Friday, September 09, 2005

Of panties and stockings ...

A friend of mine, and I mean "friend" in the true sense of the word, not code for "something-embarrassing-that-happened-to-me" (I really have no problem posting all my stupid stunts on the internet and claiming them as my own) went for her annual visit to the GYN recently. No, she didn't get stuck midway through a mammogram for 2.5 hours while the power went out and didn't accidentally use her daughter's glitter soaked washcloth to clean up that morning, she simply doesn't live in the United States at present and observed a few subtle differences between the procedure here and there. I didn't ask, but I'll venture a guess that it was still cold and unpleasant. Essentially, she had to undress, walk across the room, and lay on the "observation table" completely naked in front of her doctor. No one gave her a gown or an option.

It's no secret that nakedness is much more ... errr ... available outside of the States than it is within. And for someone like me who is painstakingly modest, I think I would have absolutely blushed from head-to-toe. My friend probably dealt with the situation with much better poise (in the psychological sense) than I would have. She simply accepted that there were no gowns in the available undressing area and just understood the situation. I probably would have asked for a gown and upon rejection, successively named each article of clothing I was wearing, begging to keep one of them on. Even if I ended up laying on an aluminum observation table wearing nothing but stockings.

It probably doesn't help any that when I was 12 I had to start going to the doctor every three months to get my back x-rayed (scoliosis). Mom and I didn't really know what to expect from the initial visit, certainly if we knew I was going to have to wear a hospital gown that didn't close in the back while I waddled back and forth across the room like a duck and then bent over and touched my toes in front of this Doogie Howser of an M.D. that we had given a "10" to when we walked in, I would have worn panties with fewer holes in them. Incidentally, the doctor had to ask my mother to leave the room until after the examination was over because she couldn't stop laughing. Dad was never prouder.