Archive for March, 2008

1968 BC

So 2 weeks ago I went to the doctor because I had a big bloody sinus infection that wouldn’t quit. I haven’t had a regular doctor since I was like 14- basically because I hadn’t had health insurance, and thankfully, I never got sick. But then I GOT insurance, and my head exploded, so off I went.
I just picked the first name that popped up on the list of General Practitioners that Blue Sheild puts together for you. The receptionist said I could come in that day and the office was so close I literally walked to it. I should have had an inkling that this might not be the doctor for me, however, when I told her I what I thought I had and quick as a wink, she scribbled out a prescription without ever laying a finger on me.
I said I’d also been thinking about birth control and she scribbled something else… “How about Yasmine?” and then shuffled me downstairs to the pharmacy where they tried to give me somebody else’s pills.
“You don’t have a stomach problem? Okay, one minute.”
I realized all of the other patients in the waiting room were upwards of 80 years old. Maybe this wasn’t a match made in heaven.
So I took the antibiotics and eventually I stopped wanting to cry everytime I tried to open my jaw, but I still hadn’t started the BC.
I don’t do anything regularly. I don’t get up at the same time every day, I don’t eat at the same time… I don’t do anything by any sort of schedule whatsoever. I have extremely negligible faith that I’m going to remember to take some little pill every single day at roughly the same time for the rest of my reproductive life on peril of eternal parenthood.
I thought I should explore some of my options and maybe ask the good doctor for something else. And when I went back for my follow-up appointment, I did.
Her: “So, have you started the birth control?”
Me: “Actually, no. I’m really nervous about forgetting to take a pill… Can you tell me more about other types? Like maybe the ring?”
She had no idea what I was talking about. She thought I meant a diaphram. Oh boy.
“Yes, yes. This is okay… I don’t like hormone.”
“Um, I’m pretty sure it has hormones…”
“You know, condom is best. It’s really best. But you don’t have to use it all the time.”
WHAT. WHAAAATTT? For real? Did she for real just say that?
“You only have to use… maybe 5 days a month. Here, I’ll show you. I have a book…”
She goes into the other room and comes back with a book- not a happy pamphlet or something- a musty, dogeared volume of a medical encyclopedia from 1968. NINETEEN SIXTY EIGHT.
I KNOW it was from 1968, because that’s what it said on the copyright next to the little ovulation illustration she’d cracked the tome open to.
“I used this when I went to medical school!!”
And yes, I realize women’s bodies haven’t changed all that much since the dawn of time, but CONTRACEPTION certainly has. In 1968, the Pill was 8 years old. Roe v. Wade was still 5 years down the line…
Moral of her story is: it’s hard to get pregnant. There are only 5 days or so every month when fertilization is possible. Use condoms during those days, and otherwise throw caution to the wind!!
DUMBFOUNDED. My doctor was prescribing the Rhythm Method.
“Wow. That sounds really really RISKY.”
“Ohh no. It’s SAFE! But, if it doesn’t work, then you have a beautiful Gift from God! Right?”
I shit you not. That’s a direct quote.
I just kind of smiled and nodded, because I’d prefer to make fun of people on the internet than to calmly explain to them how ridiculous they are in person.
She also told me to stop eating dinner.
She didn’t ask if I ate dinner in the first place. Or if I ate any other meals besides dinner. Just No Dinner! It solves all problems. Except, of course, for the beautiful Gifts from God.
Anybody near Downtown LA know a doctor with a slightly more recent encyclopedia?


Peggy Nature made my eyes water: Why.

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