No Re Mi!

, , , , , , , | Healthy | September 17, 2018

A few years ago, I was having some issues with irregular periods and had to have my first pelvic exam. It was something I had avoided for a long time, because even the idea of it put me in a panic. My mom suggested I go to her gynecologist, and I agreed, largely because she was a woman and I refused to do it with a male doctor.

So, the day of the appointment finally came and I was a nervous wreck over it, actually nearly throwing up at times. But I went and met with a nurse first, and she put me a tiny bit more at ease.

But not for long. I was taken into the exam room and handed a “gown” to change into. I was told to have it open in the front, but it didn’t even come close to fitting me, so I was practically naked. If I pulled it as tight as I could around me, there were still at least six inches of skin uncovered across my chest, stomach, and lap. Then, the doctor didn’t come in for over half an hour, and at that point I was crying out of anxiety. When she finally came in, she asked if a student shadowing her could sit in, and I’m glad now I said yes.

The doctor began by rather aggressively checking my breasts while she started singing the opening lines to the song Do-Re-Mi from The Sound of Music, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” She explained by telling me she had a two-year-old grandson who could only be calmed down by The Sound of Music when he was worked up, and she thought maybe it would help me, too. I was speechless.

I’m not sure why she thought it was a good idea to compare a grown woman having an anxiety attack to a tantrum-throwing toddler, but I’m still offended. The rest of the exam was relatively uneventful, with the student talking to me and holding my hand through much of it. I’ve promised myself that I will not let this experience scare me away from potentially necessary medical care in the future. But The Sound of Music is completely ruined for me forever.

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