Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gynecological Girly Gab

**WARNING** This is a very female post.

I went to the doctor yesterday. The OBGYN. My visit was twofold.

1. First, I know I said Aunt Flo left the other day, but she left her baggage hanging around, which means I won't stop bleeding! It's not a lot (technically spotting), but enough to be a nuisance and make me willing to pay a $25 copay to plead with my doctor and tell him, "Make it stop!"

2. Secondly, since it's about time for my annual exam, I decided to kill two birds with one copay and get that over with, even though I'm not due for another month.

The visit went fine. I called my doctor's office several times last week complaining about my bleeding nuisance. I wanted to get my progesterone tested because according to my Google research, that seems to be the problem, but he refused. I couldn't understand why he wouldn't write me a lab order. It was just a test. But he claimed there was no medical indication that I needed to be tested. His nurse was very nice and spent a lot of time on the phone with me, taking down my information and trying to explain things. She confided in me that my doctor does not like his patients to look things up online. When she told me that, I was determined that he was punishing me for my online self-diagnosis. I do realize it's a bad idea to Google symptoms, usually because it always ends up to be cancer or a terminal illness, therefore I try to avoid Dr. Google. But this research seemed harmless. I was simply trying to educate myself on the menstrual cycle, and I learned some interesting things along the way about hormones.

[Side Note: There are some strange things written out there on some of these medical forums. I continue to be shocked at the number of women/girls that are trying to conceive their first, second, or third child with their boyfriends. There was also a post that said, "I'm 50 and I really want to have another baby because I want to give my husband the girl he always wanted. However, I'm having strange bleeding and I've never had this problem before." That one made me laugh. Please don't ever let me become that woman.]

Anyway, back to my doctor's appointment. He walked in and kindly greeted me. I handed him my BBT (Basal Body Temperature) charts that I've been charting since July. The bi-phasal appearance of the chart appears to show that I've been ovulating. I was hoping they would help give him clues as to why my girl parts are so dysfunctional this month. He looked at them for a moment. He gave me a lesson on the hormone portion of the menstrual cycle. I felt like I was in 9th grade health class, but the information was helpful. Then he paused for a moment, gave it some deep thought and said, "You know, let's get your progesterone tested next Friday," which would be day 21 of my cycle.

Ok, so I TOTALLY should've been a doctor because that is exactly what I had prescribed myself! He then explained if it's low, to take progesterone supplements (Prometrium) for 7 days and then stop. When I stop taking them I will begin my period. It's like a forced period and the extra progesterone helps build up the endometrium lining and then when the drug is suddenly stopped the lining should properly slough off and regulate me. He thinks that I might have a build up of endometrial tissue which can cause random bleeding. I'm hoping he's right, so I'm giving it a try.

I hope this isn't TMI. I don't think it is. I like to think of it as educational.

So the appointment continued. He called the nurse into the room while he did the exam portion of the visit.  He felt my boobs, he tapped my lower abdomen. I'm not quite sure what that tells him, but it sounded hollow. He felt my neck, which I think helps him tell if my thyroid is big or something. He listened to my heart and lungs. He looked at my eyes and took a two second peek into my mouth. I wish I asked him what he looks for in my eyes and mouth, but I forgot. I was distracted by his beautiful gold fillings when he opened his mouth to ask me to say, "Ahhh."

Then he did the PAP and internal exam. This is never my favorite part of the visit. It makes me all dizzy when I have a speculum inside me, and knowing the doctor is scraping tissue off my cervix with a brush-like thingy that looks like it should clean a miniature baby bottle.  But I survived. Then he felt my uterus and ovaries. By the feel of things I thought he was rearranging the furniture up in there, but I was glad to know he was being thorough in checking for irregularities. While he was examining he asked the nurse, "Did you have a good day off yesterday?"
She answered, "Kind of."
He proceeded to tell me that she didn't have to work yesterday because he was off getting a colonoscopy. I find great joy and humor in awkward moments. That was a first for me, and I can honestly say I have never had a man tell me about his colonoscopy while feeling my uterus and ovaries. I simply laughed because I couldn't think of any appropriate response. I mean, I could've probably said something like, "Oh yeah? So how is your colon doing?" but my attention was focused on my reproductive system that was currently being poked, prodded, and scraped.

The final portion involved five questions. My doctor asked:

1. Have there been any changes in your family medical history?

2. Have you taken up drinking or smoking?
Me:  Hahaha....No.

3. Has there been any change in your social status in the past year?
Me Thinking:  Ummm......Social status?.....Hmmmm....well, I accepted probably about 15 new Facebook friend requests.
Me:  No.

4. Do you wear a seatbelt?
Me: Yes.

5. Do you drive while talking on a cell phone?
So, I'm not quite sure what this has to do with my gynecological health, but I'm glad that my doctor is concerned about my motor vehicle safety. When I replied, "No." He said, "Good girl."

He understands my desire to have more children so there was no discussion about birth control. He assured me that my irregular bleeding was common considering my age of 35. Then he put his hand on my knee, looked at me, and said, "Don't worry. We'll tune you up and get you pregnant." His optimism was reassuring. So reassuring that I actually bought some pregnancy tests that were clearanced at the grocery store tonight.

So that was my doctor day. So much fun. Sorry I don't have a picture. Just use your imagination.


  1. LOL! Melinda that last line made me laugh right out loud! I hope it all works out for you to have another baby!!

  2. I understand doctors being concerned when their patients self-diagnose themselves, but what you were doing wasn't really considered self-diagnosing, just requesting a test that you felt might help explain things. Those doctors who refuse to acknowledge what the patient is saying really bother me. I'm going through a myriad of health issues right now, and the one thing I've decided to do is firmly (but nicely) request a few tests of my own to be completed, namely an MRI. I'm not too sure how well that will go down, but dagnabit if I'm not going to try! Good for you!