This post was written on the same day as the exam but had to be put off several times because of other events and me forgetting to schedule it. As promised, here is my experience with my first pap smear.
I walk in the room, this time there are no tools, no tray of scary things covered by a towel. I sigh with relief until I remember that it’s necessary so that I can get birth control. Remember that post “In Which We Don’t Get Knocked Up?” Yeah, we still don’t want to get knocked up.
I sit wondering if I should say anything while the nurse takes my vitals and once again sounds surprised that I have healthy blood pressure (119 over 70). She asks me why I’m there today and I tell her it’s for a physical. She leaves and then comes back and informs me that I need to switch rooms.
Ah yes, there’s the table with the scary vagina utensils.
I try not to look.
She instructs me to change and wait. I do so while thinking that they really ought to get more fashionable gowns thankyouverymuch.
My heart starts beating hard. How can I not think about the fact that I’m about to be vulnerable and exposed? I mean, he hasn’t even bought me dinner yet… No, the jokes aren’t helping.
I try to remember the happiest of the times that I’ve been vulnerable and exposed, reminding myself that this whole procedure is worth it. I can’t help but smile.
I send a panicked text to AJ…
I remind myself of the ability I once had to make things “clinical” in my mind so that they would not be awkward. All of those times, though, I was on the other end of it. I was the one doing the procedures. It was easier.
Dr. Dashing (yeah, he’s hot) comes in the room and does all the mundane parts of the physical. I start to feel at ease as we discuss my diet, exercise, the shampoo residue in my right ear, etc. He asks if I have any questions and I tell him that I made my decision about birth control. I let him know that I don’t think that Implanon is a good fit for me and that I would prefer an IUD. After listing my reasons he agrees with me and says that I can schedule an appointment for insertion.
I do an internal happy dance and silently say a “fuck yeah! 2011 really will be the year in which I get what I want!” We decide on Mirena because it lasts for up to seven years and fits my general “If I actually want offspring…” timeline.
Then he brings the nurse back in and asks me to lie down.
I immediately start shaking.
As I try to suppress the fear response that is so deeply programmed, he lets me know that he will talk me through the whole thing. He’ll tell me what he’s doing before doing each step. He had me scoot to the end of the table and put my legs apart.
I had to fight to not flinch when he first touched me.
Nothing hurt and it wasn’t even that physically uncomfortable.
It was just being so… out there.
“Listen to his voice, focus on that,” I told myself. “Make this clinical.”
And I did.
As I took myself out of the emotional part of my brain and into the logical, it became easier. I listened to the steps of the procedure, why he was doing each thing, and what he was looking for.
And I relaxed.
It was over much more quickly than I would have thought.
He covers me up again and tells me that I can sit up. I instinctively and protectively snap into a cross legged position with my hands in front of me in my lap.
Yeah, he knows…
He asks me if I’m okay and lets me know about getting the lab results back.
All that’s left is getting a shot and scheduling the insertion of the IUD.
I remembered Meredith’s advice about the lubricant the doctor used and how I’ll want to clean up a little bit. She was right.
Apparently more than I thought was used, though, because in the elevator I felt a little *ploop.*
Welcome to adulthood.
I can handle this.
Welcome to ladyhood.