After a difficult weekend, Monday morning I finally went to my much anticipated OB/GYN appointment. Before I proceed, I must say that going to this doctor ranks only slightly higher than getting a root canal without Novocaine or a colonoscopy without anesthesia on my list of preferred activities. Although I despise going, I realize that the visits are a necessary part of being pregnant. Of course, that doesn't stop me from complaining.
Sitting in the waiting room, it became obvious that I am not the only woman who dreads the "lady exam." The chairs were full of women of all ages, shuffling in their seats and absent-mindedly paging through antiquated copies of People and US. Nobody made eye contact and the only sounds in the room were the ringing telephone and the turning of pages. Finally, after waiting 30 minutes past my appointment time, my lucky number was called, and I was invited into the coveted examination room.
Being called into the exam room, especially after a lengthy wait, always provides me with a misguided sense of relief as if I had hit the lottery. I eagerly anticipate the opening of the door. I should know better. The exam room typically only equates to another wait, just with fewer (and older) magazines and limited opportunities for people watching.
Although I couldn't see anybody, I inadvertently realized that the thin walls allowed ample opportunity for eavesdropping. Waiting for my appointment, I overheard the following conversation which occurred in the examination room adjoining mine.
Doctor: "Do you have any questions for me?"
Patient: "Um. Just one. Is there anyway you can change this due date?"
Doctor: "Well, based upon your examination and the information you provided, that is our best guess of when the baby will be born. We'll be able to adjust as the baby grows."
Patient: "You don't understand. My boyfriend has been away for six months. If I tell him I'm three months pregnant, he might start to ask me questions."
Doctor: "The date can't be changed that much. Please take this form to the front desk and we'll see you in a month."
Who would have thought that I'd be privy to just a juicy soap opera tale. I was both intrigued and disgusted simultaneously. My mind began to conjure scenarios and lurid details. Just as I was feeling doubtful about the future of humanity, the baby kicked and I was reminded that not everybody is doomed.
Finally, after another 20 minutes of waiting (as you can imagine I was becoming annoyed), the doctor decided to grace me with her presence. The examination went as well as I predicted, and I was quickly re-wrapped in my paper gown for the post speculum chat. She asked if I was feeling especially hormonal. Without thought, I blurted "I don't feel like I'm hormonal, but I have become acutely aware that I am surrounded by an inordinate number of assholes."
The look on her face was priceless! I can't be certain, but I'm fairly sure I heard a chuckle from the occupant of the room next door. Apparently thin walls work in both directions. The doctor ordered additional blood work (to test for hormone levels) and sent me out the door. I left satisfied with the knowledge that I don't have to return for another four weeks and comfortable that I was able to provide another patient with some comic relief during her lengthy wait.