Monday, August 20, 2012

Vagina Dialogues

Over the course of one’s lifetime, we end up going to many kinds of doctors. I know I have seen pretty much every specialist out there. We women seem to have it much worse than the men. I know…I know, get your prostate checked and yada yada yada...and I’m sure getting your balls squeezed for 3 nano-seconds while coughing is ten times worse than giving birth. We feel very sorry for you. But let me tell you...going to the gynecologist is not only humiliating [not quite as humiliating as the proctologist, mind you, but humiliating nonetheless], but it is also the gateway to so many other kinds of exams and more. 

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to have my six month checkup with my gyno. I happen to love my gyno...she's thorough, knowledgeable, young and chatty. Quite chatty. I tend to wonder if she's paying attention to what she's doing while her hands are halfway up my hoohoo and she's chatting away inside my vagina.

But before I even get to see her, I have to get on the exam table while her nurse takes my vitals. I always wondered why blood pressure and temperature are the two standard measurements they take in every office no matter what kind of doctor you're visiting. If I'm visiting the orthopedist, what's he going to do if I have a fever? Put me in a neck brace? I think I'll have to check that one out on Google. Or I guess I could just ask my daughter since she's a medical assistant and in nursing school. It's the simple, logical things that I tend not to think of right away. I frighten myself sometimes.

"Take off all your clothes and put the top on, open to the front please, and drape the other across your lap. You can leave your socks on if you'd like." It's a look we all want to have at some point. Naked, wearing athletic socks.

I don't know about you, but I unknowingly get nervous in the doctor's office and the longer I sit there, the more I start sweating, and when my bare bottom is sitting on that examining table paper, my tushy starts to stick to it.  I try to lean to one side and then the other, to lift up off the paper, but little pieces break off on each cheek and by the time the doctor comes in, I have an entire paper roll stuck to my butt. 

Sometimes I wait so long for the doctor to come in, I start to check things out: test my reflexes with the little knee knocker thingie; take a few gloves and shove them in my purse, [for reasons unbeknownst even to me]; search the drawers for anything of interest; take my own blood pressure, [just because I feel grown up using the stethoscope]; and read all the back, knee, neck, organ and shoulder diagrams. Sometimes I go to the doctor just to catch up on my medical reading; although many of the diagrams are way out of my league and totally baffle me.

Finally the doctor comes in and after she's done picking the paper out of my nether region, she comes at me with the Jaws of Life. "You're going to feel a little pinch." A LITTLE pinch? You may as well attach a lobster claw down there. That clench would be less of a pinch then the instrument she's using. How wide do you need it? I'm not delivering twins here. When she spoke I could hear an echo. 

"Now you'll feel a little scraping." You peeling paint in there? What the hell are you doing? I'd like to keep just a small part of my uterus, or cervix or whatever the hell you're excavating, if you don't mind. Is there a construction site in there?

It's not like I haven't had this done 50 times before, but each time seems just a tad worse than the last. I guess as you get older, and as you see less and less activity...anything shoved up there is a little shocking to the system. 

We commenced with the small talk. She began..."So, how have you been? Anything new going on?" Since her head is staring right into my vaginal cavity I assume she's asking the question regarding my vaginal activity. Since those lips don't really speak for themselves I thought I would answer for them. "Can't say there's been too much action going on." (But thank you so much for reminding me.) "Yes, I can see that...that's not exactly what I was asking." You can see that? What the hell else can you see in there? China? Are my car keys in there...they've been missing? "I was asking about your have you been ok? Anything bothering you?" mean aside from the fact that I've been celibate for the last two years, can't remember what a penis looks like and once tried to pick up a cross dresser? (Not really....I made that last one up.) I'm good...if you want to call newly formed jowls, saggy skin, creaky bones, shoulder pain, neck pain, back pain, blurred vision and memory loss, good.  Then I'm great! Couldn't be any better. 

"It's that time of year for your mammogram and bone density tests." Oh, yippee. I always look so forward to being reminded of all the testing that only the aging have to do. Should we throw in another colonoscopy while we're at it?  That's always one of the small pleasures for the over 50 bunch. “Would you like to have them at the same time?” No, thanks, I think one test at a time is plenty. I don’t want to glow from the radiation when I walk out.

