The Dreaded “Annual”

There’s nothing more exciting than an annual visit to the gynecologist.

The day when you get to be extra late to work because you have to go answer a bunch of really uncomfortable questions about intercourse and self-breast-exams and your family’s medical history. And then walk around all day with a gallon of KY Jelly oozing out of you. Asking yourself …why the hell did I decide to wear a skirt today???!!!!

Before you even see the doctor, you get to fill out a 9-Page Inquisition.

Sometimes you tell the truth.

Do you drink alcohol? If so, how many drinks per week.

Your answer (1-3). The truth (mmmm…5-7).

Do you exercise? If so, list activities.

Your answer (walking and jogging). The truth (sitting on the couch and…refer to previous lie).

Did you have intercourse before the age of 18?

I know I’m 30 now, but shit, is my mom gonna see this? 

I remember the first time Todd went with me to the doctor. It wasn’t for an annual (for the record, it’s freaking weird if your husband/boyfriend/life partner accompanies you to the gynecologist for an annual check-up.)

It was for my 8-week pregnancy exam three years ago. The nurse left us in the room, asked me to undress, and notified us that the doctor would be in shortly.

“What are you doing?” Todd asked.

“I’m taking off my clothes,” I said.

“All of them?”

I looked up at him. Blinking.

“Well I didn’t know the doctor was going to see – everything.” he swallowed.

“Perhaps you thought the doctor would look up my nose?” I said.

“The baby is down here,” I pointed.

I gave him the devil eyes as he loomed over the doctor the entire time he was examining me. He was standing too close to him – invading his personal space.

Today I was glad to be alone.

Sitting naked on an examination table is a great time for introspection.

I stared at the informational posters on the wall.

Hmmm, symptoms of menopause – looking forward to that.

Might I be interested in a clinical trial for a new birth control?

I love my doctor. He’s a 60-something fuzzy-headed man with large black spectacles. I like him because he’s very direct and somewhat impersonal.

I imagine he’s seen 10,000 vaginas in his day. Mine being no more – no less exciting that any other.

I DID NOT like the OB who came in grinning ear-to-ear like the Cat in the Hat.

“Soooooooo,” he said smiling. “You’ve got some funky discharge!”

I pictured him singing…

“Let’s take a look at your gobbly goo! Your mother will not mind at all if we do!”

I prefer my gyno to report the news like an anchor from the McNeil Lehrer Report.

Just the facts. No funny business.

Usually my favorite doctor doesn’t chit chat.

But today, for whatever reason, he was on a constitutional rant. Something about Obamacare and Canada and….

If religion and politics are off-limits at the dinner table, they should certainly be off limits on the examination table.

I smiled and nodded and prayed he wouldn’t discover my political affiliation. (It doesn’t say Registered Democrat anywhere in my chart does it!!???)

I was sweating.

Please let the speculum be outside my body should he uncover this fact.

“Everything looks fine.” he said with Eeyore’s enthusiasm.


Regardless of the subject matter, it’s so unnatural to make small talk with someone’s hand up your hoo-hah.

Like you’re making love to your husband, and he’s getting all handsy, and asks, “so…how is work going?”

“Oh fine… I’m really enjoying my new position.”

I’m glad there are 364 days until my next annual exam.

I’ll need that time to get a new voter registration card and practice some talking points for next year.

Perhaps I’ll even look into drinking less, exercising more and…seriously…is my mom gonna read this? I was 18, I swear!!!

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