This year’s outfit. I’m looking irascible.
Yesterday was one of those days I dreaded and yet, in an odd, maybe mentally unhealthy way, looked forward to. It was my annual visit with my gynecologist: getting felt-up, having a pap smear and a rectal exam with a boob-squashing mammogram on the side. What’s not to like?

I’ve already chronicled my annual preparation for this visit (shaving, waxing, coloring my hair but not down there and, of course, plucking my errant nipple hair.) Maybe it’s just how I was raised but I always get dolled up and dress nicer to go the doctor than I do when I’m picking my kids up from school. Plus looking good gives me the confidence to sit there, on the examining table, naked but for only a paper suit.

My visit started with the dreaded weigh-in. I already knew I would be in trouble there. I’ve gained a little weight in the last year. And even though I’ve been running a couple times a week for the last month or so, it’s damn hard to lose weight when you’re over the age of 40. I mean 45. And I knew that my gyno would bring the weight gain up because it is part of my overall health.

He’s been my doctor for over 10 years so he knows me pretty well. Inside and out. Knows my marital (divorce and remarriage) and sexual history, knows how old my kids are and, most importantly, knows my sense of humor. He’s always had a sense of levity about him even when he was lancing my Bartholin’s Abscess a few years ago. And that manner is one of the things that makes him such a great doctor.

First up? The breast exam. He’s very observant, which is another good quality in a gynecologist. He noticed that I had a new scar on the top of my left breast. I explained to him that the dermatologist had found a pre-melanoma spot and had to excise a hefty bit of tissue, requiring both internal and external stitches. So much tissue, that she inadvertently gave me a breast lift. Unfortunately, it’s only in one boob. (Hmm. Idea. On next visit to dermatologist, make a suspicious looking mark with a Sharpie in the same spot on the right boob. Then, the boobs will match.)

Because of the scar tissue, he had to spend a couple of extra seconds examining that area, which is right above my nipple. I was hoping he’d hurry up and finish. I hate when my nipples get erect for someone other than my husband or the air conditioning. (My husband is actually called The Nipple Whisperer, for his dexterity.)

After the breasts, it was time to move on to the nether area. I’ll spare you the details. I’ve never been one for TMI. But just say that everything else went off without a hitch and before I knew it, he told me to get dressed and meet him in his office. Actually, what he said was, “Okay Chunks. You’re done.” (It’s okay. Like I said, he knows my sense of humor.)

In his office, we talked about taking calcium and vitamin D. About having my kids vaccinated against the HPV virus. And, of course, exercising more and eating less. He said that I looked good, we hugged goodbye and I headed over to the mammography unit to see the really outrageous ways a size C breast can resemble a pancake.

So I’m done for another year. Hopefully. You should go to your gynecologist once a year. I’m talking to those women out there who don’t go. You know who you are. Find a doctor that you like just as much as I like mine. Build a relationship with them. Then you’ll feel comfortable asking them lots of questions and talking to them about anything including sex toys and cunnilingus.

And, unfortunately, becoming peri-menopausal. At least then I’ll have an excuse to be irascible.