Did she ever go through with it?
Did she ever figure out those vagina pills?
Did she receive a cease and desist letter from her gynecologist?
Lucky for you, not only am I going to answer all of these questions in too much detail but I am also going to enter into some pretty frank discussion about the supreme bullshit that is a woman's obligation to be 'fine' or 'grin and bear' these uncomfortable, invasive and somewhat humiliating experiences.
But first, an update. If you've no idea what I am talking about, read this.
The dreaded appointment was rescheduled and it was simple enough to live in denial for the short two weeks leading up to the procedure. The evening before, though, that was the evening I had to do those ridiculous vagina pills. They had to be inserted before bedtime and yes that is just as awful and awkward as it sounds.
And what did those damn pills do, you ask? Well, I had to google that shit, of course, but they would soften the cervix so that the doctor could more easily reach the uterus with whatever god-forsaken instrument she would use to remove small sections for testing.
Now in the weeks leading up to this appointment I had lots of time to obsess about it and even ask women I knew about their experiences with this procedure or something like it.
It struck me that most women were quick to dismiss the biopsy as 'no big deal', 'not much worse than a pap test' or 'you'll be back to work the same day'.
So, are you ladies trying to tell me that lying on a slab with your legs in stirrups, knees dropped to each side, naked from the waist down while a doctor inserts a speculum in your vagina, and reaches through your cervix to remove pieces of a pretty vital organ, while you stare helplessly at fluorescent lighting, is no big deal?
I'll apologize right now to the eight men reading this, but if men had to have sections of their urethra removed on a yearly basis there would be goddamn support group.
I know being a woman means you have to be strong in the face of adversity, but that means standing up to classism, racism, sexism and the like, that does not mean you have to be okay with horrifying medical procedures while you are wide awake.
I know, I know. I pushed out two babies, too. It was just as terrifying, and you all know it. Sure, it was well worth it, but who among us wouldn't have let the husband take a stab at birthing the second child if it were at all possible. Shouldn't everyone get to experience the joy that is bringing life into this world?
Anyway, that shit is painful and scary and women should not be commended for braving these things without complaint. We are quiet about too much.
It's time to take the afternoon off because you'll be leaving the clinic with cramps in your belly and a pad between your legs. It's time to skip making dinner and instead go to bed and rest. Who are we trying to impress? Not each other I hope.
Back to the big day.
The evening before I 'took' those fucking vagina pills and felt 'contractions' all night long, but that was fine because there was no way I was going to sleep anyway. By 6:00am I gave up on sleep and showered. I decided to head into work because teaching Kindergarten is the best distraction from impending invasive medical procedures that I can think of.
I left after work and arrived at the clinic fifteen minutes early. I checked in and sat down with my book. After reading the same paragraph eight times I settled on my phone. I decided to online shop, because that always makes me feel better.
I was just adding the second wine fridge to my cart when my name was called.
I walked stoically past all the pregnant ladies in the waiting room and followed the nurse. She took me into a room that looked very much like you imagine. A bed, with attached stirrups, a paper sheet for my comfort and a row of cupboards that probably held some of the most medieval looking shit you've ever seen.
I barely had time to take in my surroundings when the doctor knocked. The nurse probably told her they had a 'runner'. She wasted no time in making sure I was on the table and ready.
I've already explained the gist of what was done so I'll spare you that, but you should know the doctor was kind, and mercifully quick and promised me when it was over that I would not have to do it again anytime soon.
It hurt. It hurt so bad I lost my vision for a moment and felt that I might pass out. Though, that wouldn't have been the worst thing. I suppose if I had rolled off the table during said procedure this would have been a whole different and much funnier essay, but I survived, and shakily got dressed and saw myself out to my car, where I laid in the reclined seat and blasted the air conditioner until I felt strong enough to drive home.
You see how we pretend we are just fine. Of course, I should have asked for help, someone to come with me. Someone to drive me home. I felt like I had to be tough. I felt like I had to suck it up and that's not cool. As my husband says, "You have some really 'complicated rigging' and there is a lot that goes along with that. It's okay to be afraid."
It's a little scary in other ways, too, you know. I know what they're looking for when they take a biopsy. You do, too. It's more than just a painful trip to the dentist. It's major shit and it's time we started taking it seriously.
So, for me, I think I'll stop pretending I'm fine, and start talking about women's wellness in a way I wish people would have talked about it to me.