Wednesday, February 15, 2006

My Trip to the Hoo-Ha Doctor (also an informal Thursday Thirteen for Tomorrow)

It’s that time of year again: the pilgrimage to the Hoo-Ha doctor! And I knew you would all be dying to hear about it. First of all, it was just a “Jiffy Lube oil-change” maintenance visit, not a “cracked transfer case” major intervention. I have nothing exciting like a pregnancy to report (sorry parents!) Rest assured that you will be the first to know if anything falls out of me, such as my colon or a baby.

I was compelled to add, “Gentle Readers” to that last part, but I stopped myself. Because how do I know you knit mittens and sing to puppies all day? You could all be ninjas! You could lift weights with your necks and juggle chainsaws.

So before the Hoo-Ha doctor came in, the nurse took my blood pressure, weighed me, and asked if I had any allergies beyond that already in my chart. I rambled on about my existing allergy for a minute and then paused before adding, “Well, also cats. I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to cats.” Which they’ll be glad to know so as to avoid using the cat fur-trimmed tongue depressor on me.

And then I was all alone in the room with my little sheet and paper buttmatt on the exam table that felt like a recycled schoolbus seat. I waited. And waited. I waited so long I compiled a list of activities / thoughts that you too can engage in should you find yourself in a similar situation:

  1. Read all of the wall charts, remarking at how well you can read them with your new glasses. Stare at the tiny writing while taking the glasses on and off, on and off. Wow! It’s amazing how blind you were before you got your new glasses.
  2. Compare own breasts to the “average size of lump” found based on various breast-exam schedules. Conclude that because own bosom is just about the size of the smallest average lump, you have nothing to worry about for now.
  3. Feel appalled at how closely a particular diagram of the uterus resembles a whole turkey.
  4. Consider peeking into the biohazard waste bin to see what’s in there.
  5. Touch the curtain next to you and then recoil in horror, as you are probably now crawling with the ebola virus.
  6. Empty glass of Q-tips on counter and use it to eavesdrop on nurses’ conversation through the wall.
  7. Study the graphic anatomy posters. Get grossed out and think, I really have a pudendal nerve? Pudenda is a real word?
  8. Consider tip-toeing across the room to read the pamphlet entitled “Why your pap smear is better than ever!” (Or something like that.) Then think, “Meh. Who cares.”
  9. Pick hangnail until it bleeds and immediately berate self for doing so in a germ-infested room.
  10. Take a short nap with your pants off.
  11. Sneeze. Conclude that you are probably coming down with SARS.
  12. Think about what kind of practical joke* you could play on the next patient and get distracted by gross posters again.
  13. Pity poor husband because these days, it takes a trip to the Hoo-Ha doctor for you to shave your legs.

I waited so long I could feel the tentacles of age creeping in, massaging new wrinkles into my cheeks and making my bones brittle and bendy. I began to wonder if they’d forgotten about me, and a tiny part of me actually wished they had, because that would have made an awesome blog entry, don’t you think? Finally, after three days, the doctor came in. (Isn’t it amazing how you’re reading this in the future?)

And guess what we talked about during the exam?

That’s right!!! My book! In fact, I talked so much that I had some of my own mouth stick action going on.

Shameless, aren’t I? My doctor seemed really interested and asked lots of questions about it, which rocked. After she pulled the exam gloves off she shook my hand and congratulated me. Which struck me as funny enough to write about it later.

This concludes the Hoo-Ha portion of the post. And now, a word from our sponsors.

Unless something hilarious happens this weekend, this will be my last post until Sunday night. Because like I’ve said before, helper monkeys don’t pay for themselves! And I’ve got scads of terribly exciting work to do. Plus, we’re having a winter storm tomorrow, so I’ve got hatches to batten down and food to hoard.

