"Not today, thanks." I replied.
Today was my first "real" visit to a Canadian doctor. Oh sure, I've been to doctors here before - there was the immigration doctor who was approximately 167 years old (wild guess.)
There was a doctor once in an emergency room who saw me after a 3 hour wait and a urine test confirming a UTI and by that time, the doctor was merely the means to the drug fix I needed to cure my really really sore bladder and aching peep and so his attempts at bedside manner including humor were met with nothing but the sound of the prescription being snatched right out of his hands before the ink barely had a chance to absorb.
I don't think these guys really count though, because they were just doctors of convenience. They were just transitional MD's. Today I saw my very own GP, you know, the REAL thing.
I did have a " Meet and Greet" visit a month ago with the this doctor, but today was my real big girl visit - a physical including pap.
It was remarkably casual.
Now, wait, before you suggest that I'm criticizing, you know, because you know me and I am slightly prone to criticism, I want to correct your assumption by saying I am not criticizing, in fact, quite the opposite is true. I like casual. See, for the last couple of years, I have been rather anxious when it gets close to the time for my annual pap.
First of all, most women in the US see a specialist, a gynaecologist, even for a routine yearly pap smear (something they don't do here.) Next, little comments, like the one I received after my 50th birthday in which my GYN stated that this milestone marks the beginning of the worrisome health years, did not leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy and low blood pressurey. In fact for months after that visit I was sure that every ache and pain was the beginning of the end, because after all, I had turned 50 and it was time to worry.
So this was really low key - I was told I had remarkably few moles on my body and I believe he even dubbed me "Lady Remarkably Mole-less of the House of Unblemished." I particularly enjoyed this attention, as dubbing and knighting and such are among my absolute favourite activities.
I told him that I had not managed to get my blood tests done yet (Dave's fault, not mine) and it was no big deal. He just suggested that I do it when I could and if any of the tests showed anything weird, he would contact me. Of course if I wanted I could schedule an appointment to come in to get the results, but again, up to me. No big deal. No scolding, no reminding me that I'm getting old and therefore prone to terrible things, no suggesting that I get every screening test available to man and perhaps even those normally reserved for llamas and porcupines. No frowny-face, no lectures.
In other words, my new doctor put the fun back into government sponsored vaginal probing. I haven't felt this mellow since the aliens abducted me and gave me the Forget This Ever Happened injection. (what can I say? I have a remarkable memory.)
So, I left there feeling strangely calm - you know, like I might have a few years left.
The only thing that would have made this day completely perfect is if he had a pirate chest in the corner of the exam room, and inside this chest were prizes for good boys and girls.
I can't tell when I last sported a lovely plastic sparkly adjustable ring or played with a yellow or blue rubber impossible to identify animal toy (usually a horse-rabbit) but I know it's been too long, people. Way too long.