LOS ANGELES—Can you enjoy a colposcopy? Come on, cold fingers, cold instruments and one rather large telescope—what’s not to like?
Try not to imagine the worst. Anticipation rocks when you are sitting at the bar with a drink in your hand making eyes at a man who looks like Bradley Cooper while he makes his way toward you. But if you’re driving to the doctor so he can snip off sections of your cervix to determine if you have cancer, then anticipation is not fun.
I drove to my doctor’s office feeling a measure of nervousness and nausea I hadn’t felt since the early 1980s when I tried to wear parachute pants for the first time.
While fighting downtown traffic and the demons in my head, I had no idea what to expect and that was the worst part.
However, like giving blood or advice to in-laws, nothing is ever as bad as we think it’s going to be. A Brazilian wax, childbirth and reading “Twilight” all hurt more than a colposcopy. Relax.
Take a stress ball just in case. Stroking your doctor’s hair or moaning in Spanish is slightly inappropriate in a clinical setting, so that stress ball your son squeezes when you make him use a dictionary definitely comes in handy.
You also want to breathe and relax your muscles. This isn’t that boy in 10th grade who doesn’t know how to take no for an answer. Stop clenching.
I love my gynecologist. He’s been with me since 1989, when my hymen was thicker than the space between Charlie Sheen’s ears.
We’ve been through a lot together, my doc and I, and now we’re clearly facing the most serious issue to date.
Still, he’s going to talk about the political climate in third world countries because that dictator is whack no matter what’s happening up in Vagina Town.
Maybe conversation relaxes him? I don’t know.
While he’s clipping and snipping like my hairdresser on crack and lecturing about free market capitalism, I felt the need to interrupt.
“Am I supposed to be cramping?” I asked.
“Oh yes,” he said. “That’s completely normal.”
I asked him to explain. He understands my need to know, so the next five minutes were spent explaining the activity in my girlie place and why hormones react to it; I felt better immediately.
Great, at least some part of my body still works properly. And we didn’t have time to get into communism.
When they ask for suggestions, don’t hold back. Tell them what you want. For me, it’s an open bar. Trust me, the entire event would have been much more enjoyable with a cocktail in my hand.
In less than 15 minutes, the procedure is done and your innards will be sent off to the lab. Take it easy for a few hours. Put your legs up and try not to compare your discharge to Sweet and Sour Sauce during dinner with your husband.
At first, every time I laughed, I thought my uterus would fall out, but then I popped some Tylenol and felt good as new.
But remember, you aren’t good as new. You will refrain from intimate activities for at least a week. Tell Mr. Romance to stifle it. Andpsychologically, it may take longer.
The fear over cervical cancer might make us laugh nervously or cough uncomfortably. Some might even shed a tear or two. Don’t be afraid to prefer hugs and kisses to anything else. You might feel better after a few days when the results come back.
I’ll let you know next week.