Thursday, March 13, 2008
I take appointments with my gynecologist seriously because, a) she’s impossible to get an appointment with, and b) I REALLY like her. She is a GREAT doctor. When I was scheduling my appointment for this year, I took some advice I’d recently been given. I asked not for her first available, but instead, for the first available day when I could be her first appointment of the day. Usually, when I go to her, I end up in the waiting room for almost 2 hours. But she’s that good. So I have no interest in seeing another doctor. I was looking forward to experiencing no wait.
For some inexplicable reason, I 100% zoned out and forgot about my appointment with her last week. Sometime around 1 p.m., a moment of panic flashed through my body, and I thought – I had a gyno appointment this morning! Mortified, I called the doctor’s office. The lady at the appointment desk said my awesome doctor didn’t have another appointment until May, but I could come in this week and see the nurse practitioner if I wanted. Okay, I said. I didn’t have any serious business to discuss, so I figured I’d be okay settling for the nurse practitioner.
When I got called into the exam room, a pleasant 35 minutes past the appointment time (beats the usual hour+), we introduced ourselves. She looked over my records. Then she confirmed that there is no other person I want examining me ever again besides my perfect gyno.
Her: Are you on any medications?
Her: Are you thinking about babies?
Me: (Standard answer.) No.
Me: Just not yet. Maybe in a couple years.
Her: (She does a double-take at me, then my chart. Then, as if she doesn’t see it on my chart.) HOW old are you?
Me: (Errr. I’m thinking, Could you please go get my doctor, NOW. Instead, like the overly polite person I am, I answer sweetly.) 33.
Her: (In a tone like she’s a sister-friend, or like she knows me, or is a familiar girlfriend.) You’re clock’s ticking, girl!
Me: (Did she really just use the actual words, Your clock’s ticking? That’s all I can think to myself.) Errr. Heh-heh. (Polite, uncomfortable chuckle.)
No disrespect to nurse practitioners. I know they are as capable of giving me a one-minute pap smear as an actual doctor. But did this woman really believe that if I wanted to have a discussion about trying to get pregnant that I’d have it with her instead of the doctor I’ve been seeing since I was 23 (minus the 2 years between then and now that I lived out of state)?
Later, she tried to adjust, and added, “Well, lot’s of women are starting their families between 35-40 nowadays. But it can be harder to conceive.”
Okay, I thought. Go on, Keep correcting your blunder.
Her again: (Back to being my confidante.) But you’ve got to ask yourself, ‘How much energy will you have?’ I mean, what’s 18 plus 36?
Me: Uh. 54.
Her: Yeah, do you really wanna be 54 with an 18 year old?
At this point, I couldn’t really respond anymore. I just sat there thinking, Do you really think 54 is THAT old? And, do you really think my husband and I haven’t discussed what it means for us to wait to have kids? That maybe we won’t be able to if we wait – do you think we haven’t figured this out? Do you really see me panicking about my “ticking clock?” Because, as far as I can tell, I’m not. Meaning, I must’ve given these things some thought to feel relaxed and firm in my answers. No? And again, do you think if I’d wanted to discuss this today, I’d have made an appointment with you instead of my ACTUAL DOCTOR?
Her again: (Moving on, finally.) Are you happy with your birth control?
Me: YES I AM. Thank you.