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A Doctor's Vacation

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So...I thought I would share some stories of my doctor. Try to view them on a comedic level, despite how serious the matters are surrounding the visits. Realize that I am telling this strictly for the sake of this doctor and his ability to make me feel strangely okay in the absolute worst of circumstances. That even in the darkest of dark, there is always light, no matter how small that flame might be.

I have been seeing the same OBGYN for more than five years. I am VERY picky about doctors, especially for something so personal. I found this doctor on a referral, if I recall.

When I first met him, he seemed extremely stern to me. Sitting behind a big polished wood desk, shelves and shelves of books covering two walls, looking over my history. I prefer male OBGYNs. Seems I only ever had bad experiences with female ones. The male ones have been more gentle and quicker with their work in my experiences. (and what female OBGYN maintains long fingernails? shudders. One of mine did)

Anyways, he was stern and looked like he never smiled. Ever. I was uneasy. Decided it would be awkward to back out of the appointment on the spot, so rolled with it. He was efficient, got to business and was swiftly done. I realized I was actually very comfortable with it being like this.

My first papsmear with him was normal. Cool. See ya in a year. The next year...was abnormal. I felt panicked. I don't have children, but desperately want to some day. So they did the biopsy and then the procedure. He explained that they were to essentially freeze my insides so the cells would die and re-grow. This made me uneasy.

He noted my uneasiness and very casually, without missing a beat and without changing his expression, "Don't worry, you'll thaw by the time you get to your car in the parking lot, we'll check back with another papsmear at a follow up appointment and it will come back normal, then we'll do a couple more after that". I didn't know what to say! Hahaha "You'll be thawed". He seemed so serious saying this. I tilted my head and left. It didn't bother me...but it just didn't fit his expression! I realized he was actually strangely comfortable to be around, but not because his body language or anything made you feel that way.

From that day on, I felt completely comfortable with him as my doctor. It was as he said...the tests that followed all came back normal.

This doctor goes on vacation for a month every July.

July, 2005: I notice an intense papercut pain on my personals that is absolute murder when urinating. Hmm. I call the doctor to find he is on vacation. I am unhappy about this. I keep myself calm, because I don't believe in panicking until diagnosed.

I see one of the covering physicians...female, but blessedly not a bad one. She does a swab, examination, etc. She drops the HSV bomb. It looks highly likely, she tells me.

I get the results and a follow up appointment with my normal doctor.

The Follow Up: My doctor walks through the door holding a chart. By now, I am unable to urinate and suffering alot of discomfort. He doesn't look up at me right away, but speaks while flipping through the pages and says, "Jessica, jessica, what have you been doing while I was away?"

I fill him in and he explains how common HSV is, how it is transmitted, etc, etc. He knows his stuff, to be certain. He told me he believed I had been infected.

Then he informs me that he will be catheterizing me. I blink a few times...never been catheterized but always felt so bad for anyone who was. I said something about my distaste for peeing in a bag. He informs me that there will be no bag. He catheterizes me and folds the tube, puts a medical clip on it. He explains how to manage this new and awkward circumstance....I was disgruntled and getting a little cynical. He says, "Well, on the bright side, you get to experience the convenience and joy of being able to pee standing up"

I almost fell over laughing. Here I am...one of the worst events of my entire life, laughing.

Life goes on...

July 2006: My cycles run like clockwork. When I was five days late, I knew what was up. I got a home pregnancy test and tested positive. This was not bad news. My boyfriend at the time knew how important having children was to me and with other health problems, the time frame I have for this is unpredictable. We had talked about letting Fate decide and I had gone off the depo shot and resorted to "Pull and Pray". (as a side note, this was the person I contracted HSV from, so there were no issues to unprotected sex on that note...aside of retrospect that I did not know he had multiple partners and could have brought home worse)

Well, in July, two weeks later, I lost the baby. While this is a devestating experience, this is not what this post is about. In the end, it was the best and Fate was being merciful and not tying me to this man for the rest of my life. So onto the funny part...yes, there is a funny part.

My doctor was on vacation for the entire thing. I had to see his covering physicians for the whole thing. I am scheduled a follow up with my normal doctor.

The Follow Up: The doctor crosses the threshold, closing the door, looking at his clipboard. He doesn't look up right away as he speaks. He says..."Jessica, jessica, what have you been doing while I was away?"

In the dark state I was in...I actually chuckled and shook my head. And that is when it happened. He looked up at me and smiled. It was like the heavens opening up. When he smiled, I came to realize that he more than made up for how straight faced he often was with one smile.

He sat down, put a hand on my knee and talked to me. He took his time, assured me that I was okay and there would be no more I would have to endure from the miscarriage (no DNC or anything). By the time this had happened, alot of the dark secrets my boyfriend had been hiding had started to surface and fast.

We talked about how some things happen for reasons we do not always know right away. When I left his office, I felt as good as a person could under the circumstances.

This past January I requested an HIV test. Since I was infected with HSV by a womanizer, I thought it wise to get tested every six months. This was to be the last one related to that mess (I will still get tested in the future as I feel it is needed). This makes me uneasy, every time.

He said he had to get some paperwork in order to be able to do the test. He comes back and hands it over. He says, "This is just something we need to do to make sure you aren't going to go jump off a bridge if it comes up positive, though I'm not going to ask you if you are going to murder someone in particular. That's not included on the questionnaire" At this point, he has smiled at me every visit, so I wasn't surprised to see that knowing smile. He had always made it a point to ask about my love life at each visit. It was his casual way of asking about my sexual activity in relation to my sexual health. So he knew how it turned out with the x.

Yet again, he had me chuckling and eased my tension.

So I ask him about the HPV shot. He looks over my chart and goes, "This shot is for your sisters, your daughters some day, your granddaughters some day, not for you." So I get a little scowl going and ask why. Without looking up from his chart, he says, "You're old. Have a daughter and bring her in between the ages of (cannot remember the age range)". I almost fell over again! This man has probably 30 years on me!

That's it. My doctor rocks. He was emotionless for the first year I knew him, gauged my personality and found a way to make me laugh while dealing with difficult things, without offending me.

I would bet that he treats each patient differently. I have a very off sense of humor and I imagine not everyone would have appreciated his demeanor. He had to have known I would.

The only shame of all of this is that he no longer delivers babies. I had so wanted him to be the one to deliver my first child some day. Ah well...with luck, perhaps he has a colleague that is like him.

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Uh Oh.

Well, I've been experiencing weird symptoms lately. ALOT of itching all over that I have never experienced quite like.

I called my doctor to see about coming in and as it turns out, he is away until May. I am to see one of his associates. De ja vu much?

Hopefully this is not following the pattern and this visit isn't something terrible. Not sure I could handle ANOTHER incident with him and that damn clipboard. Hehehe.

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I was looking forward to that post and you didn't disappoint! Sounds like you have a very capable GYN with a sense of humor to boot.

Good luck with your next appointment, hope you find out what's going on with the itch. I had an itch over the entire genital region and still haven't found out what caused it. Six months later and I'm still looking for answers. Wish I had your doctor!

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