Few things raise my anxiety level with two exceptions that both have to do women’s health. The yearly gynecologist visit with the subsequent mammogram pushes my reasoning abilities to the brink. The yearly appointments women hate. You would think after two kids and my oven being taken out of the kitchen I would be less modest concerning all my lady bits. Nope. Still the same anxious feeling. I worry the doctor is going to laugh, out loud, right there in front of me. Or worse, after I leave. I know in my head that this is the doc’s business. It is truly one of the few times where my ‘business’ is their business.
I think the doctor may enter the room like a stand up comedian with a joke, “What did the gynecologist say to his new patient?”
“I don’t know. What did the gynecologist say to his new patient?”
“I’m always at your cervix! Hahaha, that’s great isn’t it? Now feet in the stirrups and scooch down.”
The level of anxiety grows even more if I haven’t maintained the lawn beforehand. My palms sweat, I have to take deep breaths. It is just an all around nerve fest. I try not to make a habit of that situation, but I usually go into some level of a mental block and forget about the appointment until they call to confirm the day before leaving me little time to insure my appearance is up to snuff. It is actually a good thing I block out the appointment or you may find me drinking in a bar for weeks. Work? Who needs that when you are freaking out over your next GYN appointment. Bartender, I’ll have another.
Gynecologists are twisted.
In almost a sheer twist of evil the gynecologist then gets to also schedule the second appointment I loathe. The dreaded mammogram. Great.
With the mammogram the appearance isn’t what causes my anxiety. I know the girls look good. Even in my late forties they have held up pretty well if I do say so myself, and I do. They may not have the perkiness of a twenty-five year old, but not bad. Thinking about Wilma and Betty being mushed in a panini press within an inch of their lives while not being able to move or even breathe is what strikes fear in me. A boob sandwich of sorts. Boob prison? I don’t know, just trapped with nowhere to run.
Aside from the significant discomfort, the next thought I tend to have as the bear trap closes on my breast is, “What if it malfunctions and doesn’t release?” Oh! My! God! What if I am trapped in there and a whole brigade of people have to come in while I am lifted up semi tip-toed with my boob smashed between the steel gates of hell? My imagination takes me to a place where everyone is working to try to get me separated from this machine that has the grip of a cold dead hand. I picture the fire department having to free me with the jaws of life from my predicament and my anxiety increases again. Now that I think about it, the firemen might not be so bad.
Do I realize this is likely a scenario that will not happen? Yes I do, but it doesn’t stop the hairy three eyed monster of fear to creep into my consciousness. Fortunately, I have managed to once again survive the mind spinning that happens during the time of year I head to my most dreaded appointments. Everything is none the worse for the experience. Albeit it took a few deep breaths to reinflate, I can now relax for the next 364 days or so till it starts all over again.