There are a lot of new and exciting symptoms to investigate and worry about when you enter middle age and the body decides to self-combust.
On a personal level, I would love to see more of my doctor because she is fabulous. I really enjoy our time together. I would like to be her real friend in the real world if she hadn’t seen my vagina and knew all about what a complete fruit loop I really am.
We are a similar age and she talks to me like a friend would. One of the few great things about being middle-aged is that the doctors become more invested in your health, especially the more it deteriorates. I suppose that we hypochondriacs become a huge gateway to doctors’ salaries now that improvements in medical science are helping us to all live longer.
But what I hadn’t appreciated before yesterday’s visit is just how similar it is to going to the mall these days – it’s one-stop shopping for all of us hypochondriac, middle-aged women. At my doctors, I can get my bloods taken, pick up my scripts, sort out contraception and get my flu jab all on the same site. I haven’t spotted the morgue yet, but it must be there somewhere.
I went in for a simple pap test yesterday and came out with a full shopping cart of flu and whooping cough jabs, a heap of blood tests and enough scripts to keep me sane for at least the next six months.
I’m fine, really.
My doctor is super-efficient. There’s none of that dancing around the problem or awkwardness when I have to open my legs to a complete stranger and pretend that I’ve still got a working pelvic floor. She’s a straight-talking speculum-in-and-out doctor with no messing around, the only slight discomfort being when she commented that I’d ‘obviously had my babies vaginally.’
I tried not to feel hurt that my vagina is obviously no longer in its first flush of youth.
The pap test included a free skin and breast check with it – a veritable three-for-one bargain – so never one to resist, I found out that the two moles I was convinced were melanomas are actually age spots –THE SHAME – and even the breast check was straightforward once she’d located them squirrelled away under my armpits.
She sold me a flu jab too. I recoiled in horror when she suggested it at first – I mean, flu jabs are for really old or really ill people aren’t they? – but at $30 a pop, it seemed like a good deal.
My blood pressure was a little high and perhaps I should have mentioned the three coffees I needed before I could place my feet in the stirrups and we agreed that coming off the fruit loop pills in the short term (as Kurt approaches his HSC/or prison), may not be the best timing.
And I left the surgery armed with a stack of reading material about other degenerating conditions I can research and worry about before my next visit.