Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Adventures in Rootin'

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!

Good lord.

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.



That's all.

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.



Blogger The Curly Knitter said...

Don't walk...RUN to a different doctor's office and NEVER go back there again. That is just scary! I'm glad it wasn't anything really bad but I'd still get someone else to check you out...

6:49 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

That is ridiculous. Yeah, you need a new doctor.

Technically, taking samples for a test which you did not consent to is assault. Especially if you not only did not consent, you explicitly said you didn't want the test.

Just sayin'

Because I won my assault case against a doctor who pulled the same crap on me.

Your insurance company should be able to go to bat for you, as they get charged first for that kind of crap, and generally don't like being "upsold".

6:57 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Seriously, get a new doctor NOW!
This man sounds like everything a gyno should not be. I'd be seriously pissed off if my doc did a test I didn't consent to.

Are you friendly with anyone at work that recommend a good one? I know it seems weird to ask "hey, so do you like your cooter rooter?" but word of mouth recommendation can be the best way to find a good doc.

I had it easy when picking a gyno was the family gyno. He saw my mom for years and delivered all of my sisters. He delivered cousins, family friends' babies, etc. He's great and I love him. I'll cry when he retires. I think it helps that he's (seemingly) gay. He'll walk in and talk about fashion, weather, my outfit, etc. while doing an exam. I barely notice its happening.

7:27 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Not good. But on the flip side, after 18 months of going back to the hospital for regular colposcopies, I asked the consultant if they could do an HPV test to be told that it is not routinely carried out on the NHS so they wouldn't bother... And now I've been called back to have the nasty cells blasted away under general anaesthetic...

(not dissing the NHS in any way but we just go to our GP surgery for everything until something dodgy turns up and you get sent to the hospital - I don't relish the thought of having to find a decent gynae as well as a GP!)

7:48 AM  
Blogger knottygnome said...

it does sound rather sketchy. maybe you should seek a second opinion. i go to planned parenthood myself and have never had any problems. well, except for the protesters, but that's another story.

7:52 AM  
Blogger Dkswife said...

I cannot imagine going to a doctor like you describe. I think it would be very wise indeed to find another doctor. I just go to my regular MD. She does the same thing a gyno does and if you are not planning on having anymore children, why pay more to go to a gyno.

I have to say I would freak out if I had HPV, but that's just me. I'm weird like that.


8:13 AM  
Blogger Amby said...

I'm glad to hear it was HPV and not something more serious right now, but I'll chime in with everyone else and say find a new doctor quick! He sounds like a used car salesman, and the fact that he ran the test when you explicitly said NO is pretty scary. What else might he decide to do over your objections?!?

8:13 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

I agree with everything previously said.. run, don't walk.. to another doctor. Not just for future care, but for a second opinion. If you don't trust this guy, and he gives you the heebies, how can you trust any future testing, treatment or care?

With that said, I like another commenter, would be terrified if I got a positive. My sister got a positive, sans the cells. 6months later, cells a plenty. Since then she has had to undergo two separate procedures to get rid of them. Same with my sister in law. One month fine, a few months later, escalation.

So, go for a second opinion asap and take it seriously if it comes back positive. It can go from nothing to something very quickly.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Macoco said...

Seriously what an asshole doctor. Running tests that you explicitly told him not to? Give a call to your insurance company to clue them in to this guy. Isn't that insurance fraud of some sort? And obviously, shop around for a new one sans advertisements on the stirrups. I feel very fortunate to have an awesome gyno.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Poops said...

While I enjoy hearing about Dr. Jersey immensely and find him endlessly entertaining, I really kind of think you should look around some more. I've never met him and he gives me the creeps. I wouldn't expect you to stay with this guy just to keep me entertained.

Though I'd be touched if you did.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Connie said...

Creepy! Yes - I agree with your other commentors - find a different doctor! I had to have cells blasted under general anesthesia - but my sister's did turn into a cancer, even though she went in for regular checkups. She had to have a radical hysterectomy.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Nadine said...

I beleive Poops put words to what I was thinking. Creepy.

But I have to say, I nearly laughed myself to death with the thought of a disease where your cervix caught on fire. I mean, that would suck as a disease. Ow. But I'm sure this doctor would love it cause then the special Cooter adaptors on his fire extinguishers could have drug ads on them too. **giggle**

9:17 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Just let me be the next one to echo the sentiment that you need a new doctor. If you can't trust your doctor .... Well, he sounds rather unsavory, and I wouldn't give him another dime of my insurance company's money :).

