So I have an issue - and it's important that I find someone I'm comfortable with. Three years ago, when I began this fun journey (and before I'd gained 15 pounds), I went to see someone, who said this:
"Okay, let's open your gown for a breast exam, and we'll see how fat you are. Oh, not really, at all, wow."
Erm - ew?
STG, that's what he said.
The nurse in the room for the exam snapped her head up,and looked at me, and I looked at her - her widened eyes and OMG face said it all:
Now, I'm thinking:
"Oh yeah, sure - because I already love being felt up and putting my feet in stirrups, my legs spread eagle, 2 feet apart, then being probed internally through my vagina, by total-stranger old men, whilst we awkwardly try to make small talk ..."
"But now that you said THAT, I'm even more comfortable and I feel even less like it's a cattle health check. So HELL yeah, let's go, bring that sh*t on, I can't wait! Woo hoo! ;)
I mean, doesn't everyone? ;)
Of course that was sarcasm, for those who didn't know. Because I know that what goes on in pelvic exams is a big mystery, for many men, and even some men, having no clue about women's bodies or brains, imagining it must be pleasurable.
Allow me to reassure you - there is absolutely nothing pleasurable or enjoyable about having a pelvic exam. It's not painful (just a little pressure/discomfort at most), but it's not pleasurable, either. There is nothing we'd rather do less than have a pelvic exam.
We don't even think in a sexual manner about it, "never the 'twain shall meet." Meaning we specifically try not to think about one when engaging in the other; we try not to think about our pelvic exams during sex, and vice versa, we don't think about sex during pelvic exams.
In fact, even if that thought ever did randomly entered our head during a pelvic exam, believe me, it is quickly drowned out by the cranking sound of the speculum - as well as the physical pressure/discomfort we feel - as it wedges open our cervical os, so they can see inside the uterus.
It's extremely awkward and uncomfortable already, without inappropriate commentary said by your doctor about your weight, complimentary or not.
However, I actually said nothing and just laughed at his warped sense of a joke - because I needed to know what the issue was and this was the only way I was going to solve it.
I also think the reason I laughed and didn't say anything was because I was so taken aback, and sort of handled it as you would a child that said something inappropriate - change the subject to my clinical concerns?
So for the rest of the time, I just realized he had a very strange sense of humor and thus handled him with my quirky sense of humor, just to get through it.
However, though I may never have let on, it was actually a totally humiliating experience.
And yet women give him great reviews?
So now it's time for me to go again, because I have a pretty significant issue that's been going on for a month - and I can't bring myself to go back there.
So I called my PCP and asked if I could be referred to a woman. I didn't say anything about what happened, I just stated I felt more comfortable with a woman, discussing these issues.
She referred me to an APRN for an initial consult, which is fine - I often find they have a better bedside manner/listen better than some docs.
However, in viewing the site, I noticed the actual surgeons at the clinic - which I may end up needing, at this point - have both been in the newspapers for different, negative reasons.
The first is a male - and I can't believe he's still practicing!
Because one of the 2 actual surgeons, at this new practice, is THAT guy - the one that made national news, in 2003, after being sued by NINE WOMEN (and settling out of court) for literally "branding" the uteri of women - ON VIDEO - either with his own initials or "U.K" - because he's an avid UK basketball fan - and he's still practicing!
Now, you may not know this unless you're in OB/GYN (or have typed hysterectomies for years, like I have) - but it's actually normal to put a small branding mark on one side of the uterus when removing it, partially or fully, to determine the top of the uterus versus the bottom - but by "small brand mark," I mean a small dot or a small x with the cautery device.
What is NOT normal - and what I do NOT mean - is for any doctor to instead brand your uterus with his actual initials or those of his favorite college sports team, or "Dr. So-and-So was here," or whatever ethics-challenged minds comes up with - without patient consent!
When the lawsuit was filed by 3 women - eventually settled out of court - I remember a lot of men - TO INCLUDE OTHER DOCTORS - saying, "Well, if it's coming out, it doesn't matter."
First of all, the thing is, it isn't always entirely removed, they don't often know until they're in there.
I felt like saying:
"Oh, okay - well, if you're okay with that, then we'll just find a creepy lady doctor for your prostate surgery, with a penchant for branding one of the lobes of your prostate with her initials, while you're sound asleep, regardless of whether she leaves that lobe or not, without your consent - would you like that?" ;)
Now, you know dang well, you wouldn't - because you know that's crazy as hell lol.
I mean, that's some real-life horror-movie shit. In fact, most men would rightfully run away screaming, if a woman carved, tattooed or branded her initials into anything of yours lol.
