Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to Break Up with Your Gynecologist (and other uncomfortable things)

I just don't know.

Oh wait what? You thought I'd have the answer? Sorry, I guess it does sound like a how-to post title, but I meant it as more of a thinking-out-loud-with-a-hopeless-sigh musing-type title. Because it's HARD, by golly, and I'm not sure why.

I'm an introvert. With a long list of things that make me "uncomfortable".
-thinking people don't like me
-phone calls (especially phone calls. I'm bad enough talking to people in person. Take away the visual cues and I'm hopeless.)
-talking to people (people I only sort of know, or am supposed to get to know. Hanging out with other parents at school functions? For example? The worst.)
-social gatherings (UGH)
-asking workers at a store where something is. I live in fear of asking the wrong person at Lowe's where the sandpaper is. "Well, that's not my department and I'm already assisting three people ahead of you but if you're determined to make me go out of my way for you and your sandpaper then fine, I can help. Later though, not right now. I am SO busy."
-going to my gynecologist

It hasn't always been this way. I used to not mind my yearly doctor exam. My first obstetrician/gynecologist was a little strange, but frankly, so was the whole experience, so it may not have been him. Then I had another doctor that I really liked. He was older and experienced and made me feel safe. I trusted his experience and gray hair and middle aged ladies that ran the front desk. He delivered my first baby. His gray hair made him a little too popular though, and I changed again, after growing tired of having to wait an hour+ for my appointments. My next doctors were part of a team of three. They were fine. Two I liked, one not so much. But I could choose who I saw so it wasn't a big deal. Then I had a little incident. I had some physical issues after my second baby and when I told them about my concerns, they were just swept aside. In (what I interpreted to be) a sorry-lady-that's-what-happens-get-over-it manner. Fortunately, in this particular practice, there were five midwives also. So I just decided to switch on over. And it was fantastic! What a change! Those lovely, sweet, kind-hearted ladies listened to me! And didn't rush me out! And asked probing questions and drew me out and acted like they cared about my answers. I was smitten. They had shorter fingers, it's true, but it was a small price to pay.

And since I'm done having babies, I've been moved back over to the male doctors. They're all new now. Younger. Busier. More important. You know. The doctor I saw yesterday for my yearly exam asked his questions so rapid fire he was biting off the ends of my response with his next question. If I had been experiencing "anymentalissuesanyanxietydepressiondarkthoughtsinabilitytocopewithlife?" I'd tell the 16 year old bagger at the grocery store before I'd tell him. This was actually the third time I've seen this doctor, during which times he has questioned me on 1) my decision to not get a flu shot 2) my choice of doctor for a surgery I had last year 3) my chosen method of birth control. And not a hey let's talk about your options way of questioning, but in a really you're doing THAT you poor misinformed woman? way.

So I'm at the height of frustration, and I am sooo ready to break up but I just can't seem to make myself. I've been putting it off for two years. I realize there's really not much to do. I don't have to call him. I don't have to talk to anyone and present my list of grievances. I'm not going to hurt anyone's feelings. No one will even notice I've gone. I just pick a different provider through my insurance and stop calling the old one. So easy. So passive. But still so uncomfortable. It makes my insides squirm and hurt. I'll have to find someone new. I'll have to acquaint myself with a new office and commute and receptionist. I'll no longer walk the halls that are so familiar to me after 13 years of anticipating and growing and dreaming about babies. Where I discussed symptoms and listened to heartbeats and wept when I saw tiny little feet and hands and spines and perfect little faces for the first time. Where we counted down days and discussed birth plans and dilation. I'll have to admit to myself that I just don't need an OB/Gyn or a midwife as a primary care provider anymore because I won't be bearing any more children.


Yes. That is hard.