Today was one of those days.
You know, the ones where you find yourself wearing half of an open-front muumuu, lying flat on your back with your feet in stirrups.
Ladies, we’ve all been there. (If you haven’t been, shame on you, call and schedule your appointment today.) Today just happened to be my day. I’m in a lucky position, really, in that I adore my Gynecologist. He’s been my doctor for nearly 20 years now, and I dread the day he retires, because he makes this day bearable. He’s sarcastic, hilarious, and incredibly caring, so I don’t stress about this appointment anymore.
Well, that, and I have finally perfected my routine for this appointment, so I’m always prepared. Maybe you’re one of those people who truly stress about this annual visit, and you either have to psych yourself up for it, or you just walk in terrified. If so, this post is for you. Follow these easy steps, and you’ll never fear those days again.
Step One – 12 months to go
Step one begins when you leave the OB/GYN’s office. Yes, you just got it out of the way, but you’ve just scheduled an appointment and the preparation for next year begins now. You’ve just had the infamous Pap Smear, so you can relax, right? Wrong. Don’t forget the purpose of the Pap. It’s a screening for potential problems that may be brewing, so there are pending lab results coming your way. Should something need further investigation, you should still have the girly bits doctor-ready for any follow-up visits.
Step Two – 11 months to go
Your postmaster smiles and hands you that ever-so-discreet postcard with the “normal Pap Smear” box checked. You’re in the clear for the next 11 months. Now you can breathe. If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with your down-there “do”, this is the time. Have you always wanted to try a Brazilian wax? Maybe you’re itching for a landing strip? Heck, maybe you want to shave a picture of Putin on your poontang. To each their own. But NOW is the time! You’ve got 11 months to grow it out and forget any embarrassing mistakes.
Step Three – 10 months to go
Remember what you weighed at the doctor? It doesn’t matter what it was, you think it was too much, and as you stood on those scales you vowed to lose weight before the next visit. You’ve eaten your way through the last two months, put away a few pints of Ben and Jerry’s to drown your sorrows over the whole Putin fiasco, and bought some bigger sweatpants. This is when you either decide to own those curves and enjoy your ice cream, or start getting it into gear so you actually have time to get a little healthier before you go back. Either choice is completely acceptable.
Step Four – One day to go
You’ve been living your life, completely oblivious to your own appointments because you’re worried about everyone else’s schedules. Then one day, your phone rings. It’s the message reminding you of your gynecologist appointment…tomorrow. Thank God it’s automated so they can’t hear your panicked scream. The only thing worse than a gynecology appointment is a surprise gynecology appointment. You look down at your baggy sweatpants and try to remember the last time you shaved your legs. Your eyes scan to your badly-in-need-of-a-pedicure toes, and you wonder how you’ve let yourself get to this point again.
Step Five – 4 hours to go
It’s time to shower. Yes, it’s 4 hours for a reason. This is no normal shower. This is when you trade the loofah in for the steel wool scrubbing pad. Anyway you feel like you should. You scrub every inch of your body at least 3 times, you shave in places you forgot grew hair, and you slather on all the smelly lotions you can find. You even put smelly lotion on the insides of your thighs, just in case you get sweaty during the walk from the car to the doctor’s office door. You examine your closet for whatever simultaneously makes you look thinner, and comes off the quickest, because everyone knows you’ve got to be a quick-change artist to get naked and settled into your fancy sheet before the doctor walks in the exam room. Finally, you paint your toes as best you can, because you know they’ll be right beside your doctor’s head while he’s inspecting your poofer. You’re no doubt running late at this point, so you do one last check in the mirror, sniff your pits, spray one last mist of body spray, and walk right through it as you head out the door.
Step Six – It’s TIME!
You walk into the doctor’s office to check in, fill out some paperwork, and hear the nurse call your name. Everyone is happy to see you, you make small talk about the past year, discuss how old the kids are now, and realize that while all of that was going on, your doctor finished your exam and it’s already time to go. This is that split second where you remember how quick and painless this appointment always is, and wonder why you stress about it so much.
Now schedule next year’s appointment, go get some ice cream, and return to Step One.