Friday, September 10, 2010

The limits of Nick's helpfulness

So yesterday I went to the gynecologist.

Although now I think of him as my OB, since, well, you know with the Jordan business and all. But calling him my OB makes people think I'm pregnant. Which I'm not.


I was hanging out on the table in that little gown thing, reading my BlackBerry, when Dr. N rapped on the door and walked in.

The first thing he said was, "Nice to see you! I love the haircut!"

I hadn't been there in months, and while I saw him 732 million times during and shortly after my pregnancy, I was surprised that he'd recognized me, much less remembered my hair.

I guess I always feel like doctors typically look at their notes and then fake the remembering.

But I quite like him and we have a good rapport, and he did pull a baby out of my uterus and shake my husband's hand. So the remembering could be genuine.

So he asked a couple questions and then left to get the nurse so she could be there for my exam.

They returned, and had me lie back and scoot forward. And so there I am, legs spread, vagina all out there for God and everyone, when he says, "So you have this cute new haircut! And what else has been going on with you?"

I don't know about you, but I have always found it hard to make small talk in a face to vagina kind of situation.

And also. With the hair, I suddenly felt noticed, if that makes sense. In a nice way. But it still made me self conscious.

Not my vagina - that was all clinical. More like, it occurred to me that maybe he thinks I'm attractive. Not in a creepy way - no tone, no look. He's totally professional.

Seriously. It's not like he was all, "Hey, why don't you put some clothing over that vagina of yours and let's go out for a drink."

It was just the noticing of the haircut. Which a ton of other people have done - it's quite a drastic haircut.

I know I'm not explaining the why very well.

And then he made me laugh saying, "OK, just a few seconds, and you'll be the proud owner of a new Pap smear."

And then I put my clothes on and we talked in his office and that was that. Totally normal.

I was telling Nick about it last night. He's typically a voice of reason. When I have situations I'm wondering about, he always gives good advice.

"Do you think it's odd? About the complimenting the hair?"

"Not at all. But you know what I wish you'd said?"

And then I thought, should I have said something? Doctors are authority figures. Maybe compliments, even innocuous ones, are inappropriate?


"I wish you'd said, 'Oh, thank you. I was going to get a Brazilian, but then just went with a trim...Oh! You mean my head hair!'"

Helpful. Very helpful.


  1. Odd...I went to the gynecologist yesterday too. And I am so with you on the face to vagina talk. It's so awkward. Even before the face to vagina talk - once they have your feet in the stirrups and you scoot your butt down to the end of the table...really I don't want to talk to you - I just want to stare at the ceiling and pretend I'm somewhere else.

  2. Ha! You're both a hoot!

    I think I get your point, though. If I'm in that position, I don't want "personal" attention. Chit chat if you must, but get it done with clinical efficiency and let me get on with my life.

    I once had a gynecologist kiss me. On the mouth. Talk about inappropriate. He felt it was his right since he'd delivered me. I felt it was my right to slug him and report him to the AMA. Sadly, I only expressed my outrage to him. Hopefully, he's dead now. So, um, in perspective, I think your guy's alright.

  3. Hair conversations shouldn't happen in a gynos office. There's just something weird about it. I had one doc mention my hair during a breast exam and it's all strange, cause wouldn't you like men that are *not* clinically examining your body to notice your hair? I just think hair compliments should not happen in a naked clinical situation.

    (My gyno doesn't have the table with the stirrups that pull out, it's a chair with stirrups attached at the bottom, and the whole thing tilts back, meaning your legs are up at a 90 degree angle, which completely blocks everything in the room from view. So conversations are SO WEIRD because not only are they between the legs conversations, it's a faceless voice chatting about the weather or whatever, like the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain or something. Awkward.)

  4. haha, so supportive, love Nick's idea. my ob/gyn (i always say all 5 letters) just moved to my neighborhood so while she was doing the exam she asked me for bars and restaurant recommendations. i could NOT talk while she was palpitating! could NOT do it. it was just like the dentist asking you questions while they're scraping your gum line!

  5. Ha! I love Nick.

    This reminds me of a funny story of my mom's. she was at the gynecologist and he was doing his exam and said, "so, your husband went to UVa?" And she said, "yeah, but how can you tell from looking down there?"

  6. I think that Nick is brilliant.

    Also, the first practice that I went to? The doc that I had gone to see was unavailable, so they asked if I could be seen by another doc - who was an older guy. Although a female assistant was in the room the whole time, I couldn't help but be creeped out when he made an observation about my *other* hair.

    I did not see him again, so much.

  7. Jessica- creepy!
    Evil Twin- good heavens! That is.. I'm speechless. That is awful.

    I'd better stop reading the comments for the day. The creepy gynecologist stories might be a little too much for me. Yikes.

    Awesome post though, Lisa. Nick and Moses would get along, I think.

  8. I think that doctor should take a few minutes to research what to talk to women about while they are in that....position. He clearly does not know how personal our head hair is to us? (Did I just say that?) I mean, we have polls
    :-) and pie charts and doesn't he know how damned personal it is!?! I think he should stick to the weather,the traffic, or best of all what we are doing for ourselves when we are done with this gawd-awful chore!
    I only see females and I never have a problem feeling funny. I mean aside from the whole degrading get me the fuck out of here aspect.
    I totally got what you were saying in the first few lines. Book material!

