29 November 2006

Let's shake hands

Here's a story my friends told me I should blog about:

Last week I had my lady exam. You know the one I'm talking about. The visit to the doctor that I like to call "my favorite time of year."

The nurse did her thing and then left me to change into the *always* sleek check-up gown. It only took me about a minute. I then spent another five or seven minutes waiting for my doctor to come in. I was surrounded by paper. My paper gown which I desperately tried to keep closed in the back, the paper table cover which I desperately tried to NOT let my cheeks touch (I know it gets changed after every patient, but still), the papers on the walls telling me that I desperately needed to get help for skin cancer, osteoporosis, birth control, migraines, prostate cancer, and back pain. However many times you do this, it NEVER gets any easier.

So after what seemed like an eternity, my doctor finally walks in. Now, I should take a moment to describe my doctor. She's a mother of two (their pictures are in her patient room), always wears pants that are way too short, and is VERY matter-of-fact in her approach.

So like I was saying, she walks in. I expected her to say hello, ask how I was, things like that. Instead, after she's barely said hello, she REACHES OUT HER HAND FOR ME TO SHAKE. This is a woman who has been inside of me twice (now three times), a woman who has inserted cold metal things into me and swabbed my innards. Forgive me if I'm a bit taken aback by the formality of the hand shake that was about to proceed. I wanted to say, "Lady, you've seen parts of me I'LL never see. I think we're a little past shaking hands."

But instead, I took her hand and gave it a VERY lame shake. It's hard to muster up a good hand shake when you're only wearing paper, you know?


Kevin said...

That is a pretty lame experience. Would it be better or worse if the doctor talked you up as though she was your best friend each time she saw you? Hummm If she was a dentist i would go with talks me up, however, the proctologist (spelling?) I would think i would want to be more mechanical and less human.

Marie Paperhater said...

That wasn't a lame exerience because I understand what it is like. Not only at the "Lady Exam" as you put it, but at any appointment where waiting in a patient gown on a cold table is neccessary. Feeling uncomfortable at the doctor's office is the last place we should ever feel uncomfortable. I need to be able to confide in this person about very personal things... how can I do that while wearing a backless paper gown while sticking to a paper table cloth. Forget the fact that I'm probably nervous and sweating. Need I remind you what happens to paper when it becomes wet?
-Marie Paperhater
Founder of the Patients Against Paper Movement