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I've been thinking of this randomly for awhile, and damnit, I'm gonna share it.

Men in the audience, you may wanna sit this one out. Trust me.

Okay. You're at the gynecologist. You're in the ridiculous little contraption with the stirrups and so forth, staring blankly up at the ceiling, while a device resembling a car jack is becoming better acquainted with parts of one's anatomy that really should never get car-jacked.

Almost every gynecologist I've ever been to, in deference to the uncomfortableness of this situation, has taped something to the ceiling at about the eye level of the victim as a distraction. One had a cheerful animal alphabet that seemed wildly inappropriate to the situation--there are times when you just don't want to know that O is for Orangutan. Another had a vivid Technicolor scene of a field of bright red tulips in front of a cerulean mountaintop, presumably so that the patient will be lulled by the tranquility of it all, and hardly notice that a rather large quanitity of cold metal is making inroads to the south.

Needless to say, this doesn't work.

I think the problem is that they're going about it the wrong way. Distractions have to be distracting, not tranquil. You do not distract people by saying "Look! L is for Llama!" or brandishing tulips. Arguably, many of the things that DO cause distractions, like shooting off flares and firing randomly into the air would probably be impractical in the exam room, but there has to be a way to occupy the brain.

I propose, therefore, that they cover the ceiling with sheets of story problems. Logic puzzles. Algebra. Hell, even a bloody "Where's Waldo" puzzle would be better. Something to occupy the mind. It'll take a lot more drugs than are legal for me to visit a happy field of tulips while someone wields a speculum and that little scrapy doodad down there, but I could hunt for Waldo with the best of 'em, and there's nothing like trying to figure out the average speeds of trucks leaving cities at various times to get the brain gibbering about something totally unrelated to internal prodding.

So. On the off chance that there are any gynecologists in my audience--consider story problems on the ceiling.

Also, did you know that women's deaths of cervical cancer plummetted something like 90% after the invention of the pap smear? As weird a thing as it would be to be known for, the inventor did women a service practically unparalleled in the last century, and so probably does not deserve the tooth-gritted "Who...invented...this...thing?!" that is his usual recognition.

Hear hear!

They would just have to swap them out every year or 6 months so you don't see one you've solved before.

That first part was probably even more amusing to me than it should be because "car-jacking" is a term I've heard for stealing a car. And yess, I'm pretty sure that stuff down there shouldn't be car-jacked, no matter what the meaning.

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Indeed, we have a monthly women's clinic on campus where you can get an exam for free, and mine had to be postponed because they didn't have any virgin probes on hand. At least they asked, though. They just "assumed" on a virgin friend of mine, and thus gave her one of her more unpleasant exams >_

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:) weeona Expand
Only if everything on the ceiling is also available in a smaller form at the reception desk on your way out. Because what if they finish before you do? Then not only have you spent the morning getting more intimately acquainted than you really wanted to with the miracles of modern medical technology, you have no clue who Rachel's brother is and what kinkd of music he brought to the party. And hasn't your day been thrown far enough off course without that kind of stress?

In some effort to help, my gyn uses a plastic speculum, to avoid the coldness factor, and I have to say it's a nice change, as these things go. Nothing on the ceiling though, have to mention that to her.

In the realization I have to go to be "car jacked" in a couple weeks (what a wonderful euphamism!)...can I take this with me and hand it to my gyno? Hehe

In all curiousity, have you ever seen The Vagina Monologues? Hilarious, when they mention that exact same problem.

Somehow my school never saw fit to put that particular play on, so I've missed it. (I'm not really a theatre buff, alas.)

I don't think I've ever seen anything on the ceiling in an exam room, although back when I had braces the orthodontist had the ceiling plastered with all sorts of cutesy posters.

I do have a doctor that talks to me at least, so whatever procedure or examination I am going through, I can ask questions and get answers that are neither condescending nor incomprehensible. That is a nice change from most doctors I've had in the past.

I've never went to a gyno who had anything on the ceiling; the ones I went to (plural as it was a public health clinic) made small talk about how I was doing, if I was having any problems with the plumbing, does that hurt, etc. They made the experience as quick and painless as humanly possible, so that combined with the important questions made sure that I never really needed anything to distract me.

Now, waiting for the doctor whilst in that weird flappy little gown and freezing my assets off, I could have definitely benefited from Where's Waldo poster...

*boy/man/male in the audience*

I am so sorry, females. I have learned so much in the past few weeks. Like, you cant keep a tampon in for a whole day O_O. THATS why you go to the bathroom so many times. I always thought there was some secret stall that led to a land of gaudy jewelry and gossip...


Women have to put up with so much grief in life due to their physiological differences to us guys that it's really a shame. From periods to lesser pay to this, it's almost heart breaking. Them I remember we're talking a group that maintains a strict, nearly over 99% (*) monopoly on the world's supply of breasts, and all my sympathy evaporates.

(*) Figure adjusted down from 100% to account for post op transexuals and the really, really fat guys that always sit next to me on planes.

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
I can't say I've seen anything on the ceiling during an exam, either, but the idea of having a good, solid distraction has crossed my mind before. I resolved after my last exam that next time I was going to see if I could bring along some extremely challenging reading. Maybe, say, "A Brief History of Time," or something along those lines. Y'can't just skim that space-time stuff. Not entirely sure if the doctor would care for it, but hey, I don't think SHE has a right to complain.

There's nothing on the ceiling of my gynecologist's office. However, the blood lab over there is shared with pediatrics, so when I had to give seventy-five-zillion tubes of blood after I found out I was pregnant, at least I got to look at posters of kitties and bunnies.

I think that's a grand Idea. Of course, my gynecologist never put anything up there at all, which is even worse than tulips, because it gives you no place to point your attention, even, so you're left feeling not only invaded, but embarassingly lost as to whether you should look at the doctor, or that jar of swabs over there...

I suppose counting dots in the ceiling was about as sucessful as the tulips would have been. My last exam was not a good one, the nurse was rather cold and ignored a very MAJOR detail that made the already uncomfortable situation really painful.

The nurse did talk to me, but was dictating how i should eat. I probably not eating enough dairy, or i need eat this much of this. I don't mind advice, but when it sounds kinda demeaning and they are on the wrong end of the stir-upsm kinda makes me a little cranky.

I would definately put my vote down for Where's waldo.

I get my test at the local health centre, and there's no stirrups or anything, just spread em and try not to squirm too much... last time I went to a gynecologist there were no stirrups eitehr. Maybe its a UK thing. Maybe I'm not visiting the right class of doctors!