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Forks, Portland, Lyon - France, Paris - France, Portland and ending up in Bellingham.... the adventures of my life!

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

For the Ladies: The Gyneco

I finally did it, that most uncomfortable and dreadful thing that only a slew of message boards frightened me into turning around and never looking back.

About 4 months ago I decided, after pressure from my French mother, to book an appointment with a Gyneco in France.  A quick search online on exasperated the fear I had.  Some of my favorite lines that I read from reviews and message boards,
Elle a même pas lavé ses mains ou changé le drap sur le lit.  Ce n'était pas propre... quel horreur! = She didn't even wash her hands or changed the sheet on the table.  It was not clearn... what a horror!
J'avais saignement pendant trois jours de ma visite. = I was bleeding for 3 days after my visit.
And the scariest most horrific one was from a fellow blogger:
You undress in front of your doctor, you walk around the room naked while you’re doctor is there, you climb up on the table naked and there are no gowns or towels to cover anything, and you get dressed again with your doctor watching. - American in France
Naked?  Just walking around feeling the breeze on my bits?  I didn't think I could handle it so I put the task at my French mother to find me a good one.  After about a week she txted me:
J'ai demandé aux mes collègues, elles m'ont donné le nom "Lavagna"
Like lasagna, I could handle that.

I called in the beginning of May, and unfortunately, Mme Lavagna was booked until July.  I had a date set, July 21, which was yesterday.

Now I totally forgot about the visit, placed it a million miles away in the back of my mind so I wouldn't have to recall the millions of posts about bleeding for days, nakedness and awkward dirty clinics.  Except one can only forget for so long until it's the day off and you're on the bus hypervenilating and using google translate to figure out key phrases so you don't look like an idiot.

Sexuellement active
Maladies transmettre sexuellement
Les pilules

What was I doing?  Turn this bus around!

Of course, I didn't jump out the window, instead I actually went.  Hidden on the street was 168, I buzzed myself in and wandered upstairs.  A beep of the button and the receptionist was there, cheery and taking my information.  How tall am I? Is this my first time? Etc.

10 minutes of me fidgeting around in my seat later an older woman in jeans and a nice long sleeve shirt popped out and shook my hand.  Mme Lavagna, herself.  I was put off by her fashion, high heels and the fact she has a manicure.. but hey gynecos can look good too.

Yes, I had to get stark naked.  No it was not in front of her, she had a nice covered area where I could undress, but I was still de-clothed and strewn on with a light in my nether regions.  It was still unnerving that I was in what felt like someone's apartment, but she did have the equipment and a private room that felt like a doctor's office at home.

Is it ever a joy ride going to the gyneco? No.  But for 50 bucks in France I expected royal treatment, it wasn't the worse of stories, it was ok.  I felt like she was sort of rushing me out of the clinic and kind of procedurally doing things.  Screw small talk, get undressed, get on the table, 10 minutes and some pain later, get dressed, pay.

She did; however, ensure my prescription for birth control was covered by insurance and that the visit was also covered.

15 minutes later I was on the street.

So now I have to find a dentist.


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