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I’m in the waiting room sitting amongst hundreds of magazines touting the newest in diapers and aroma-pleasant diaper pails, pediatricians and non-gassy formulas. There’s a poster on the wall depicting Fallopian tubes and ovaries and the big lady underneath them.

My name is called. I approach the door slowly.

My sweet grandfatherly gynecologist retired last year and I am meeting Dr. S. for the first time. The nurse waves me in and chats to my back as she informs me we’re headed to exam room #3.

It felt like Let’s Make a Deal. I would have picked door #2.

I hop aboard the crumpled white paper that is eerily similar to the art paper we used in Pre-K. It wrinkles further under my butt cheeks. I am handed a gown. Really? Isn’t a gown formal wear? Nurse Ratchett informs me that the opening goes in front. Some prankster has apparently glued the gown’s arm holes together.

As I wrestle to open it it tears allowing my left boob the freedom to see and be seen. To belt or not to belt? I make a fashion statement. I will belt to the back. Then she hands me the drape. You know for modesty purposes you place it gently on your lap so you can pretend that your privates are hidden.

The nurse asks the requisite questions and departs.

I sneak into the bathroom to pee and freshen up. A little paper towel with soap and water and a spritz of lady mist.

There’s a gentle knock on the door.

Am I expected to invite her in?

She introduces herself as she wordlessly taps the stirrups. Does it annoy you that horses wear these? 

I lay down as she guides me further along down the table much like an airplane flag person directs a plane coming into the gate. Once my butt is hanging gingerly on the edge she signals for me to stop. The bright light comes on to illuminate the entire region.

Welcome to the show everyone!

And now Dr. S. decides to get chatty talking right into you know who as if you know who is equipped with a microphone.

I watch a bug traverse the ceiling.

I decide right then that someone should put in a call to the decorators on HGTV. Here’s a contest for them;  Come up with some engaging artwork or technology that can be mounted to the ceiling since that’s where we’re mostly looking anyway.

She performs her exam.

Isn’t perception fascinating? Under different circumstances (with my husband in the role) what was going on would be pleasant perhaps delightful. Now it was yucky and uncomfortable and awkward and embarrassing and I could not wait until it was over.

She snaps off her gloves which is the cue to sit up.

Show’s over!

“Everything looks good from my end,” she says which is really my end if you think about it.

“My only concern is that you have a rather pale vagina.”

I was speechless and giggled.

Was she making a reference to color relative to the rest of me which was summer tan? I’m not a nudist so my vagina would not be playing in the sun.

“Is that a problem?”

She never quite answered yet wanted to recommend hormones and lubricants and lotions…..

Was she implying that vaginas fade with age? I did not ask her because I did not want to think of mine as elderly.

And this was not a question for the water cooler crowd. Someday I might google ‘pale vagina.’  For now I’d rather have some fun answering questions when someone asks about my medical conditions.

My heart races, my blood pressure drops unexpectedly, I have positional vertigo and stomach cramps on most days. Oh and I also have recently been diagnosed with a pale vagina if you must know…….

Photo credit: Angela Layana via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

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Lisa Leshaw

Lisa Leshaw has worked as a mental health professional for the past 31 years. She currently conducts Parenting Skills Workshops, Group Counseling for Blended Families and Empowerment Circles for Women. As a consultant, Lisa travels throughout teaching Communication and Listening Skills, Behavioral Management Techniques and Motivational Strategies. To de-stress she performs in children's theatre and plays piano whenever requested. She is hoping to either write the next memorable musical composition or Great American Novel!

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