Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lady Doctors vs. Baby Doctors

I'm guest-blogging for the next two weeks at Cancer Bitch, while she concentrates on moving into a new place. I'll cross-post everything here, but do check out her blog if you haven't before. The University of Iowa press will publish her book Cancer Bitch some time next year.

Last week, I had my first gynecological exam since I started cancer treatment. TMI, you say? None of you complained when I wrote about breasts.

I haven't had the best of luck with gynecologists. There was Dr. Shifty, at my old HMO, who constantly glanced around the room while I asked questions, as if seeking an escape route. Then, Dr. Gorgeous, who lectured me about birth control while he was down there. Uncomfortable. The last one, Dr. Soccermom, hurt me during the examination, and blamed me, saying I was "too tense." Pain does make me tense.

So, my expectations were low when I walked into yet another waiting room of an OB/GYN practice; this time recommended by my internist. After filling out the new patient forms, I started to browse the magazine selection. They had a couple of obligatory copies of Parenting, but also a number of news magazines and, to my delight, the latest issue of ReadyMade. If you're not familiar with ReadyMade, it's the bible of hipster Do-It-Yourself-ers; sort of a combination Popular Mechanics/Good Housekeeping for Generation Y. It's a pretty unusual magazine to find in a doctor's office.

One of the big problems I've had with OB/GYNs in the past is the feeling that they're really OBs, and the GYN part is an afterthought. This was first time I didn't automatically feel like a second-class citizen for not being pregnant. Dr. Soccermom's waiting room was full of baby magazines, brochures about breast-feeding, and mini photo albums of infants she caught on their way out. I have nothing against babies; I actually was one, at one time. But how about a little photo album of women you've successfully guided through menopause--hmmm? We're probably not cute enough.

The new gynecologist, who I will now think of as Dr. ReadyMade, was wonderful! First, we met in his office to discuss any concerns, a pleasant alternative to having to ask questions while half-naked and on an exam table. During the examination, he told me what he was doing and took care to cause minimal discomfort. I don't say this about a lot of docs, but he's a keeper.

ReadyMade [Link]

"Gynecologists say the darndest things" Radar [Link]

1 comment:

Katy Widrick said...

Hello (and if this looks familiar -- I also posted it on your guest blogging post to make sure you saw it!)

I found your blog while looking up resources for breast cancer patients, and thought you might be interested in a woman who's taken a pretty unique path in her own cancer battle. Meg Gaffney is a nurse, and when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she decided to skip chemotherapy and radiation, and go right to a bilateral mastectomy. But when her plastic surgeon recommended a skin graft surgery to build up new nipples, she decided to incorporate art into her own personal healing process.

For Meg, that means getting nipples tattooed onto her body instead of the graft surgery, and now -- after months of searching for an artist willing to take on her challenge -- she's about to get the work done!

We're 8 parts into a documentary on Meg, which is featured on GrowingBolder.com. I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think!

http://growingbolder.com/media/health/cancer/confronting-cancer-part-8-181742.html

Meg is dynamic, creative, and completely committed to ridding the world of cancer, and her spirit is contagious.

Thanks for your time, and best luck in your own journey!

Katy Widrick
Executive Producer, GrowingBolder.com
katy@growingbolder.com
407-362-8237