Disclaimer: If you're uncomfortable with colorful talk of all parts female, you need to click away now.
You might remember back on December 18th, I had my first encounter with gynocology in my new state when I went in for my cooter rootin'. (If you missed it and are comfortable with even more
graphic talk click here.
) Before I left, Dr. Jersey informed me if there was anything abnormal with my test, he'd call me.
On Monday, it was 11:55 a.m. and I was nestled in the stacks of paper and binders that have come to rest on my desk doing whatever it is legal secretaries do, when I heard my phone vibrating in my purse stashed in my desk drawer (one of the benefits of going blind is my hearing and sense of smell are pretty good).
I figured it was a wrong number as Dr. Mad Scientist and I just got new phones. But the person left a voicemail.
It was Dr. Jersey's office.
I called them back at lunch (they must be open during the lunch hour) and they informed me I had to come in to discuss the results of my recent pap with Dr. Jersey, and that's all they could tell me. I scheduled an appointment to come in on Tuesday at 12:15 p.m.
I then proceeded to call Dr. Mad Scientist at work to emotionally unload on him (one of the perks of being married aside from regular sex), go on my lunch time walk with my stomach in knots, and back to my car to not
eat my lunch as my appetite had disappeared.
Cut past a night of freaking out and finally coming to the resolution that there wouldn't be much Dr. Jersey would be able to tell me if my pap came back abnormal without further testing and worrying wasn't going to do any good.
But I kept thinking about the tone the receptionist had in her voice when she realized who I was calling. It dropped considerably--like what did she know that she couldn't tell me???
Finally after a restless night, wherein my only dreams involved spinning (which I have no real desire to do--maybe it's relaxing in real life and the unconscious world), and a few hours of work, I found myself again at Dr. Jersey's office.
I was positioned in the office across from the Gyno Movie Games. They've got a flat screen TV in one corner of the waiting room emblazoned with some drug company name that flashes little health tidbits and games.
So instead of answering Coke Trivia questions about what movie Kevin Bacon first starred in, you get to descramble: REPRATUME ROBAL and then get to read about all the fun of premature labor. It would have been a lot more fun waiting with a jumbo popcorn and diet coke, that's for sure.
In between watching cartoon characters suffer strokes, while listening to the New Hamshire primary results coming from the real TV on the other side of the room, I sized up Dr. Jersey's clientele.
There weren't as many people waiting for him today as there were last time.
Now, I've never thought of myself as well dressed.
When I go to work, I wear a pair of unironed black slacks and a sweater or blouse. I know the slacks are going on 7 years old and most of my tops are just as old if not older. I don't wear make up, and I don't fuss over my hair. Not exactly dressed to the nines.
However, in Dr. Jersey's office, I felt overdressed as I was sitting across from Ms. Yellow Terrycloth Warmup Suit and Pencil Cut Skin Tight Jeans Girl. I guess I was spoiled in Lansing where I could recognize other office schmucks taking time out of their day to have their nether regions spelunked.
Finally, after arriving at 12:00 p.m. for my 12:15 p.m. appointment, at 12:30 I am called back into the office.
I'm seated in a room where I proceed to wait until 12:55 when Dr. Jersey finally shows up.
I start reading some Pregnancy magazine that was left by the sink. After I get tired of reading about the glory and magic of Courtney Thorne Smith's impending spawn (I mean has anyone even thought about her since Melrose Place ended? Why is it the merely human function of getting knocked up is press worthy to even the most washed up of stars?), and how to breastfeed (what a bunch of bullshit those magazines are, breastfeeding is not easy for everyone, and if you can't do it, there are other ways to make sure your kid gets nice cheap delicious mommy juice), I decide to examine the room in more detail.
Oh sweet Lansing OB/GYN Associates, how I miss you!
This waiting room seemed worse than the one I was in in December.
