Until I needed a refill on my prescription. A year into my recovery with no apparent side effects from my hormone replacement therapy, I called in my refill to the Pharmacist who called back to tell me I was not eligible for renewal until I had a visit with my doctor. I couldn’t understand what could be gained from this, seeing as I had nothing left to check. I imagined the following scenario:
Dr: Hey Vern, how’s that uterus?
Vern: Well, see this 8 inch scar? You put that there when you took it out.
Dr: Oh, right! That’s healing up nicely. I did an awesome job.
Vern: Yep. Hey, how did you spend that $30K? Nice college fund for the wee lass, I hope.
Dr: *chuckle* Silly Vern.
Vern: No really, how’s the new car?
Dr: She sure is a sweet ride but I’m due for a little extra window tinting.
Vern: So THAT’S why I’m here!
The point is, now I have to go back every year whether I like it or not because I NEED THOSE PILLS. Without those pills I could refill all the reservoirs with my night sweats and take down al Qaeda with my mood swings. So against my will I made my appt. and went last week. Even after 20 years this experience still sucks, but I like how they try to ease you in gently by telling you to first step on the scale and then go pee in a cup. I want to say, “I thought this was the doctor’s office, not a sorority hazing ritual.” While we’re on the topic, could someone please explain to me how we are able to grow babies in a Petri dish but we haven’t figured out a better system for collecting urine samples? Like that little basket of wet wipes next to the Dixie cups is supposed to make me feel any better. All that does is make me pine for BBQ ribs and fried chicken. First I’m demoralized, then I’m inconvenienced, and now I’m STARVING.
The nurse escorts me to the exam room where she casually tells me to undress and then gestures to the pink tissue paper on the table and adds, “And there’s your cape and drape, pink for the top and white for the bottom.” Her tone is so deceitful, like a Nazi saying, “Oh here, go on into this lovely SHOWER! You’ve worked so hard today, go relax and get nice and clean.” It's a conspiracy, I tell you. And now I'm to the part where I wonder, just how much time do I have before the good Doctor knocks on the door and comes in? I have this fear that one day I won’t change my clothes fast enough and he’ll walk in on me, and I’ll be standing there in all my glory and 7th grade PE will all come rushing back to me. Then again, what am I hiding? I’m wearing half a tablecloth with armholes the size of manhole covers forcryingoutloud.
Having said all that, I’m really looking forward to getting that postcard in the mail telling me that my tests came out normal. I can say, “No Duh,” my doctor gets his tinted windows, and the world gets the version of me that doesn’t require a pickaxe to relieve stress.