So a few weeks ago I got a call from the gynecologist saying I needed to come back so they could do some follow-up. While I’m an anxious mess on many fronts, this is not one of them. “An ounce of prevention,” that sort of thing.

So I dutifully schedule the appointment & turn the results over to Fate.

Fate must’ve been having a lack of hilarity in her life this afternoon. ::eyeroll::

So I drive downtown – no parking – park in a garage that is $11/hour (#ReasonsI’mLeaving.)

I trudge into the office & since I’m there barely on the nose, I only bring my phone.

I pay my $30 copay and sit down. It’s just turned 1:00! Surely I will be called soon. 

I look up after a bit and notice that the waiting room is packed (it’s a large office with many doctors) … but more and more people that come in after me are getting called.

25 minutes into my wait, I go up to the front desk, where they tell me she’s “backed up, only two rooms for her today,” bla blah. Shouldn’t they be required to tell you that when you get there? Or like, send an alert on your way in, so you don’t run down the street looking like a nut & end up a sweaty mess with possibly elevated vital signs? I thought so.

NOT TO MENTION I’m at a garage that’s charging in first-born’s-blood minutes. Argh. Costs now are well past 3 nights on a campground in our National Parks — which is a much more relaxing environment. Sigh. 

I finally get called back … 52 minutes into my wait. That just compacts fear/dread/anxiety. Thank god for phone-based distractions (but! So much time wasted. Oh – just wait.)

So I get in the room, the tech is on point (PROPS, DJ. PROPS.) Except: in the middle, she realizes I’m IN THE WRONG ROOM. Guys: there’s only two. How did she lead me in to the … ::face palm:: Srsly, WTF are they pumping into the air over there?

SO THEN.

The tech shuts the door on the dreaded, “the doctor will be in in just a minute!” (Yeah, right.) She was pretty prompt, though! So: the freaking doctor enters. Here’s where the red-faced emoji comes in —

My doctor is on maternity leave, so I was scheduled with this lady. Who comes in with this face like I’m going to get very bad news. WHICH IS TERRIFYING IN ANY MEDICAL OFFICE SETTING, FTR, much less during a “FOLLOW UP APPOINTMENT.”

Yeah. Turns out the bad news is: the nurse at my last appointment ENTERED MY RESULTS WRONG & THERE’S NO NEED FOR ME TO BE THERE AT ALL.

Yeah, you read that right: NO NEED for me to take time out of my day, money out of my account, and hair out of my scalp waiting 52 minutes. 

I was so floored I just started verbally batting at anything. After making her read my entire case history to confirm I didn’t, in fact, need to be there, and then logging on to my own online health system case history so she could show me, I then was like, “But … are you sure you don’t want to just check, in case maybe?” Like: literally the only woman to be looking forward to the possibility of a speculum out of something other than yet another duty of the burden of femininity.

And she literally was like, “nope! Yours would’ve been an inside issue, the incorrect one is an outside issue. So, nothing to check!” And then she does that weird little laugh that’s like, “unless you think you have any outside issues!” All I could think was, I do after this encounter! (“outside issues” like, “things you need therapy for.”) [I do not, fortunately, have any “outside” gynecological issues.]

And – fun fact! The difference in my results code and the other one is one letter – BUT – the difference in %s is  – for the same exact numbers – registers as:

My correct code: “Normal Range! You’re good!”
The other code, for the same exact % range: “Holy shit, fast forward all the way to worst case scenarios, because this is probably stage 4 cancer???”

— I’m not even joking, this is literally what the doctor conveyed, STREAM OF CONSCIOUSLY, as she was reading through my case file as I’m vibrating in the vortex of 17 emotions, while drenched in a cold sweat.

Conclusion: That code was made up by a MAN. Because how the fuck could you make two things that are so vastly different ONE LETTER OFF?! Answer: only if you are robot without a vagina who has no ability to imagine HOW FUCKING STRESSFUL A “NORMAL” DAY IN THIS IS, much less without a potential MISDIAGNOSES OF DOOM hanging over your head. UGH

Anyone who knows me knows HOW FUCKING FORTUNATE it was that NO ONE SAID ANYTHING HINTING AT THIS ON THE PHONE TO ME “A FEW WEEKS AGO.” (Well, I would’ve been hopping in the car while still on the phone, if someone had done that to me. BUT STILL.) No – like, literally – I would seriously rather take dealing with all of the above, than having someone blurt out something like, “HM, THIS LOOKS PRETTY HORRIBLE, SEE YOU IN THREE WEEKS!” STILL not an excuse, but: silver linings. I guess.

Ironically, my very next appointment was THERAPY, so I’m reasonably grounded now. Fucking LE SIGH. 

Total cost:

  • $46 (I was refunded on the copay.)
  • 3.25 hours of time 
  • 16 grey hairs and 15 minutes of life span

SIGH.

My ladies know what I’m talking about. But: seriously. What a fucking clusterfuck.