There was a yellow water stain on the tile in the ceiling, I counted two Nuva Ring models stashed around the room, the paper towel dispenser above the sink was out of towels, so they just had a roll of Bounty next to the sink and this time it was the paper covering the exam table that bore a Gynazole advertisement (Gynazole--doesn't that sound like a filthy guacamole?), even the stirrup covers had a drug advertised on them!
Anyway, Dr. Jersey walked in on me as I was scratching notes about the room onto the back of a receipt in my purse (I really need a digital pocket camera or a camera phone for moments like these).
He hands me my test results and tells me that I tested positive for HPV.
And that was it.
No abnormal cell growth.
No Jesus appearing in the cells of swab slide.
The analogy I've been using is imagine if my vagina smoked.
Not all smokers will get lung cancer, but their chances are a whole hell of a lot higher than non-smokers.
80% of women by the time they reach age 50 will have HPV. It's an very common virus that may or may not develop into cervical cancer. It's kind of like how I view my boobs now that Mom's had breast cancer. My risk factor is dialed up a bit more than your average Josephine.
I wanted to smack the man because at this point.
He proceeds to talk to me like I'm a fucking moron (which OK, maybe he's used to) and explains how HPV is very common, but could lead to cervical cancer later and how I should come in for a pap in six months.
Which, if the douchebag (Summer's Eve douchebag I'm sure, because everything this man has has a brand name on it) had read his notes, I had to do anyway because he wants to keep an eye on Freddy the Fibroid I've developed.
I didn't want to tell him that the man who gave me this HPV has a bachelor's in microbiology and as hostess of an online yarn bribery program for knitters and crocheters to get their cooters rooted, HPV isn't a huge deal.
Because first off, I don't believe the man has ever had to wear a sweater in his life. He seems to have enough chest hair growing from what I could see sticking out of his labcoat where sweaters would just be a redundant piece of clothing.
Second, I get the feeling he's trying to scam me, I don't want to let on that I'm more educated than I appear (hey, you pick up some useful knowledge sleeping with a microbiologist-toxicologist-pharmacologist!).
Remember that STD test he kept trying to push on me?
I distinctly remember telling him NO. Because well, silly me, I trust my husband, and I was screened for gonno and syphillis six years ago when I was pregnant with Chunky (but not HPV because HPV doesn't make babies go blind when they're born).
But apparently he ran it anyway. What he didn't mention is that HPV is included in that screen along with gonno and syphillis.
Here's where I get into stereotype-ville.
I think he sees me as a little bit better than his average client with better insurance (Which is it really all that great? We cheaper version with the higher deductible.) and a PhD husband working in Nueva York City.
I base this all on his talk about getting a new car or jewelry from Dr. Mad Scientist for a postive test result back when Dr. Jersey was trying to upsell me the STD add-on to my pap test in December.
Anyway, to wrap up the utterly useless conversation I have with this man (I get HIPAA, I really do, but at this point I wanted to scream--this was like being diagnosed with a stuffy nose, is it so hard to release that over the phone, or at the very least just MAIL me something?), he asks me if I've heard of Gardisil.
I told him, um yeah, I had and I'm too old and too sullied for it (it's for younger girls with no or limited sexual experiences). He agrees but hands me a pamphlet about Gardisil with "good information about HPV" on it.
Um, yeah, it was a pamphlet trumping the benefits of Gardisil. There were two sentences about HPV in the whole two pages of it.
But would I expect anything less than an advertisement from the man with ads on his stirrups?
So I go back in 6 months.
In the meantime, I think I might shop around for a new doctor. I only half understand this man's concern. But if I'm coming in for cooter rootings every year anyway, does the fact I have HPV, given the extreme prevalance of this virus in nearly the whole population of women really going to mean my cervix is going to catch fire or I'm going to develop cervical cancer more furiously than that 20%-ish that's not walking around with it?
When I was checking out and making my appointment for June, I noticed the receptionist.
Around her neck was a Mal de Ojo.
I recognized her voice from the one tinged with doom on the phone when I called to set up my appointment.
Maybe they make a Mal de Voz.