Sorry about the HPV. I love your analogy, though (and the pictures to go with it ;). I had an "abnormal" pap once. I had to wait a couple of weeks before I saw the doctor, and it turned out to be absolutely nothing. I have no idea why the first one was "abnormal", but I recall that the whole expereince was pretty terrifying.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Good freaking lord. You know, I just finished up a quaint experience like that myself with a cyst - I'm not due for my rootin' till May, but I just grabbed who I could to get checked out. Similar office. Similar doctor (imagine that in a WOMAN doctor), and similar attitude.

I let her run the STD test anyway since I had never had one, but I've been married for 5 years now and deeply resent having it forced on me. Because of the then-undiagnosed pain, I allowed it - but the doctor's attitude and lack of knowledge was rather appalling.

Speaking of which...I need to put in some calls for a new gynie. I hope you RUN (not walk) to a new doctor, too!

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you haven't gotten a new DR by now you need to!!! This man is a quack!!! You know my opin of the medical drs! Get your self a new one. Love, Mom
PS: But you do entertain us with your stories of this quack.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Magatha said...

OK, Bez my friend, I am going to go on record here as saying A: get a new doctor tout suite and B: this sort of story, though excellent blog fodder, sort of works against your cootie rootin' K.A.Y.E. campaign work. It scares peeps.
How deeply creepy your gyno visits have been doesn't lend to me wanting to ever see the inside of a stirrup ever again in my entire life.
BTW, thanks a lot, I have to go tomorrow morning myself.

;) I'm just yanking your chain, like I would for any other super popular mega blogger star with a book contract floating around and thousands of adoring fans.

10:19 AM  
Blogger sgeddes said...

Find another doctor!

I had a call one time from mine that left a message saying I needed to call back about my pap results. When I called no one would tell me anything because the nurse that orginally called me was gone for the day. I had to wait until the next day to get another appointment and wait until the appointment to find out there wasn't anything wrong with my test except that the lab had contaminated it somehow. The Dr. suggested they probably dropped it on the floor.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

I'm so sorry you had to deal with that idiot. I think you are right when they see your spouse's occupation and your insurance. DH is an attorney - I had a gazillion unnecessary ultrasouds while pregnant. A completely normal pregnancy and yet I had 8 ultrasounds...

10:26 AM  
Blogger Beverly said...

Time for a new doctor, doll. I couldn't go back to anyone who made me feel uncomfortable, whatever the reason.

I wouldn't be freaked out if I got a diagnosis of HPV either (and, honestly, given the behavior of the X, I'm kinda surprised I don't have it). But my sis has it and has had some painful procedures as a result, so here's hoping yours never develops into anything.

11:01 AM  
Blogger roxy =^o^= said...

Dr. Louis Barth
Obstetrician / Gynecologist - Freehold, New Jersey
501 Iron Bridge Rd Ste 10, Women's Physicians & Surgeons, Freehold, NJ


It's totally worth the drive, and if you can't get an appointment with Dr. Barth then see Dr. Goldstein - he's totally cool too.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Rebel said...

I think HPV is the new glamorous women's disease. It's all over the place these days, but honestly, it's been around forever. It is the precursor to more serious diseases.. but nearly all adult women have it already! It's like telling a woman "you have a cervix... we've found this to be a strong indicator of cervical cancer risk" COME ON!

Get another doctor... pronto.

12:15 PM  
Blogger weezalana said...

Money-pimpin pharm lackey. Yup, time to switch gynos!

Glad it wasn't something more serious!

12:58 PM  
Blogger IrishgirlieKnits said...

I totally agree with poops. I wouldn't expect you to keep going to this sketchy doctor just for good entertainment for just can't make this stuff up! Ack!

THank goodness it wasn't something worse! And I hope the rest of your week goes better Bezzie!

1:01 PM  
Blogger Stacie said...

holy shit! what an ordeal! i'm having flashbacks to the clinic experiences of my younger days! egads! it's a populated enough area, find a different doc. I myself have 2 to choose from, from the same practice, yeah. BTW, I laughed long and hard after reading your recent comment. Cummon and pay yer ol' grammy a visit soon! We can meet up and knit!

1:02 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Ugh. Dr. Jersey needs a swift kick in the nuts.

I have a good cooter rooter, cept she's in the city. Don't think you'd want to schlep all the way there just for that.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Tactless Wonder said...

Before you call the insurance to complain about unauthorized tests:

My doc's (love her) lab will automatically test for HPV if your pap comes out abby-normal. Your doc's (creepy) lab might have the same protocol--even if they don't test for STDs.

I get the icked-out feeling that my nightmare doc experience might have turned out the same...I walked away from her before she did anything to me. You do not have to live with Jersey doc, demand a second opinion, for all you know he might have been mistaken (lied) about the fibroids to have you come in early and often.--Crazy doctor insisted I needed high blood pressure treatment...expensive high bp treatment...