PS: a few other funny things have happened lately, such as my site getting banned by my friend’s workplace Internet screening tool due to accumulated profanity. Also, last night, I tried to be nice and give J a backrub while he trimmed his toenails, and he shouted, “AAAAAAAHHHHG! You’re sitting on my clippings!” Isn’t that gross? Thank goodness I had my pants on!

*Here’s one: Extend roll of buttmatt paper and use your favorite colored crayon to scribble whimsical hieroglyphics on clean section; roll back up to give the next patient’s appointment a fresh, “modern art” feel.

Oh, one more thing: a mysterious fairy blogmother nominated me for a blog award. Rules, procedures, and pudendums--I mean addendums--to the rules are here. If you vote for me, I'll let you name an inmate in my next novel. Ex-boyfriends are acceptable. Wheeee!


  1. Stop it! Your blog is too damn funny. I have laundry to do and I can't get it done because every time I look at your blog, I sit in front of the computer and laugh hysterically. Really!

    Batten down because you're getting the snow that we haven't gotten. Good. You can keep it. We like Milwaukee to remain gloomy, chilly and dry. Thank you! ;-)

  2. this was so true and too funny! lol

    I can totally relate to the breast lump thing....I'm so tiny I think I'd know about any lumps they day they started forming...

  3. Actually, I knit puppies and sing to mittens.

    I'm not usually anxiety ridden when I arrive at the OB/Gyn's office. It's the long, long wait spent sitting on buttpaper and looking around the exam room that does me in. That reminds me, I need to find a new doc in my new town and schedule an appointment. Bleh.

  4. Anonymous2:51 PM

    The modern art approach would brighten someone's day, I think.

    The funniest/most horrible forgotten patient story I know concerns a urologist who forgot about his cystoscopy patient (male) in progress and went to get a hair cut. He came back about 90 minutes later to an irate nurse who said, "you knob, the patient's still on the table." If you don't know what a cystoscope is, you might not want to look it up. The funny part is the patient thanked the doctor, because that much stretching relieved his enlarged prostate symptoms for a while.

  5. I shrug off the breast lump vs. breast size scenario in my head any time I'm in the exam room. Oh, and I never have to wait more than 5 minutes for an exam from my midwife, who also does "well woman" checks. Just so's you know, if you don't already--midwives rock!

  6. You think you're allergic to cats? How sad.

    Oh, God! Guess what song just now came on? And I didn't even think about it until the mouth stick part? That's right. "You Might Think" by The Cars. And, yes, now I noticed, thank you very much.

    Back to commenting. First of all, isn't it crazy the things we think of when we're bored? I always take a book in with me, and then they always ask what I'm reading, and we talk about that for a while.

    Hope the storm isn't too awful, unless you preferred to be buried by snow.

  7. I am not normally a paranoid person, but when I'm at the doctor's for any reason (hoo-ha related or not) I sit there with my hands in my lap because I just know I'll get busted if I start screwin around with stuff.

    I also refuse take to my husband with me anymore because he has no such compunctions and loves to snoop through all the damned doors and cabinets.

    We are also expecting some winter weather around here, thank God. Is it too much to ask to get just one snow a year?

  8. I've got a good joke... Sit on the toe-nail clippings without your pants on and then go to the hoo-ha doctor...


    not funny? Sorry. I'll try better next time.

    Oh, and thanks for the visit! Love your blog!

  9. Do you get free gyny checks as a newly published author? Or would that be a bad use of bartering? LOL and I totally do all that shit and more when I'm waiting...

  10. Karen: I'm actually looking forward to the snow! (And if I made you laugh, I can now feel that all is right with the world. :)

    WB: I know; I'm all, "lumps? They ARE two lumps."

    Surcie: You know, there probably is a children's show with someone singing to a mitten puppet ... somewhere.

    Jason: that story is hilarious! And it had a happy ending, too.

    SugarM: If I could find a midwife covered by my insurance plan, I'd be all on that. Luckily my OBGYN is a cool lady doc.

    Caryn: I'm so pleased to hear that my Cars post has "stuck" with you, so to speak. ;)

    Contrary: That's so funny about your husband! Okay, confession--I only snooped a little.

