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Pap Chat

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I have a coping mechanism that kicks in during my annual pap smear.


I must talk during my exam.


Pretty much any topic will do … work, weather, wallpaper.


I’m already a nervous talker by nature and really is there nothing more nerve wracking then lying on your back, feet perched on padded stirrups, scooting your bottom to the edge of the examining table, waiting for your hoo ha to be probed? You’d think that after giving birth to two children I might view a pap smear as a walk in the park, but I never really get over that ick factor when I book the appointment.


Another thing that’s a constant is my socks. I always wear socks during my OBGYN exams. Even in the heat and humidity of early summer when I was pregnant with my first daughter and waddled in with sandals strapped over my water retentive sausage toes, I stuck a pair of socks in my bag. For one thing, my feet get cold as I hang out in the examining room. And as you sit in your a flimsy cloth gown, that’s pretty much all you can do … hang out, literally, and perhaps flip through a pre-Brangelina issue of People. I can think of some simple changes that would make pap smears so much more tolerable: current magazines, a full service bar, heated blankets, and perhaps chair massages in the waiting room.


Back to the socks. Not only do they warm my toes, I think they provide some comfort in ensuring that at least one part of my body is covered.


Any way, during my recent exam my doctor takes a look at my black Gold Toe brand, very utilitarian, very warm socks and comments, “I’ve got socks just like those.”


Great. I have the same black socks as my close to retirement male gynecologist.


Before I left, he asked a few standard questions for new patient paperwork. Although I am not a new patient, he is sharing office space with another doctor until he moves into his new office space this summer and therefore all his patients must be treated, at least on paper, as new.


He asked what medications I was taking and what I was doing as far as birth control.


I should have looked at him and said, “I wear these black socks to bed!”

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