Saturday, 16 May 2009

Cervical smear test and McDonald's

"Ok Marie, just lie there and open your legs wide. This is going to feel embarrassing, just like men get embarrassed when they expose their bits." Marie's favourite doctor ("just call me Caroline") was talking non-stop to her in a "what-a-lovely-time-we're-going-to-have" over-the-top cheerful tone, preparing Marie for her cervical smear test. Marie had asked me to stay with her to minimise her anxiety.

I suspect that the last bit of her patter was added because I was also in the room. Alas, this shows that she has little understanding of what embarrasses men.

This first time I exposed my genitalia to a Health Professional was at school, when I was 13. Along with the rest of the boys from my class, I had to strip down to my underpants and stand in a line. A nurse approached each boy in turn, pulled down his underpants and felt his testicles (or, I suppose, noticed their absence). This was, I recall, mildly embarrassing, but the worst feeling was fear. The vast majority of us had never had our genitals touched by anyone other than ourselves, so the anticipation of a pretty nurse in her early 20's touching us caused much adolescent giggling - and FEAR. We were all terrified that we would have an erection. Now that would have been embarrassing!

In the boys' changing rooms at school, exposing one's genitalia was almost de rigeur; while in public gyms and swimming pools, men and boys, totally naked, their bits flapping and slapping, sauntered around comfortably and unselfconsciously.

No, dear doctor - sorry, I mean Caroline - real embarrassment for a man would be to have to profess his love for his wife (or girlfriend/boyfriend) in public. He would much prefer to expose his private parts to the crowd at Wembley Stadium than expose his feelings!

But I digress.

"You can hold Marie's hand," Caroline told me.

Not likely! Marie had both hands poised for emergency action. They were on a hair-trigger, waiting for the slightest reason to protect her lady-bits.

"Just relax," Caroline instructed Marie, "this will be over in no time at all."

Relax? While having foreign objects inserted, to carry out an unknown procedure? Once, at a sexual health clinic, I had a foreign object inserted into my penis to take a swab. I was told to relax, too. Not possible!

It seemed that Caroline was taking most of the morning. It was like she was looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. However, she was still continuing with her cheerful chatter...

"That cervix seems to be hiding."
"Mmmm, we'll look over here."
"How about over here?"
"Ah, there it is!"
"Ooops, it's tilted a bit."
"Mmmm, it's tilted a lot."
"Ah, I've got it!"
"No, not yet..."

Eventually it was all over. Caroline complimented Marie on her bravery in making it to the doctor's surgery for the first time in 5 years (yeay!), and coping with her cervical smear test in an admirable way.

Also, this week, Marie managed to get into Orla's nursery again!

Marie drove to the nearest McDonald's (9 miles) and bought the children and herself milkshakes!

Yes, it's all good news this week.


rosiero said...

Next time won't seem half as bad, or will it?

Casdok said...

I had to cross my legs whilst reading this!!
Oh and thanks for the go-karting idea!

Dizzy Dave said...

Blimey, Thank god i went to school in the ninety's !

Sarah♥ said...

Gotta love those smear tests. Marie did really well...i hope mine goes as smoothly on the 26th :) Unfortunately, no one is there to hold my hand.

Marie did well with the driving too...

Robert said...

rosiero - hopefully Marie will be able to go to the next one by herself!

Casdok - I had my legs crossed while Marie was having the smear test done!

DD - you're glad that you didn't get groped by a pretty nurse when you were an adolescent??? I don't believe you, lol :D

Sarah - I hope your test goes well, too. Not long to go!

Kaci said...

Glad to hear Marie continues to make good progress! :) Yay for her!

Paussie said...

I must be a bit of a man-chick because I'd much rather talk about feelings and stuff rather than expose myself at Wembley! :-)

Congratulations on the progress, Marie!

lavendermace said...

Uh oh, that reminds me.
I should be getting a reminder in the mail soon.

Robert said...

Kaci - I've passed on your message of support. Thanks!

Paussie - I've got a quite well developed feminine side too! I've passed on your message of support to Marie.

lavendermace - Something to look forward to?

Michelle said...

Ye gads. To finally make it to the doc...for that! Not much of a reward!

Paussie said...

Do they not give you a lollipop or something afterwards? I'm pretty sure I'd demand something.

A Mr Giggles toothbrush perhaps? Like at the dentist.

Anonymous said...