Sunday, January 20, 2008

Speeding Down the Hill

In the words of my loving boyfriend:

“You’re a crazy anxiety nut job…”

…sadly, I must agree. This month has been a mental health mishap, that started with the pap smear from hell.

You see, where I come from, hospitals are impressive ten story buildings. They’re equipped with cafeterias and gift shops (and teenage candy stripers), and pharmacies the size of single family homes. They’re cold. Quiet. Impersonal. Clean.

Where I live now, hospitals look more like funeral homes, by which I mean they’re literally converted Victorian cottages. If they didn’t have large-lettered signs on their grassy front lawns, you’d never know they existed. And that’s all fine and dandy, bigger isn’t necessarily better, or so I thought before that fateful visit.

An aura of naivety must have radiated from every inch of my being as I wandered into the cozy waiting room, and then calmly followed the nurse in Christmas scrubs through the cramped hallways into one of the three examination rooms.

And although her fifteen minute diatribe on the shitty-ness of Christmas was comical—considering she was decked out in reindeer scrubs—I was happy to finally be alone on the tissue lined table when the elderly nurse left the room.

Laughing to myself about the irony, I exchanged my clothes for a backless, polka dot gown, when I suddenly noticed a bead of sweat stream down my forehead; the goddamn room must’ve been 110 degrees! But before I could curse the good lord for the extreme temperatures I was cruelly being subjected to, I noticed something on the floor: CARPET! Carpet in a fucking hospital room! I was beside myself. And that wasn’t all, where a sink should have been, for oh I don’t know hand washing, there was a 1980’s boom box blaring, of all things, country music. It was like I had been sucked into The Twilight Zone.

I won’t go into the details of the pap, but I will say in my seven years experience, it was the WORST I’ve EVER had. The procedure was an exorbitant thirty minutes of excruciating pain that left me bleeding for the rest of the afternoon, and singing this song...

Which brings me back to the point, bigger is definitely better. And that’s all I have to say about that.


Anonymous said...


I can sympathize. My last pap was in a cottage down a DIRT road, two miles from a perfectly good hospital. The procedure left me sore and bleeding for 5 days, after which I THEN got my period for another 6 days. They used that new Thinprep test (ouch), not to mention the fact that the technician who prepped the room put the little bristle brush right ON THE COUNTER NEXT TO THE SINK. They might as well have used a toilet brush for whatever cooties were on the counter. Sigh...

Nikole said...

Ahh! PAP's suck.. (especially when they come back "abnormal" and result in having PAP's for extra credit (i.e. 2x per year) followed by ... well I'll stop there. From one hypo to another I know better than to list what came next.. I have missed your postings.. I was left to search the web for FMLA laws and if I can get a leave of absence for panic attacks. Outlook isn't looking so good. Maybe a lawyer could help.. Wow.. There's a rant. ;) Welcome back and I hope you are doing better...