise the fact, he could have done the recording when I wasn’t SITTING THERE! And is it possible being cold might cause my body to constrict? You’d think he’d know that basic principle! It’s fair to say at this point I was extremely precious, very disappointed I still couldn’t get the IUD in and feeling quite deflated personally.

While I know CIN 1 is not life threatening, it was still a bit of a shock and I’m sitting there with a Dr who has no empathy, warmth or concept of personal responsibility other than covering his ass, and who seems stuck in the dark ages. I won’t even start with his short lecture on having just one sexual partner after I said I was a swinger. Judgment much?

I ended up having it done under a general anesthetic and I’m so glad I did. I took my Mr Wonderful with me to the appointment where it was decided to do it this way because I was originally going to do it in the office… I admit, quite possibly my view of my Dr was coloured by my precious emotional state as we discussed in the car on the way home; he did have the best intentions, he just didn’t have much tact or rapport building skills… Plus the surroundings I was in were less than comfortable to me; cold even… did I mention cold?

It took 8 weeks from the initial appointment to get to the end, and still the image of the farmer accurately represents my image of the Gynecologist who was responsible for taking care of me. I had the option of getting another Gynecologist but at the time I didn’t want to have to wait another 6 – 8 weeks for an initial appointment, so my need to get it over with was stronger than my desire to be more comfortable, and what if the next Dr was just as HORRIBLE? Arrgghhh….

So here is my sage advice after learning the hard way; research good gynecologists prior to being referred to one. Find out what their offices are like, what their personality is like and anything you can about their professional expertise. Not all Gynecologists are created equal apparently and when it comes to your lady parts, you want one who is going to be gentle with them… gentle but not aroused by looking at your vagina!

Perhaps having a hot, muscled stud of a man, for a Gynecologist would make a difference. Surely a Dr which provokes an aroused state in me would make the experience so much easier, and much more pleasurable overall. Damn, why didn’t I think about that beforehand?!? There should be a website with Gynecologists details, complete with a photo!!! Now THAT would make it something to look forward to 😀

And that’s just what I think… :)[/protected]

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