Monday, August 18, 2008

Confronting the Pap - as in Smear, not Arazzi

Dearest DP,

First of all, I must clarify the following: I would not qualify my crush on Michael Phelps (and possibly Channing Tatum, and, okay, Colin Firth too) as adulteress! Or even adulterous! Crushes are healthy. They keep life interesting. Besides, you should feast your eyes upon The Lawyer these days. Colossus has him looking waaaaay hot. So. Just wanted to clear that up, you pheisty Phelps phanatic you!

Now then. In the interest of TMI, I would like to fill you in on how I spent my morning (now that Mr. Phelps is no longer gracing our big screen TV with his mile-long abs).  Today marked my first foray into the world of British private healthcare.  'Twas time for my annual physical, so now that I am a dependent on the Lawyer's Insurance of Dreams (For real! Everything gets reimbursed! It's so much better than the crap insurance I had when I was actually employed.) I made an appointment at a local private clinic.

Going to a private doctor in the UK is like going to a hot tapas restaurant (and apparently much more palatable than the alternative: the National Health Service). You pick and choose from their menu of services, each of which comes with its own hefty price tag.  Today, besides the usual dishes, it was necessary for me to indulge in a pap smear, which - I was rather gobsmacked to discover - was conducted by the general practitioner himself. Um, awkward! 

My doctor was perfectly nice - very British, very proper. His wedding ring shone handsomely on his ring finger. He was wearing a gorgeous bespoke suit with a pink and blue striped tie. His office had big windows and a beautiful fireplace, with nice art on the walls. I felt like I was in his living room. Pretty darn swankified.

Also in his office? The examination table. 

Dr. Proper took my family history, checked my height, weight, blood pressure, and listened to my chest. Then he left the room as I dropped my pants and put the loveliest, softest towel over my legs. Upon his return, I spread 'em as he requested, and the deed was done swiftly. No stirrups (woohoo!).

But still. I am a little weirded out by this, you know? I miss the linoleum floors, fluorescent lights, paper gowns, and general sterility - both literal and figurative - of my NYC gyn's office. I felt bad for having to drop trou in the middle of this guy's gorge digs. He seemed fine with it, but afterwards I had to fight the urge to apologize for exposing myself to his collection of ancient Roman coins and plush furniture.  Not to mention sullying the silky-soft Egyptian cotton towel. 

Still feeling a bit sheepish, but I know I'll recover. Maybe I'll go watch some creepy stalkerish vids of Michael Phelps on YouTube. Not that I would know how to find them.

Love from papland,


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