Closed my eyes for just a moment at 6:30 last evening. Woke at midnight.
“Well fuck,” I thought. I’d just woken up, mind. Banal swearing was all I was good for.
Read for a bit, then caught another nap around 4 am. Still managed to wake up late, despite the luxuriant amount of sleep I got. Being late, I had to rush to get to my doctor’s appointment on time, which meant I forgot to stuff my Terry Pratchett in my purse.
Horrors! I was stuck at a doctor’s office with nothing to read!
What about office magazines, you wonder?
Normally this might have saved me (though why, I have to ask, why don’t patient waiting rooms have Mad or Mother Jones or Bust?). In this case, though, I didn’t even have a Newsweek to rescue me. Everything was Fit Pregnancy this and Maternity that. I was at an Ob/Gyn office.
Got an abnormal pap last month, and though the doctor swore to me that twenty-five-year-olds do not get cervical cancer, he wanted to do some further tests.
I naively assumed it would be a painless procedure, similar to a pap smear. Kind of annoying, sure, but no biggie.
Wow was I wrong.
I had a coloscopy, and I’m probably not spelling that right, but the point here is that it hurt like… like… I don’t have a good simile here, but let me put it like this: I have two tattoos, and getting them was far less painful than the coloswhatsits. Plus I have something to show for them.
The doctor who did my pap back in December predicted my Ob/Gyn would freeze my cervix. (Hey, we always knew I was frigid…)
“A frozen cervix? That’d be a…. a brrvix!” said Kharma. Wish I could take credit for that pun.
Turns out the Ob/Gyn didn’t want to freeze anything today, but the speculum was mighty cold as it was, thanks for asking. Brr.
Instead of being frozen, my poor darling cervix was poked, pulled, scraped, and cut.
I’ve never thought much about my cervix. Out of sight, out of mind. Until today, I didn’t even realize it had nerve endings.
“Doctor,” I gasped at one point, “what possible evolutionary reason makes women have nerve endings there?”
“Beats me,” he said.
Not to second guess the Almighty (You up there! No lightning bolts, mmmkay? Thanks! Amen!) but really, what was She/He/They thinking? The cervix is not a pleasure spot. The only thing it’s capable of is pain, and the only thing I can figure is that the pain is to let you know that you’re delivering a baby. But, um, wouldn’t you figure it out anyway? Don’t the uterine cramps give it away? Don’t you sort of notice when a kid starts to plop down the ol’ vaginal canal? Kind of hard to miss, I’d think.
In addition to the garden-variety pain you’d expect any time you get an organ scraped, the molested cervix comes with its own special brand of pain: cramps. Instant, spine-bending, on-demand cramps. Imagine the worst menstrual cramps you’ve ever had. (If you’re of the male persuasion, imagine shooting jolts of agony alternating with dull throbbing misery.) Now imagine these cramps descending on you all at once, unbidden.
Further imagine that you’ve got to drag yourself to the car and drive to work, preferably without losing consciousness behind the wheel, when what you’d really like to do is curl up right there in the corner and sleep, or possibly die.
Then in the evening I saw a movie.
Not a typo. I saw a movie.
Didn’t want to—I just hate seeing movies—but I felt morally obligated to watch An Inconvenient Truth, even though I’d already read the book. Bookish Jet and Alyosha were there to keep me company (and I suppose to watch the movie), and then we saw Gust and her husband, so a good time was had by all. Plus it meant I spent an evening not reading, for a delightful change.
Have I mentioned the degree of terror I feel about global warming? I worry about it every day. My heart is breaking for the beautiful snowy places that are disappearing, and for the drowning polar bears, and to a limited extent for the people who are living on shorelines. (My priorities here are exactly wrong, but… but people can move. They can adapt. Glaciers can’t adapt. Once you lose them, they’re gone. I know I should care more about the people who will starve than snow melting from Mt. Kilimanjaro. I guess I do, but my visceral, bleeding-heart reactions come from pictures of starving baby birds and dwindling lakes.)
Fortunately, I have a new weapon in the war on global warming: a brrvix! Just what every woman needs to keep her parts cool!