    Beeb: you know, I almost wrote the toe-clipping part of the story as a prologue, because my mind works that way, too.

    Kristen: Funny, I was actually thinking that! The other day I was at the dentist and she told me to bring her a signed copy, for free. I'm all, "As if! I'm not runnin' a charity...I gotsta earn cash to pay these high-falutin' teeth chiselin' bills." Of course I didn't really SAY this.

  11. Ha ha ha! That list of activities/thoughts in the exam room is awesome. I also enjoy reading through 12-year old magazines on taxidermy, which my OB/GYN kindly makes available for my reading pleasure.

  12. thanks for the reminder ;P I wish they'd just schedule that appointment ahead of time. I was lucky enough to receive FOUR of them last year, I know everyone is jealous. =)

    I normally sit and read the Curious George book that is there, then wonder how many kids' snotty hands had touched it, get up quickly in my giant paper towel and put on some Purell... ... and you wait, and you wait, and you wait...

    I must admit to the snooping, but only after she leaves the room and I've hurried up and put my pants back on. Sometimes those drawers have interesting stuff in them. Almost took one of those disposable hoo-ha crankers with me one time =)

  13. On your list of things to do while waiting in the gyne office you forgot:

    Take a paper towel, wet it, and then wipe yourself down again, because you are sure it's not so daisy fresh from sitting there and waiting for so dang long!

    (You cracking up Jess' mom? Shout Out to ya!)

    Hilarious, hilarious post!

  14. We call the hoo-ha doctor the cave doctor in these parts. How funny is that we both went the same week?! ( know what cave...the batcave!) I don't recommend it for first thing Monday morning. I got a new nurse who was not my Lisa, then, THEN! I decided to hop off the table & weigh myself again once totally naked--I lost 3 pounds!!! So much for the boot cut jeans.

    We're battening here too, already got about 3-4 inches, the 10 minute commute tomorrow for me will be more like 30-45. :0 Stay safe!!

  15. Every time I read Hoo-Ha, I hear Al Pacino shouting it, a la "Scent of a Woman" (Hmm, an oddly appropriate title!)


  16. That's funny-I think we've all been in that situation. Why do they make you wait so damn long!!!
    I love that you call it your hoo-ha. My latest nickname is nooney or nooney-bell.

  17. Your blog shouldn't be banned, it should be required reading. It would probably boost morale.

    BTW, do you raliize how many people are going to come to your blog now when they google the word 'pudenda'?

  18. That post made me laugh out loud. If I was the kind of person to use abbreviations for that I would but I'm not. Weirdly, I was supposed to have my cupcake checked out today but my gyno cancelled due to an emergency and you KNOW I would've mentioned my book! I'll let you know what happens when I go back on March 1st.

  19. I hope you know that you have ruined Thanksgiving for me, forever, with your uterus/turkey comparison.

    And am prepared to have an intense craving for stuffing and mashed potatoes during my next hoo-ha visit.

    (Thanks for the nice comment on my post. It's very encouraging, coming from someone with a gen-u-ine book deal.)

  20. I always wonder what the OB/GYN is thinking while women are on the table with their legs spread-eagle. Then again, maybe I'd rather not know.



  21. Thank you for making me laugh myself out of my morning coma. You're better than coffee!

  22. Ohmygoodness that was funny! We all (well, all us ladies) have been there, and usually the room is freezing, so that by the time the breast exam comes it seems that maybe we're a little worked up by the idea of being bare-ass naked on a papercovered recycled school bus seat.
    Or is that just me?
    BTW - I juggle baby alligators and lift chainsaws with my neck.

  23. You had me at hoo-ha.

  24. I should save this for my own blog, but what the hell...My husband and I were waiting for him to be seen at the ER and we were so bored that I ordered him into the stirrups. I wanted him to know how it felt to sit up there. He obliged. Fully clothed of course. But we were laughing so hard at the image of this grown man in stirrups. Naturally that's when the doctor walked in to witness him struggling to release himself (those things aren't made for size 10 feet with boots on). The doctor was like, "So you're here because you were shot in the head?"