“I see you have your gym clothes with you…are you going to work out after?” If I can get my legs closed after you get that crowbar out of me, yes, it’s a good possibility. Of course, I’m now 8 inches wider down there, so let’s hope nothing falls out. I’ll try not to push or exert too much.

“Well…everything looks good. I’ll call you when we get the results back and please remember to set up your tests. You don’t want to put those off.” I don't? Yes I do. "You can get dressed now and I'll see you in 6 months. Good seeing you." 

I got dressed, walked out to the reception area, paid my co-pay, got a few samples from the doctor and left. On my way out to the parking lot, I passed by a few people, nodded hello, just happy I was done with that visit, and took off in my car to the gym. When I got there, I had to pee so badly, I barely made it to the bathroom...and the gym was packed. I was hoping the bathrooms weren't all taken. I walked into the locker room and as I passed by the mirror...there it was...examining table paper hanging out of my gym shorts. And no one at the doctor's office thought it was worth mentioning? I now belong to a new gym.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympic Junkie

I don’t think I have moved from my 'Barcalounger' parked in front of the TV since the Olympics started. I have my computer on my lap, my snack table to my right, visitors from time to time, and the fridge within viewing range from the TV. I'm set. I’ll admit, I’ve taken bathroom breaks, (although I have considered investing in a porta-potty); took a little time for work (hence...I have kept my job); gone to the gym during the break between the afternoon events and prime time; and have taken a few hours off for some shut eye between 12AM and 6AM (while DVR'ing anything that was new). Other than that…I’m glued to every single event going on.

No…that’s not true. There are some on the other NBC Networks that I’m not watching. For instance…Skeet shooting…or whatever that ‘sport’ is called that the woman from the U.S., who won gold in the last 5 Olympics, was in…I couldn’t give a shit…although I'm happy that she's shooting at clay and not ducks or deer. I’m really happy for her that she set a record. In that respect, I get pleasure. The personal goals that people set and achieve, I find fascinating and awe inspiring. But there are just some sports that are not made for spectating. 

Road Cycling (not to be confused with Track cycling)...I don't understand how anyone could sit and watch road cycling. It's got to be the most boring sport to see on TV. I'm sure it's not boring to those who partake in that as an extra-curricular activity...but to those of us who could never find comfort on a banana's torturous to sit through, physically and mentally. You can almost get sympathy crotch pains while snoozing...oops...I mean watching...and waiting for each cyclist to reach the finish line. I like to see side-by-side competition to know exactly where everyone is. Not each person being timed one at a time. BOOORRRIIINNGGG.
Archery is almost like watching someone peel paint off a wall. Unless you're participating, watching it is a snore-fest. (Not that participating in paint peeling is something you want to mark down in your calendar.) I had never felt more uncoordinated years ago when I tried to shoot the arrow at the target. There I stood…feet apart at an archery stance…whatever that may be…bow and arrow in hand. I pulled back on the bow, attempting to keep the arrow steady between my fingers, aimed at the target with one eye closed (which may have been my problem right there), released…and whoosh…it hit the person behind me. Yes...that's right...backfired over my shoulder at the person waiting to go next. I would have made the worst cupid. Archery is a dangerous sport.

And what good is fencing if you can't actually penetrate the person you are dueling? Do they wear armor under their outfits? I don't think I’ve encountered one person who knows the first thing about fencing. Who fences? Do you know anyone? Have you ever seen it offered in any venue or area where you live? Who does that? I wouldn't know one rule to follow if I witnessed a duel. [I'm assuming it's called a duel.] I have no clue what makes a winner in fencing…whoever gets the most slashes? So honestly...who gives a shit? Is the U.S. even in the competition at the Olympics or is it other countries that partake in this weapon toting sport?  
Boxing is a sport that I will never understand...EVER. What pleasure can you possibly get from being punched in the face over and over and over? You know your nose will eventually be broken, and inevitably a concussion is waiting in the wings (or the ring)…a no brainer. Literally. I like to keep my facial features in the same vicinity they started out in when I was born and my brain cells unscrambled…although it may be too late for the latter.
So…aside from the few agonizing, death defying, ho hum, mundane events, I LOVE the Olympics. I love everything about them. Seeing the athleticism that some of these people display is incomprehensible to me. And I was a decent athlete at one point in my life. I was never great at any one sport, but I was above average in most. But when I look at these men and women competing…it’s just mind boggling to think they can achieve some of the feats they attempt.
Yeah…I’m going to walk across a 4 inch piece of wood 4 feet off the ground without falling flat on my face. I can’t even walk across my kitchen floor on flat feet without losing my balance.

