A doctor’s visit that went well…

Today, I went to the gyn for my yearly PAP test, which I must undergo in order to renew my prescription for the Pill. I’ve been going through this since 1996, but every year, the appointment fills me with dread. I have no problem with the test itself, it’s something pretty quick and not actually painful. However, I’ve always been weary of doctors being judgmental or talking about my weight.

So, after been greeted by a BBW nurse who I’ve seen before, I waited for the doctor to come. A young medecine student (an in-betweener BBW) came in to ask basic questions about my period and other relevant matters. Then, the doctor came in and did the pelvic exam (as he described the procedure to the student, the only comment he made about my weight, and it was rather neutral, was that my vagina was well-padded, which wasn’t intended to me but to the student doctor, as he told her about how to access the cervix). Nothing else. No sermon about my weight, no pestering about anything that wasn’t related to my genitals.

Basically, it was one of the best visits I’ve had for the Pap test in nearly 15 years. Since I hadn’t had lunch but had to go back to work, I stopped on the way back to this Thai restaurant I like and ordered cashew chicken stirfry on rice to-go with a can of coconut juice.

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7 Comments

  1. January 19, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    I’m glad to hear it went well. Yay!

    However, I would note that you can also get “well-woman” care (PAP smears, breast exams, labs etc.) from a midwife. Nurse-midwives are almost always covered by insurance, and homebirth midwives also do GYN care but may or may not be covered by insurance….you have to ask.

    Not all midwives are size-friendly, but on the whole, they tend to be MUCH more size-friendly than docs and they usually take a bit more time and show a little better bedside manner. There are, of course, always exceptions to the rule (there ARE bad midwives and great docs) but it’s important to point out that doctors are not the only folks to get well-woman care from, and often not the most size-friendly choice out there.

    Many of us choose midwives (or nurse-practitioners) for general GYN care and feel it has really improved our care. Just a thought!

  2. J.S. said,

    January 20, 2009 at 12:09 am

    Yay! I feel your relief, having been there myself.

    I’m trying to say something every time I have a size-positive experience in a doctor’s office, to call their attention to it and condition them to continue to treat larger people well. At my last visit I thanked the nurse for using a large sized blood pressure cuff to take an accurate blood pressure reading, and complimented the office manager on the subscription to the Lane Bryant large sized fashion magazine in the waiting room. I’d NEVER seen a large sized magazine in a doctor’s office before.

  3. bri said,

    January 20, 2009 at 12:30 am

    Sorry, but his comment that your “vagina is well padded” is horrendous. There is no need for him to say that and it is incredibly unprofessional to make such a comment. Would he say to a man “your penis is very long”? I doubt it. Great that there were no weight sermons but the vagina comment is totally out of line.

  4. ladyjaye75 said,

    January 20, 2009 at 4:49 am

    @Bri, actually, I quoted him a bit out of context. He was talking to the student about accessing the cervix and mentioned that it’s not as obvious because my vagina is well-padded (I’m paraphrasing about the “as obvious” part). I really don’t see it as a comment on my weight, but rather as an observation that was relevant in the context. There was no judgment. I did not even get that vibe out of that doctor; I think he had enough work to do that he just wanted to do the job and move on to the next patient (doctors and nurses here are overworked in general). And it was the BBW student doctor who asked the questions about my period and who handed me the prescription afterwards (she was a sweetie, I wish I’d have her again when she finishes school).

    The fact that there was a student present made the whole experience different, as the doctor explained the steps to her, hence the commenting on the vagina. Sorry I wasn’t any clearer, I had little time to write before I left.

    Also, I am limited as to how I can access gyn services here. In Quebec, we have to go through a clinic to get the pap smear, which is required in order to get a prescription for the pill. I can go through a GP or a gynecologist, but I don’t think that midwives here would be allowed to write the prescription afterwards. Also, doctor appointments here are covered by our provincial medicare, so there is no cost to see a gyn.

  5. mccn said,

    January 21, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    oh, cripes – sorry for asking for personal advice here, but I’ve been on the pill for 9 years now. I think my last OB/GYN visit was six years ago. Should they be asking me for a yearly checkup if I’m going to keep taking the thing? (I have fibromyalgia, so I avoid the OB/GYN like the plague, as it sets off all my pain receptors – but I also know I should probably be going more. . .)

  6. ladyjaye75 said,

    January 21, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Well, I guess that the requirement to undergo the pap test before getting the prescription changes from one juridiction to the next. It’s required here in Quebec, but I wouldn’t know for elsewhere.

    Anyone else has some advice?

  7. sushiosoyum said,

    February 17, 2009 at 5:32 am

    Wow! What a lucky student doctor, if I can say such things here 🙂


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