Friday, December 7, 2012

Childless and happy at the gynecologist’s office


I survived another annual trip to the gynecologist yesterday. Do I hear a collective groan? No, it’s not fun being poked in naughty bits, but I danced out of there one happy woman. My doctor didn’t find any of the terrible things I feared, only a minor malfunction that is easily corrected with medication. Healthy! I should get to keep my unused uterus for another year. All the test results aren’t in, but I feel good.

All this falls into the too much information category, I know, but what I wanted to say was that this doctor does not make me feel weird for not having children or for never having been pregnant. Yes, there are pregnant women and little children in the waiting room. Yes, there are magazines about babies and parenting, but Dr. C. also has The New Yorker and the Atlantic in her rack. She has a few pictures of babies in the examining room but also pictures of butterflies, a marvelous bouquet of flowers, and a quilt, mostly red with at least a hundred little pictures one could stare at all day.

The forms I had to fill out asked only about my health and my medications, nothing about pregnancies I had or didn’t have. All that information is already in the computer. No need to discuss it.

As for my being, ahem, mature, she smiled and noted that we don’t have to waste time talking about my periods anymore. Hallelujah for that. The focus was on health. Before she even started the exam, we discussed my various concerns. Then, as she quietly checked my breasts, my belly and between my legs, we talked a little about her kids, but more about her work and my exercise and the crazy differences between how men and women behave.

I drive over an hour each way to see Dr. C. in Corvallis, Oregon instead of the local doctors here on the coast. Those doctors, mostly male, struck me as rough, distracted and not interested in anyone who wasn’t having babies. It’s worth it to me to have a doctor who truly cares.

Sometimes our doctor visits add to the pain of childlessness. If that’s happening to you, look for another doctor who can make you feel loved and cared for and just as valuable as the pregnant woman in the waiting room.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love my gyno office. Except for the time they called my name in the hallway told me I could step into the bathroom for the urine sample to find out if I was indeed pregnant or not.

"Um, I'm just here for my annual."
"Whoops, we got the wrong S."

Back to the waiting room I went and the other S was called in and she started her very different journey.

I will say my nurse practitioner has been lovely and concerned about me as a person and not just my baby-making abilities. It doesn't really help though when I'm so confused on what I'm going to do with my uterus.

I know this post isn't about Christmas but something about the holidays just makes one wistful. Wistful for memories of good Christmas' as well as not so good ones that turned out okay. A particular song will transport me back to a Christmas party at grandma's when I lingered on her patio porch, listening to the family inside and wondering if I was on the right path. I can still feel the coolness of the room, see the lights through the window filled with condensation and smell the cleanness of moment. As if it were being sanitized and preserved in a jar for me. Bing Crosby unlocks that jar and sometimes I welcome it but other times it make me sad. I guess I still haven't sorted out the thoughts that made me pause on that porch so long ago. And I miss my grandmother who always made me feel okay. And I wish I had those years back.

Damn you Bing Crosby. Why do you have to have such a lovely voice. (typed with wry humor as I know this feeling is only a passing phase)

Gynecologist Florida said...

Thanks for the advice in the last paragraph..

Chelsea said...

I agree that sometimes doctors make you feel worse when they seem to pity you with your condition or don't give you as much value compared with other patients. I think they should be sensitive about their patients' feelings too. Also, I believe that it is part of a doctor's role to help you to stay strong despite your condition. They should not make you feel bad as if there's no hope or that you're about to face death -- even if that's true. It is good to know your gynecologist is kind and understanding.

Chelsea Leis

Austin Wobgyn said...

I love my Gynecologist office. Whenever i visit gynecologist austin tx i found all doctor are helpful and very cooperative. I read your post and agree with your suggestion. But in my case i am totally satisfy with my gyno office. They have state-of-the art equipment, a welcoming staff, and a warm, professional environment.

pamelli said...

PLEASE HELP!
I live in Austin, Texas and I'd REALLY like to find a new gynecologist ( preferably one who's NOT an obstetrician as well!). I feel that I haven't been getting the attention or care I deserve and I suspect it's because I'm a healthy childfree woman (Therefore, NOT a gyno's "best" patient - if you know what I mean...) Can anyone help me or give me some suggestions??
I'm actually considering taking a trip abroad once a year, to my old gynecologist (who actually made MY birth!) in South America, JUST for my annual exam!
Is there anything like a website of "gynechologists for the childfree women" in America" ? Thanks!
Isabela, 47 and childfree
isabelaparis88@yahoo.com

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

I'm in Oregon and am lucky to have a caring gynecologist who never makes me feel bad about not having children, but I know there are lots of the other kind. Is there anybody out there with a good gyn in Texas?