    Actually a bullet had ricocheted (spelling?) off some rock when he was training to be a cop. He was fine. Just a little blood and some empathy for us females....

    Not as funny as you story though :)

  25. Hey! We are both nominated for those awards--though in different categories, luckily, so I will certainly vote for you if only to see a fictional inmate named after my rat ex-boyfriend...
    When I am at the hoo-ha doctor I rifle through the files containing patient information sheets for various unpleasant procedures and wonder if I am going to need any of them. I can usually get a pretty solid panic going by the time the doctor comes in.
    And by the way, I now think of that story from your last post (the one where you wave to yourself) whenever I need a bit of cheering up. Best. Story. Ever.

  26. Last time I had 'the check-up' my doctor informed me that my breast had a lot of lumpy tissue and I had better feel myself up all the time because basically he didn't have a hot clue if there was anything wrong with them. How comforting.

    Also, I agree midwives are awesome. Mine did my last pap and it was glorious. Well as glorious as getting a speculum putting up there could be. She warmed it up first! Sadly it's only covered by our healthcare system after a pregnancy. I guess I could get knocked up every year...

  27. Oh, I'm all sorts of snorting over here. I think it's YOU who has a future in stand up, my dear.

  28. I have a George W. Bushisms calendar and for Valentine's Day it was:
    "Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB/GYN's aren't able to practice their love with women all across the country."
    -Poplar Bluff, Missouri; Sept. 6, 2004

    I have a post from January about how much going to the doctor's office gets my panties in a bunch, if you want to read it.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day! Your blog is cracking me up!! Love it!

  29. Cupcake Stefanie--cracked me up! And the recycled bus seat, and the quick-three-pound weight loss, and the husband in the stirrups! All too funny sistas!

    Have you heard of it being called a "Moonie" or a Goog (sounds not like Google, but more like Good but with a G at the end... everybody say it with me:

    GOOG (GUHG).

    Whatevah. I'm sitting here laughing my ass off!

  30. I try to bring a People Magazine in with me. It's like the waiting room after the waiting room. I also like to look in the drawers.

    I'm playing 13 too.

  31. Okay, I have one question: Why did it take me so damn long to find you???

    You have me doing the ugly laugh, Jess.

    Also, waffling between REALLY liking you out of appreciation for your wit and REALLY disliking you out of jealousy.

    I'm off to the archives. You're like a book I just found under my bed that I forgot I bought. Except less dusty...

  32. Anonymous10:05 PM

    Two stories for ya Jess.

    Picture it; Sicily, or wait, Madison, Christmas 2005. During the annual family white elephant gift exchange my brother-in-law was blessed with the most discusting gift ever.(even worse than the wisdom teeth earrings I made for my sister) My mom had taken her used plastic speculum out of the hazardous container, ran it through her dishwasher(she says) and wrapped it up for a lucky family member!

    Love Fee!

    Also, don't you hate it when the doctor says, "Mmm, yes, everything looks nice and pink!" Umm, thanks. I'll remember to color coordinate my underwear next time Doc!

  33. Anonymous10:20 PM

    Ok Jess, I'll try this again.

    Picture it; Sicily, Christmas 2005. No, wait. It was Madison. It was the annual white elephant gift exchange my family so loves. My brother-in-law received the most discusting gift ever!(Even worse than the wisdom teeth earrings I made for my sister!) My mother had fished out her used, plastic speculum from the hazardous bin, ran it through the dishwasher(she claims) and wrapped it up for some lucky family member to have nightmares about for years!

    One other thing. Don't you hate it when the "tu tu" doctor says, "Mmm yep. Everything looks nice and pink!" Oh thanks Doc! I'll be sure to color coordinate my underwear next time!

    Love Fee!