So you see what I mean - whether that piece of your body is coming out or not, it's creepy.
Back to my situation, for me, the worst case scenario would be a procedure like endometrial ablation, or an actual surgery like a hysterectomy - both are highly unlikely, at this stage, but possible in the future.
So ... what, if I do end up needing surgery, at some point, should I sign an extra agreement that says:
"Oh, hey, yeah ... could you please not brand my uterus with either your initials or the initials of your favorite college sports team, due to some creepy tally you're keeping of how many women's uteri you've removed? Additionally, please dispose of it properly, rather than keeping it a jar of formaldehyde for your creepy collection, nor have a burn-the-witch uterus bonfire with it later."
Now, his reviews say he always says, "God bless you" when he leaves the room.
Oh, well, that makes it all okay, then ;)
Yeah, okay - God bless me - and the doc will too (apparently, they're one in the same, to him) - by branding his initials in my uterus for all time?!?
I don't think so!
And the second surgeon?
Though a woman and people adore her, she has also been in the paper - for multiple DUIs.
So ... should I give her a breathlyzer before my endometrial ablation or just wait for her to accidentally remove my uterus?
But she plays the piano at her church, so again, it's all okay, then ;)
Sorry, I'll admit, I have a thing lately, about the things we overlook from people, just because they claim to be Christian too - particularly in the South.
I can't remember where I saw this recently, but someone said on a show: "Oh, you're an evangelical Christian? What addiction are you suffering from?"
LOL, not always the case, but often true, especially evangelical Christians.
For whatever reason, they're often addictive personalities (alcohol, drugs, gambling, porn) and are drawn to "having a more personal relationship with Christ" as a substitute drug to make them personally feel better, apparently not recognizing that being a Christian isn't all about YOU.
Regardless, I am NOT kidding or lying to you - both of these people have made both local and national news for these things - and these are my choices?!?
I don't know what it is with women that we accept this kind of crap for care, but still rave about them later, especially in the South.
Are we too afraid of being labeled a "Karen" or a femnazi for saying something?
I'm also thinking with OB/GYN, it may have something to do with us wrongly associating the positivity of this person also being in the room at the birth of our child?
I don't know, but is it too much to ask, in the South, to find a non-creepy, non-misogynistic, non-alcoholic/addict to administer our care?
Okay, but I know how this ends, if I say something.
More gaslighting that I'm a mouthy, liberal, crazy-bitch Karen who's never satisfied, or something, for even thinking these things, I should just be grateful instead, and keep pretending our emperors are wearing clothes, keep my mouth shut, and take what's available.
Whatever - but do I really not have a good point?
PS - No, I'm not stating the uterus-branding doc's name or proving the links - but it's not hard to find, you can google it yourselves.
Just Google "Lexington uterus branding 2003."
Also, I see where he was sued multiple times for hysterectomies and salpingo-oophorectomies (tubes and ovaries) unnecessarily.
As for the female DUI doctor, those articles are harder to find, but you can, if you dig a bit.
I guess they're hoping we all have short memories or something, and that stating their a Christian and God-blessing us will distract us?
Alrighty. I have been saying most of my life, the culture here in Kentucky is one of the craziest in the country, and that liberals actually enable/normalize it/become part of it, but nobody listened until Trump was elected, and they still refuse to see it.
Whatever, trying to remember what my Pap said:
"Mule, you got three choices ..."
1) Walk along with them and pretend nothing's there, doubting yourself and what you see - a hornet's nest that really is there, but they either can't see or don't WANT to see - and you'll likely get stung right along with them.
(2) Sit down and refuse to go a step further with them, or go another way - but do it quietly.
(3) Sit down and bray real loud about what you see - but you know, if you bray TOO loud, you're probably gonna get your ass whipped, Mule. "
"That's why I don't say shit anymore, about what goes on in this family, nobody wants to hear it. If people don't wanna hear something, they just get mad at YOU for making them."
Okay, so ...
With #1, there is a strong possibility - based on several lawsuits filed by women - I could get my female parts branded or removed unnecessarily, if I do number one.
Having my uterus removed - and particularly not leaving an ovary - means being lifelong hormonal imbalance, being on HRT/hormones for life, increasing my risk of breast cancer, deep-venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and/or stroke.
With #3, well, you were right of course, several times over.
So #2 is the way to go, after this vent post - get the consultation by the ARNP, but if a procedure or surgery is needed, go somewhere else for both a second opinion and a more stable physician ;)
Thank you, Pap - it's taking me long enough, but I'm learning :)