  9. Is it weird, that the first thought out of my head was the same as Nick's? Ha!

  10. My last trip to the gyno, it was a new one, and she insterted the speculum and then went "Aaawww!"

    Not at all what you are expecting in a face to vagina situation. I apparently have a "cute little cervix", go figure.

  11. I was thinking the exact same thing! ;-)

  12. That was a perfect come back from Nick! I don't like too much chit chat in that situation esp about hair-too personal? Even though I'm sure it was all about making you comfortable. Once I had to have an in office procedure for a pre cancerous problem. Before my OB began, he put vinegar all over the area. Then he proceeded to tell me it was like we were dressing a tossed salad! I know he was trying to get me to relax..but to this day, every time I make a dressing I think of that moment. You know how some people clean with vinegar? I can't handle that ever since.

  13. I was relaying this post to my husband, and before I even got to your punchline, he was way ahead of me with the same suggestion.

    Must be a guy thing.

  14. Love Nick's response!

    Here's my funniest OB story. After having my daughter, the doc and my DH were discussing Harleys (she's a good man, if you know what I mean). So, they're chatting away as she's sewing things up down there. He makes the universal man joke. "Put an extra stitch in there for me! Ha Ha!" She never looked up and said "whatever you need, small fry"

    I actually started applauding!

  15. Oh my God, you must go rent Dr. T & the Women this weekend. It's uncanny this gyno/haircut/he noticed thing. Srsly.

  16. Or, here:

  17. Megan - You know, I realized yesterday that I'm not as bothered by the whole thing as I used to be. But you're still just so exposed.

    lacochran - OK, that's very very upsetting, inappropriate, and unprofessional. Ewww.

    I think my guy is fine. There was no tone of anything except pleasantness.

    Lisa - I can totally picture the voice of Oz, the all-powerful Oz. And it's so weird too because all these doctors are kind of like God with everything in their power, plus so many of them are so arrogant.

    lustyreader - Bizarre. I think for them it's probably just so routine for them. Like, when they were getting ready to do my C-section they were talking about a car accident one of their friends had been in. So why not ask for restaurant recommendations?

    Wendy - THAT is really funny! Hahahaha!

    Jessica - I would be so upset. There's just no need. It's creepy and weird. Ugh!

    A.S. - I know - there are some creepy stories coming out of this. And from what little I know, I'm sure they would get along. :)

    Lynn - The thing is, I don't even know that I find my hair that personal - it's certainly less personal than my business that he's all up in. It was more about him noticing and saying something nice about my appearance...What it makes me wonder is, maybe I'm not that used to being treated like a whole human being by most doctors - including the female ones???

    Carla - I feel like, hey, why didn't I think of that? Not to say out loud, but why didn't it occur to me?

    Kenya - That's something I have never, ever heard. That's really funny.

    Stevie - Hilarious!

    kayare - He really made me laugh. I don't even mind the chit chat, I don't think. The tossed salad analogy is super bizarre. Where did he come up with that? Definitely the kind of image that would stick with you.

    Keenie Beanie - That's hilarious. It seriously never occurred to me. And even if I wanted to say something like that, there's no way I could.

    cla517 - What a GREAT story! I love her! That is amazing!

    Cynthia - Hahahahaha! I was watching these men in the woods, wondering how this would relate...Oh so perfect! Now I want to see this movie.

  18. Hey Lisa. It's Eric. You provided me with a much needed laugh during my surgical recovery. I can totally empathize. Having hernia surgery at GW (a teaching hospital), there was a never ending stream of residents and med students stopping by to check out my junk and trying their hand at small talk. In my case, I saw their faces as they lifted my gown and got hands on during their examinations. And Lord knows how many people were in the OR surgery. LOL Had a complication in recovery and somewhere out there is a cell phone pic of my bruised and swollen groin area. The recovery nurse joked I was going to be famous. I was not amused. Ended up staying the night and got poked/prodded/stuck with needles every few hours during the night and the residents/med students were still trying to be funny. Anywho all that was to say, you made my day as I trying not to bust a stitch laughing. :-)

  19. I hope my post made sense...still drugged up on percocet. LOL

    - Eric

  20. I have a bit of a nervous habit when I am at the doctor's- I joke around alot, I usually say if I don't laugh I will cry. After having a toe amputated this summer due to bone infection caused by a blister, I was a bit upset to be seeing it for the first time after the surgery. The doctor remembered joking with me previously and commented that now I can get a 10% discount on a pedicure! I was shocked at first, then laughed uncontrollably for a few minutes-glad someone's as nuts as I am!

  21. I am as non-helpful as Nick, because that's EXACTLY what I was thinking you should have said. :)

  22. Ya me too @ Nick's comeback. I probably would totally have said something very inappropriate like that because I suffer saying totally inappropriate things all the time.

  23. Best one ever, Nick!

  24. oh my goodness. That is a boy response if I ever heard one.

  25. Dude. I was thinking the same thing. I would not have had the balls to say it but I would have thought it and giggled.


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