Pap Smear With Benefits (#Midlife Version)

V-jayjay Exam.checkmark


Check and double check.

Time management at its finest.

Just like most females who endure that yearly gynecological wellness check, which may or may not be another sip of the Kool-Aid that we’ve been conditioned to believe is essential for good health and cancer detection, I too brave the silvery stirrups every twelve moons or so, although at my advanced #midlife status, it’s acceptable to wait a couple of years between these physically invasive exams.

My pre-check routine is to bathe and shave (this might be oversharing, but I don’t wax ‘cos I’m allergic to it and I really have an aversion to strangers hanging around “down there”) and make myself and my lady parts as camera-ready as possible.

If I could bedazzle or drape a scarf around it, I would, as I do loves me some accessories, so I attempt to spruce it up all up for the big reveal. I mean, you never know when you’re going to be discovered, right? Always ready, that’s my motto. As Norma Desmond said, “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up.”

A momentary pause for a brief rant:

 I gotta comment on the feelings of being post-menopausal and sitting in the same waiting room with full-to-bursting, fecund, FERTILE women.

It doesn’t feel very good. To be past — as in beyond — childbearing age.

It’s not that I want to have another baby even if I could– I’m no Michelle Duggar — the truth is that I only wanted one perfect child (which I have), but to be sitting amongst those who still have functional baby makers made me feel kind of dried up and old.

“I’m in the club”,  I whispered to myself. “I was just like you guys. I puked for four months and then ate my weight in blueberry pancakes and endless jars of gefilte fish (and I mean eating them straight from the jar and even drinking that disgusting jelly-like liquid) and couldn’t see my feet for the last two months before I went through the hell of a twenty-four hour labor and eventual Caesarean section delivery.”

I wanna pull up my shirt and pull my pants down just enough to proudly display my C-section scar, those battle wounds, my daily reminder of  the painjoypainjoy I endured to become a mom, which is all I ever really wanted to be when I grew up.

“My memories might be thirty-two years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday.”

Screw it. The solution should be separate waiting rooms. I can’t deal with the assault of fruitfulness slapping my aridity in the face.

Rant status: OVER.

Just like we all have to do whether we are the elite or the hoi polloi or even Kim Kardashian or Kate Middleton, I changed into the most unflattering shade of pure and blinding white scratchy paper gown with the narrow plastic belt/tie/thingy. The great equalizer. It was barely long enough to execute a proper bow. Or maybe it was a hairband? Now I’m not sure. Whatev. Is white paper the new black? The new orange? Nope. It’s still nothing that will ever be trendy or urban chic.

Great, the next step is the inelegant hop up on the also white paper-covered exam/lounging table. I must admit I’ve become so spoiled by 800-thread count sheets that I was quite offended by the scratchy but slippery texture. At least it’s sterile — and that pleases my OCD.

The doc finally sauntered in with a pleasant smile and bouncy hair, switching on that godforsaken bright light that serves to highlight each and every darling cellulite dimple that I’ve accumulated over the last few decades. ILOVEMYCELLULITEILOVEMYCELLULITE. NOPE. SERIOUSLY. I HATE MY CELLULITE.

“How often do you do a self-exam breast check?” Doctor Z asked as she was doing just that. “Never” I said, with my most winsome smile. “There really isn’t enough there to check…” She laughed at my little attempt at levity to lighten the atmosphere while she’s kneading and pinching and probably thinking about what she’s going to be drinking later on that evening — anyway, that’s what I was doing. White wine? No. Pinot Noir? No. Straight vodka from the bottle? Winner, winner, winner! 

That wasn’t soooo bad, but then we reached  the dreaded part of the visit where the doc always says, “Can you scoot down a little more?” And then, “How about a little more?”

Ignominy. That’s the only way to describe it.

Quack quack

Quack quack

A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a procedure to test for cervical cancer in women by collecting cells from the cervix. That first involves the insertion of an instrument of torture called a speculum. FYI, the modern speculum was invented (by a man, of course) in 1845.

I can share with you after having gone through about a dozen gynos over the years, Doctor Z is the BEST. And I prefer a woman gyn. I don’t think a man can understand what our issues are, no matter what. Only a woman knows what another woman feels and experiences.  Doc Z has perfected a painless method of scraping the cervix and she’s never accidentally pinched that very sensitive area that makes you want to convulsively kick their faces across the room. FYI, that’s the real reason why the have those little wheeled stools so they can roll away FAST before they get punched out by a valiant v-jayjay.

The most dreaded part of the exam is over; time to stuff the paper gown in the trash and get dressed.

But this visit’s not quite over because Dr. Z has joined the ranks of a new breed of doctor; combining a medical specialty with the value added option of a little cosmetic rejuvenation in the form of Botox and fillers.

Ergo the Pap smear and Botox.

I consider it my reward for enduring the humiliation of exposing my inner workings. While we chat about being vegan and a new vegan restaurant in Encinitas called #Native Foods,  Doc Z prepares the botulism that will be injected into my face; to paralyze the correct muscles and stem the flow of aging —  if only for a few brief months.

