No more waiting. The day finally arrived.
The doctor saw me immediately.
There was no waiting, there was no sitting around flipping through boring magazines or any of that normal doctor office stuff. That’s when I first got nervous. Eric and my mom were like, “So soon?” It was all so fast.
“Don’t be scared,” the nurse said to me.
“I have a book here to read while I wait,” I replied, through trembling lips.
“I don’t think you’ll be waiting that long.”
Then I got undressed, and the doctor came in before I had read three pages.
“Bet you didn’t think you’d be back in here so soon,” she said, putting on her gloves.
“Not really,” I said. I was suddenly aware that I was hunching over so far that my upper arms were resting on my knees. The doctor pulled out a little book to show me what she was going to do, and showed me the machines, and said that I should relax and not worry. She was going to look at my cervix, take some swabs, and a couple biopsies to determine exactly what was wrong. She said I could feel a pinch or so, but what would really be uncomfortable was the speculum inside me for ten minutes or so.
I said, “Well, we know how much the pap smear hurt.”
“Yeah,” she said. “Maybe you’re a bit more sensitive, so we’ll see how it goes.”
She looked around. “Okay, we’re about to begin…what is this? They didn’t leave me a proper speculum. Look at this tiny thing.” She held up what looked more like a pair of scissors. “I’d never be able to get a good look at you with this. Not that you’re vagina is large, it’s perfectly normal, but I’d never get my hands and instruments inside this thing. And this other one is enormous, and that’s no good.” She left the room to get a proper size tool for my body, and I was laying there on the chair with my legs spread, hoping that no one was going to come barging in through the door.
The doctor came back in. She went to her chair and pulled my legs up and had me In Position, and there was a knock at the door.
“I’m sorry,” she said, and cracked the door open. It was the nurse.
“Her mother wants to know if she needs her to be in there with her.”
“We’re fine. Tell her we’re fine.”
And she started the procedure. It was terribly uncomfortable, and felt like a lot of burning and tugging and pulling. She knew I was in pain, and we started arguing a bit.
“Oh, you’re a toe wiggler.”
“Well, this kind of hurts.”
“You’re doing fine.”
“It’s just a cotton swab!”
“Well, it hurts!”
And this continued until the actual biopsy, which was a bit more painful than the rest. Then, she was applying quite a bit of pressure on my cervix to stop the bleeding, and at this point I’m getting a little crabby, and she says, “Heard any good jokes lately?”
“You’re the comedian, aren’t you?”
I’ve got to stop telling people that when they ask what I do.
“Here, let me tell the jokes. A woman walks into a bridal shop and says, ‘I need to get a bridal gown.’ The man says, ‘Congrats!’ She says, ‘This is my fourth wedding.’
‘Oh,’ he says, ‘well, what color would you like your dress?’
‘White,’ she says.
‘Well, I’m sorry, ma’am, but traditionally white is reserved for virgins.’
‘I am a virgin,’ she replies.
‘How is that possible?’
‘Well,’ she says, ‘my first husband was a gynecologist, so he only wanted to look at it. My second husband was a psychiatrist, so he just wanted to analyze it. My last husband was a stamp collector… I’m gonna miss that man. But this husband is a lawyer, so I’m gonna finally get screwed.’”
I’ve got to stop telling people I’m a comedian.
I’ve never had to laugh while a woman applied pressure to my “oozing cervix,” as she put it. It’s not comfy. I don’t recommend it for a Friday afternoon.
She was about to leave and she says, “Oh, and I put some stuff on your cervix to heal the cuts, and you may have a greenish brown discharge.”
Can you imagine how much I would have freaked out if she had forgotten to tell me that?
So, everything went fine. The biopsy was painful, but not as terrible as I thought it was going to be.
The doctor sat me down and told me that it wasn’t cancer. It’s not cancer. It’s not cancer. What it is is something that could possibly turn into cancer if it was left untreated. They are pretty sure it’s something called dysplasia… and it can be caused by a few things… it’s very common in women my age. I don’t have any of the visible symptoms (warts), and that’s why I probably never knew anything was wrong…there are many different strains and types.. so they have to figure out what it is.. .if this is it. So, in a week, they will call with the results, and then we can decide how to treat the situation, based on how advanced it is, where it is, and what it is.
I felt some relief… but the doctor told me that if it is what she thinks this is… it’s not curable, only treatable. It’s a virus, and I may have this reoccur again and again… so I will have to be sure to get it checked every year and everything… well, I don’t know everything about what it is, but I know that it isn’t cancer, and that in itself is a big relief. The doctor told me not to worry, that this wouldn’t interfere with the show, that I shouldn’t be upset or scared. She’s gonna call next week, and we’ll talk some more.
So, she’s finishing up the procedure (which took twenty minutes) and she says, “You know, I hope someday someone writes something about their experience at the gynecologist. I’d like to see a comedic monologue about getting your pap smear.”
“I already did,” I half mumbled.
“Really? That I’d like to see. Well, I guess now you have more stuff to write about, huh?”
“Yeah, I guess I do.”
So I spent the rest of the afternoon with Eric and Mom, watching movies and talking. Eric just left for his show… his opening night, and if I’m feeling better tomorrow, we’re gonna go see it.
Mostly now I’m really crampy and feel icky. I’m tired. I feel a little nauseous. But I’m going to be okay, and that’s all that matters.