Today, this afternoon to be exact, I am to have pap smear.
This event has become more stressful as I age. I have many fears. What if my gastrointestinal issues decide to blossom while I am on the table? What if bit of that horrid white paper escapes all cleaning efforts? Really, I think if I were a doctor this would be among my least favourite types of patient visits. I never used to worry about these things, now I do, and wish I didn’t.
But really, if I look at this resistance a little more closely, it is really about being tested, and the reality that I might fail the test, that makes me want to avoid the whole procedure. But I won’t avoid it. This afternoon will find me stripped down and in a gown, heels in the stirrups. Oh the inglorious road to maintaining good health!
I wish there were little treats for adults at the doctor’s office, like the children’s lollipops, that would reward the visit!
Next week is another body tune up week. I will wear a blood pressure monitor for 24 hours. I will have a mole removed and biopsied. I will have a skin tag removed that is preventing me from wearing the brace for my arthritic knee. The following week I see a cardiologist to discuss all the tests done on my heart, and the state of my blood pressure levels. I feel like a science project! But I am grateful. I am able to get these necessary tests done through a walk-in clinic, although I do not have a family doctor. The doctor at the walk-in clinic seems to be guiding me through a thorough tune up!
Why do old people talk about their health so much? Well, if you use an elementary level of logic it would be easy to understand. As you get older it is more and more work, for most people, to maintain good health. And it is hard work, with a lot of challenges to be met and mastered. Luckily, I have fairly good karma when it comes to talking about health issues. I was a listening ear for my Granny when her health was failing, and have been consistently respectful of health related confidences shared. I always wanted to be able to get old, it was something I wanted to live long enough to become. My observation was that indeed, some lucky souls carried good health around with them like an invisible halo, but most people did not, do not. They are not that lucky.
I have a secret weapon! When I go to all of these appointments, and will find myself sitting in sterile waiting rooms, I can take out my crochet hook, and a ball of yarn, and lose myself in colour and movement. Crocheting is such a source of pleasure and focus that it can mediate the coldest social environments. Today I carry red with me into the fray.
I am just thinking that I would love to be funny and clever about going in to have a pap smear. But if funny and clever aren’t what I feel, then funny and clever is not what I write. I don’t feel funny and clever; and unfortunately I have little talent for joking about the things that I find disturbing. I love to read funny and clever descriptions of the experiences I find distasteful, but it isn’t in me to write them with any sincerity. I am no comedian.
Date: 11:00 AM EDT Friday 31 March 2017
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Dew point: 1.1°C
Wind: ENE 25 gust 36 km/h
Visibility: 10 km
“You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning… a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be.”
1904 – 1987
In my case writing, genealogy, food science, crochet… and sitting in the bush whenever the sun shines and the warm breezes blow.