How is it that I can go eons without a real period and then right after I pull the trigger on a long-overdue pelvic exam… I turn into a hallway of the Overlook Hotel?
Y’all know by now that I have health problems (or you could know that if you went back and read some old posts – not that I’m suggesting you do that because BOR-ING – but since you could know it, I’m going to assume you do). But none of my health problems are diagnosed (well, not none, some of them were diagnosed a long time ago). However, being self-employed, chunky and having health problems pretty much means that unless I have a husband with benefits, I can’t get no
satisfaction benefits. I have a husband now, but due to various layoffs and general market economy-ness, we went quite a while without benefits. I would like to tell you that I am responsible enough to continue seeing a gynecologist without benefits, but I am not.
See, I got it into my head that if I went to the doctor a lot and if the doctor found lots of issues, that I would never again be able to get coverage for those issues. This idea was reinforced when I had an eyeball issue a while back. Right before I got married, i.e. right before the day I was supposed to wear a white, poofy dress made of tulle and fairy dust – a day when glasses would have been very-horribly-much NOT what I wanted to wear because I don’t look cute in glasses, I look dumb, I developed a spot on my eye that hurt when I wore contacts. It was a Saturday and I was all freaked out because, you know, impending nuptial doom and such, so I flipped through the phone book (okay, looked it up on the internet) and found this little guy who was actually open. He was, however, Korean and did not speak English. Apparently, on Buford Highway – a very diversely ethnic street in this town – you can find eye doctors that work on Saturdays. So Eye Dr. Korean squirts shit in my eye in sort of an attack-style of doctoring, peers through various magnifying things at said ball of eye, and says in broken English, “damage cornea, put drops, no contacts several weeks” and sends me on my way. No idea what sort of damage was done, but I was still psyched that it was a “drops for a few weeks” sort of condition. So I dropped diligently and then got married in contacts.
But my eyeball problem came back (3 times) and off I went in search of English-speaking doctors.
Right about this time, we got benefits again. Yay! So I tried to use them, but I was shot down for pre-existing condition. Okay, fair enough. But then every time I went to the eye doctor for anything at all – dry eye, itchy eye, different hurty eye, I was shot down. Pretty much, my insurance just wasn’t going to pay a damn thing for my eyes ever again.
And that became my best rationalization for not going to the gynecologist. Which, as experiences goes, is really awful (amirite?!) and, without benefits, really expensive. So I skipped it. For.. uh… several years.
I have KNOWN gynecological problems, so not-going has turned into this sort of pathological mix of shame and terror and knowingness that I must go someday and probably should make it soon, but am unable to make myself do so.
Now that I have benefits again, I have made every doctor appointment that I can think of and most of them are this coming week. Including the gynomonster. Which I dread with a dread that is akin to checking into the Overlook Hotel, by yourself, at night, after Jack has gone crazy and hacked up all the other guests. And irony, now the halls are gushing blood.
Clearly, I cannot keep this appointment – what is she going to do, part the red sea and swim up to my cervix? Probably shouldn’t let my primary care lady take blood this week, either, because, you know, blood loss…
It was damned hard to make those appointments in the first place, people. Fat girls with lists and lists and lists of health problems do not want to go to the gyno or the primary. It ain’t nothing but an exercise in humiliation and judgment for us combined with dismissive treatment and no real help for our problems. Both hopeless and disheartening, if you know what I mean. With a side of abject terror. I may never work up the gumption to schedule it again, I swear it.
I told you I would over share, right? Pretty sure I said that. And now I’ve done it.