4:33 PM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

The HPV test is routinely performed as part of the pap at my gyn office. They started several years ago. I tested positive and was really upset until she told me the statistics and how many folks were walking around with the virus. The last pap, I tested negative. When I asked how this could be, she said it's a virus. Your body can fight off some of the strains just like any other virus. I went the colposcopy route and everything (ouch, very, very ouch). I remember how scared I was when they said, "there's something abnormal about your test..." They said the same thing about the mammo last year. No end of fun here.

7:28 PM  
Blogger cpurl17 said...

Oh Bezzie.

(listen to roxy)

10:04 PM  
Blogger errs said...

Bah! HIPAA -- they can tell you the results over the phone. Seriously, at my last rooter appt they ran the test and it came back positive. I didn't even talk to the doctor, the nurse told me and said that if its still there for my next one (in March) then we'll worry about it. I hate dr's that make everything a doomsday prediction.

Go find another Dr. Seriously, I grew up in Jersey they aren't all that bad. Heck go to planned parenthood -- they're nice there. ;)

11:32 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Get a new doc.

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

I love your mom's use of exclamation points in her comment; what she says cannot, I think, be overemphasized. NEW!!! DR!!! Yes indeedio. If I were the vengeful type (which I am upon occasion) I would call my insurance and perhaps even pursue legal recourse. (Probably not that last.) See what happens. Because I bet the insurance co. won't appreciate it.

Glad you're ok!

7:02 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Heyyyyy! Welcome to the club! Mine actually progressed further, biopsy and all, in the end (or at the bottom), I'm A OK. I vote for a new Dr-

2:18 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Bezzie,

I came across your blog through Crafty Christina's...anyway, sorry to hear about your bad experience with that doctor. Some doctors have no "bedside" manner. I had a wonderful OB/GYN for years, who delivered both my kids, and was just so understanding, and helpful (not to mention young and good-looking, LOL!), but he moved out of the state.

When I got pregnant this past May, I went to see another OB/GYN at the same practice, an older guy, and just really disliked him. He was nice enough, but clueless! I ended up having what's called a missed, or incomplete miscarriage - the baby died in August, after I spent the entire pregnancy bleeding off and on, but my body wouldn't actually miscarry. The ultrasound tech who did the ultrasound when I found out the baby had died talked to my doctor personally over the phone, this was a Friday evening. I talked to the doctor on the phone the next afternoon, Saturday. I go in to his office for an appoinment Monday morning to discuss my options since the baby died, and he walks into the room all happy and smiling, and asks me how my baby is doing! Helooo?! You couldn't remember that my baby died??? I was very upset about that.

I got a D&C a week later, and when my husband I met with the doctor in my hospital (same one) before the surgery, I mentioned that I wanted to go back on birth control pills until my husband could get a vasectomy, and here the doctor was trying to convince me to get my tubes tied to spare my husband from a vasectomy!

I already tried that once, and it didn't work - I tried to have my tubes tied after my son (2nd child) was born, but I had a wall of scar tissue (from two colon surgeries) completely covering my tubes. And, a vasectomy is an outpatient, 15 minute procedure! The doctor said he gave his wife an IUD when they decided to stop having kids, so HE wouldn't have to go through a vasectomy! This isn't the 1950's - get a clue! My husband got the vasectomy done yesterday, and it was a simple procedure - wish he had gotten it done sooner.

Some of these doctors are hopeless!

3:19 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Who is that sleaze?

Gardisil is for anyone ever considering getting near a penis they haven't been up against yet. It's great, but you have probably had that HPV a loooong time. Yeah the cancer risk ups a bit but not enough for 6 mo visits. Time to do some gyno shopping. Ick-o.

2:45 PM  
Blogger funfairiegirl said...

uh. I think you need to find a new doctor as Dr. Doom is apparently who you have ended up with. And while HIPAA is great, they can still send you a letter under it. He just wanted his extra co-pay. Also, and because I am a COMPLETE bitch, I would call the insurance company and tell them that he asked you if you wanted this test, you declined and he ran it anyway. They may not deny it, but they might and since you declined the test he can't charge you for it. Well, he can try, but yeah...find a new doctor.

I just switched insurance, and technically I am not due until late May or early June, but I am going to see if I can sneak in mid-March before the supposed move date cause I have such a great doc here and I would like to not have to find a new one quite yet if I can help it!

1:14 AM  
Blogger Alisha said...

I agree new doctor....that just all was too weird.

And how can he do a test you said no too? There must be some sort of rule/law he is breaking and so my thought is what else would he do that he shouldn't or what could he miss cause he has some agenda of his own...kwim? Too me it sounds like your not his number one priority because if you were he'd be listening to you!

Wing nut doctor...lose him pronto!

1:57 PM  

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