Honestly, I don’t even know where to start with this one.
Except maybe it’s with the standard vaginal disclaimer (not to be confused with vaginal discharge! haha!): I overshare. Lots. Turn back if you’re squeamish. Or male. (Which is essentially the same thing.) Luckily for all of us, my father is on a big boat in the ocean somewhere out towards Alaska, so I don’t even have to apologize to him every fourth line!
(Not apologize for having a vagina, you understand. I’m pretty sure that’s okay with him. It could be the talking about it in graphic detail with the entire internet that bugs him. Or just, you know, talking about it where he might witness it.)
Okay. Everyone who’s still reading, strap in tight! I spent some quality time with my gynecologist this morning. And I know you want to hear ALL ABOUT IT.
It’s been almost a year since my hysterectomy. And by most accounts, I’m doing fabulously. No complications, hormones relatively even (shut up), haven’t grown a beard or had all my bones crumble into tiny bits or anything like that. It can be tricky stuff, having a total hyst at a relatively young age, so understand that I’m pretty grateful that I’m doing okay.
And I hardly ever complain, as you know. (Did I mention, shut up?)
Doctor: How’s the hormone replacement going now?
Me: Well, the patch was fine for a while, and then I started having excessive breast tenderness, and I read something that suggested switching the patch to a location above the waist to lessen absorption, so I did that. Now I wear it on my back instead of my rear and that seemed to help. But I dunno, should I be doing something else?
Doctor: That’s very true, the research blah blah blah blah…
… maybe we should try a ring, instead.
Me: A what?
Doctor: A hormone delivery ring. It’s worn vaginally, and helps support delivery of the estrogen right to the vagina without having to travel throughout the body and potentially getting diluted or ending up places you don’t want it.
Me: Oh. Um. Okay?
Doctor: Here, let me show you one. *rustles in her drawer of goodies and rips open a packet, extracting a large rubber BRACELET* You just insert it into the vagina–
Me: That’s, um, huge.
Doctor: Nah, you just insert it and it lays flat in there and you can’t even tell.
Me: It’s a ring. I don’t have a cervix anymore. What does it go AROUND?
Doctor: Well, in your case, nothing. It just lays there.
Me: What keeps it from falling out?
Doctor: The anatomy of the vaginal canal blah blah blah blah…
… and you only have to change it every 3 months.
Me: Sign me up!
Doctor: Okay, what else?
Me: Well I’ve been having a lot of yeast infections. And I’m taking tons of acidophilus and not eating any sugar and have lost the will to live.
Doctor: I see. [Asks normal, expected question.]
Doctor: [Asks slightly weird, unexpected question.]
Doctor: This may sound bizarre, but… [Asks weird and disgusting question.]
Me: Ewwwwwww. No!
Doctor: Okay, well, let’s have a look. Lay back. Knees apart. Oh, hmmm, yes, this could look happier.
Me: Have you seen the Sex and the City episode where Charlotte finds out her vagina is depressed?
Doctor: I’ve actually never seen that show. I don’t really have time for TV.
Me: Oh. Okay. Shutting up, now.
Doctor: I’m just going to insert the speculum… okay… and take a sample here… *scrapes my insides with such vigor that my teeth clatter* Okay! All done! Be right back, gonna have a look under the microscope.
Me: *spend some time admiring the ceiling*
Doctor: *returning* Well! Aren’t you special! The good news is that you DON’T have Candida Albicans!
Me: … and the bad news…?
Doctor: … is that you have Candida GLABRATA, which is resistant to things like acidophilus and most standard yeast treatments.
Me: … [Thinking: I have Hakuna Matata?]
Doctor: Also? I have never in all my years of practice seen so much lactobacillus in a mucus sample. Stop taking the acidophilus. Sheesh.
Me: Well but… cuz the yeast… and I… uh, okay.
Doctor: So, we have to launch a pretty big attack on it blah blah blah blah compounding pharmacy blah blah blah blah suppositories for a couple of weeks blah blah blah blah if that doesn’t work we’ll have to have you come back in and I’ll paint the vaginal canal with gentian violet. But that can stain your underwear.
Me: … [Thinking: Yes, stained underwear is really a concern of mine at this moment in time. Perhaps if I tighten up that new vaginal gasket, that will prevent leaks?]
Doctor: But this will probably work.
Me: Oh. Good.
Doctor: But it might not. We’ll see.
Me: Well, just so long as you’re sure.
Doctor: Wow, your scar still looks really bad.
Me: Yeah, I know. I did the scar sheets and I did the Mederma and I am still rather Frankensteinish.
Doctor: If that becomes an unbearable cosmetic concern for you…
Me: … uh, not a lot of people are viewing that area, really…
Doctor: … I can give you a referral to someone who can fix it.
Me: What? Really??
Doctor: Sure, they excise the scar tissue and then restitch it a bit and then do steroid injections at the site to prevent new keloid formation.
Me: Oh. That sounds fun. Except not.
Doctor: Well, if you decide you can’t stand how it looks…
Me: … I’ll put my underwear back on. Thanks.
Doctor: So, let’s talk calcium. Here’s a worksheet. Are you getting enough? Do you take a supplement? Shall I tell you about how you are young, slender, and caucasian and that osteoporosis finds you incredibly attractive?
Me: Maybe, yes, and no thank you.
Doctor: Broken any bones this year?
Me: Nope. Wait. Maybe. I might’ve sorta had an eensy little stress fracture in my foot.
Me: Um. Yeah. This is funny! From NOTHING. Ha! Ha!
Doctor: … then let’s send you for a bone density scan, STAT.
Me: Couldn’t we just go back to the young, slender, and caucasian thing…?
I walked out of there over an hour after the appointment started, loaded down with a metric ton of paperwork. Three prescriptions. (By the way? The vag gasket is called the Femring. So that you don’t accidentally order yourself a cock ring from Canada while ferreting out lower prices, I assume.) Charts. Information flyers. A reminder card for a follow-up with her in a month. An entire leaflet on bone density scans and why it is imperative that I arrive early for my appointment AND am wearing “no metal in the midsection area.” (Damn, haveta leave my chastity belt home, I guess.)
I do so enjoy being a girl. Hakuna Matata!