I pride myself on looking like I know what I’m doing, even when I have no idea. Sometimes that approach works really well. Sometimes not.

I went to the doctor last week for an annual check up. For me, “annual” means about every three years. I had to find a new doctor because the one I’d been seeing since I was 22 was no longer a good option. She became not a good option the night I saw her on 48 Hours. Actually, she became a bad option before that moment. It was just that her appearance on an investigative television show (for supposedly helping her sister get away with killing her husband) was the last straw.

The first straw appeared in the early 90s. Back when phen-fen was the latest weight loss craze. There were signs all over the doctor’s office that said, “Ask us how we lost 500 pounds!” I was pretty sure it wasn’t through a sensible diet and exercise (that option rarely warrants signs with exclamation points). I wasn’t planning on asking how the doctor had dropped the twenty or thirty pounds since my previous visit until I was in a compromising position on the exam table. I noticed her hands were shaking like she had the DTs, and that’s not something you want to see right before a pap smear. I said, “So, uh, you look great. How did you lose the weight?” She started telling me about these magic pills…I tuned out and hoped for the best. That is only one example of the awkwardness I experienced every time I went to her office. I should have known better.

But I’m a sucker for going with what I know. My visit to the new doctor last week was tough because I didn’t know the drill. The nurse told me to take everything off and put on the “gown” that was neatly folded on the exam table. I don’t think that any article of clothing made of paper should be called a gown. (Shakes the Doctor may have been an accessory to murder, but at least she used cotton.) I had a hard time getting the gown to unfold, and in the process of opening it up I tore it. My gown became an off the shoulder number. Sexy.

Silly me – I’d only seen women since I’d been there (even though the doc was a GP and not an OB-GYN), and I was still used to the doc I’d been seeing who had an all female practice and only saw female patients. So I thought I’d pop the top part of my body through the exam room door to ask the nurse for another gown. I’d mostly covered my rack, but only kind of. Because there were just women there. Right?

Of course you know what happened. I opened the door with my business half hanging out and there was a man standing immediately outside the door. We shared some very brief, very awkward eye contact before I managed to shut the door. I didn’t immediately slam it shut because I have to look like I know what I’m doing. Show no fear. So I sort of casually shut it. Like I changed my mind about whatever made me open the door in the first place. I tied the ripped sleeve together and had a seat. The exam part of things was fairly uneventful. Except when she was pressing on my abdomen. I said, “Wow. I just realized how badly I need to pee.” She looked concerned and asked if I wanted to take care of that before we proceeded. The look she got on her face made me pretty sure this doctor has been peed on. Luckily, not by me.


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