And who says to themselves that they are going to jump so high in the air giving them  enough time up there to do a back handspring, into a back somersault, doing a double, double, into a front handspring, into a full twisting double back and so on and so on. Are you f**king kidding me? I can barely do a cartwheel. And I could never do a handstand, so please tell me how those guys can hold up their entire body weight on the rings and the pommel horse. They’re freaks of nature.  
I once tried diving off a high platform board when I was a kid. I take that back. I once attempted to jump off a high platform board when I was a kid. I don’t dive. And I guess I shouldn’t say I ‘attempted’ because I actually did jump. Keep in mind I’m not a swimmer at all. I have a fear of water. I am afraid of heights. So WTF was I doing jumping off a high board, you may ask? I would try almost anything when I was a kid…but do you have any idea how far away the water seems when you are 32+ feet in the air? As I was coming down my legs were flailing about, waiting to feel contact with the water under my feet and all of a sudden…a cramp in the arch of my foot. My whole left foot cramped up and when I hit the water, not only could I not pinch my nose closed, like I always did when I went under, but I choked on the water that I sucked up through my nostrils and couldn’t move because of the cramping. It was a wonderfully educational experience. Educational in the sense that I knew I would never attempt anything so stupid again in my entire life. That one incident gave me a great appreciation of the divers in the Olympics. Not only are they graceful and beautiful to watch…they are brave young men and women.

Aside from all the events I absolutely love to watch and admire, there are some things that baffle me and disturb me. For instance…I think they should have left Ryan Seacrest out of the Olympics. This is the world’s greatest sporting event. They have great sports commentators. Leave the commentating to those men and women who have spent their lives doing what they do best and let Ryan keep making his millions doing the reality shows and gossipy things. NBC didn’t need him and it bugs me that they even thought they needed him for ratings. The Olympics speak for themselves…they didn’t need Seacrest to do the job.
When our athletes are on the podium accepting their medals, why are they wearing grey? Seriously? That makes absolutely no sense. Shouldn’t they be in Red, White or Blue? Grey isn’t bold. Grey says blah and we can’t make a decision. Grey is middle of the road…not black or white. And grey is NOT a color of the U.S.A. So who decided on that for the podium outfit? And we won’t even discuss the opening ceremony outfits. Or the opening ceremony itself. Another snooze-fest.

One thing I absolutely do not understand…how do the athletes not let the cameras that are right in their faces, break their concentration? And when they’re upset after they screw up… and the cameras stay focused on them during their time of despair…how do they keep their composure and not want to just yell “Get the f**k out of my face”? The cameras are everywhere…how does that not impinge on their focus?
I would have loved to have gone to London to watch some of the events. I remember when it was in L.A. in 1984. I was so excited I was going to get to see the Olympics in person. I got to go to the Coliseum to see track and field; my apartment was along the marathon route so I stood outside and cheered the runners; but my all time favorite was getting to go to a gymnastics event at UCLA. I was so excited I could barely contain myself. My friends and I talked about it for months before the day came. We dressed in our red, white and blues, made sure we had our tickets and binoculars, and were betting on which gymnasts we would get to see…Bart Conner or Mary Lou Retton. It took us a while to find parking but we went so early to be sure we didn’t miss a thing, that it didn’t matter. We got to our seats, sat there about 45 minutes or so, and then out came the gymnasts. We couldn’t wait to see which ones were competing that day when all of a sudden…….they raised up these sticks with ribbons. Are you f**king kidding me? We got tickets for the first ever Olympic debut of Rhythmic Gymnastics and not one of us noticed that stamped on our tickets.