But that’s good enough for me.

Maybe I can no longer have babies growing in my belly –but my glass is still half full; I no longer have to worry about “that time of the month” and my empty nest (and womb) affords me the opportunity for a little well deserved pampering.

What’s your experience with your OB-GYN (if you care to share, that is!)
Do you have a male of female doc?


34 thoughts on “Pap Smear With Benefits (#Midlife Version)

  1. Friend, you are a hoot and I am so glad I ran across you and your lovely site here..
    Love the combo of botox and pap! Not sure John should suggest that after he exams the women though. They may not like that too much!
    Just had my Botox from my hubby too. Love the stuff:)
    Again, you are one funny girl. I am proud of you..


    • Ha ha! Sometimes I forget who is out there reading the stuff I dream up. Thank you for reading and commenting. J and I are getting ready to celebrate our 20th, can you believe it, and we’re thinking of going to Panama, mostly so he can surf, but it’ll be fun for me to see where he takes boats through the canal all the time. I was just looking at wedding pix, remember that? You look exactly the same, haven’t aged a bit!

      On Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 3:25 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo


      • Oh you are too sweet! Yes time goes fast. We have been married 33 years in May! How is Jeffrey doing?? He is a nice man.. and you deserve that.


      • No one knows his real name here on the internet, he’s the most private person EVER. No pics, no name of his company or his boat, nothing. That was our compromise to my writing stuff. He can be talked about and made fun of but he’s basically anonymous. And he’s doing great, although he has a gray beard!! Time marches on. 33 years wow, that’s remarkable!

        On Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 4:03 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo


  2. OHEMGEE, you freakin’ intellectual combo creator, you!!!! Botox as a pap reward – sheer genius!!!!!!!
    And for the first time ever while reading a blog posting I physically shuddered – really?!?!? gelfilte fish and the jelly liquid too? ew…little tiny mouth barf for that one.
    Happy Weekend!!!!!
    xo reversecommuter


  3. When I had my hysterectomy years ago, I was hugely dismayed to hear they had left the cervix! What for! It just means I have to undergo some huge embarrassment by having a pap smear without having any of the equipment to do anything!


  4. Love this! But I want a visit that includes conscious sedation while I get a Pap smear AND a teeth cleaning. But I think I’ll add Botox as well now that you’ve mentioned it! So funny, I love you!


    • Hi Callie, how are you? Are you planning to be on the west coast soon? Hub and I might be going up to SF soon, would love to say hi in person. Yes, I agree, a one stop shop with a pap and teeth cleaning, a little wrinkle remover too, and why not add a mani and a pedi at the same time while we’re lying there, right? I love you too, mariner spouse! My guy’s been home for a LONG time cos he worked so much last year and accumulated a lot of time off. What’s new with you?


    • Oh no, I’m CRINGING now. I”m hiding my eyes. Did you read the whole thing (hope not hope not) or just the gefilte fish part? Fingers crossed you only read that. No, not really, you guys need to know what we endure. I made tugboat man read it and the look on his face was priceless. Too bad he won’t let me post pics of him! And FYI, the liquid isn’t so bad with all those bits of carrot, etc. However, it was only a pregnancy craving, I don’t do it anymore but I still love GF!

      On Sat, Jan 11, 2014 at 8:57 AM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo


  5. PERFECTION! You hit it out of the ballpark (or examine room) in this case. Funny. Informative. Snarky. Effortless. PS: I get my Botox as a reward for my twice yearly dental cleaning- that, and a little bleach on those teeth that are getting thinner and darker. NExt stop- FACE LIFT!


    • OH GIRL, I knew I loved you! We are one and the same, that’s for sure. I bleach too and yes, I agree, at some point, a lift is the only thing that’ll work. I so appreciate your feedback re: all of our messaging. I was feeling a bit like I’d lost my mojo. And even with the hashtags, I bet I’ll still never get invited to play with the other kids. I’m totes ser (translation for you: totally serious) about pursuing that idea. I’ve come up with a few names; we’ll have to discuss privately. How ’bout a FaceTime or Skype soon?

      On Sat, Jan 11, 2014 at 9:28 AM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo


  6. LOL! Botox as a reward…hmm, still sounds like a needle to me so no thanks!
    Definitely a female doc, for reasons you mentioned.
    I love your attitude of the glass still half full, sister!! 😉


      • I was sick between Christmas and New Years and missed out on a few things so it was a seamless transition for me, feels like it could be any day, any year, kind of weird, but here we are mid-January! Hub is still home cos he worked way too much last year and has a LOT of time off which is great… he’s trying to plan a surf trip to Panama and it would serve to be our 20th anniversary celebration, too. This seems to be starting out to be kind of an odd year, do you feel that?

        On Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 8:01 AM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo


  7. Pingback: Date Night with Princess Rosebud and Her Tugboat Man – Native Foods Cafe Restaurant Review | Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugboat Captain's Wife

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