So I make the appointment with the fancy shmancy gynecologist in Casa, right? I show up a few minutes before my appointment so I can zip in and zip out. It’s been a rough day, no, it’s been a rough week. Work has been stressful, I’ve had two doctor’s appointments already this week for something other than the nasty cold that is still hanging out in well, my face,and now I’ve been waiting in a crowded room for about 40 minutes. After a few diplomatic inquiries as to what the hell is taking so long, we are informed that this doctor doesn’t really take appointments. He has a few slots during the day when he tells groups of people to come and then he sees them on a first come first serve basis. When our nurse practitioner from the consulate comes back to tell me this and that there are still about 6 people in front of me I burst into tears. Why this happens, I can’t quite say. Perhaps the buildup of a stressfull day and the bubbling forth of nerves regarding my visit with this doctor who will, hopefully, unlock the secret to my skeewhompish raging hormones, WHICH, are probably to blame for the crying anyway.
“If you need to cry, you just cry” our sweet Moroccan nurse says to me in a motherly way and holds me around the shoulders. So I do.
I finally get into the doctor’s office, and I’m staring not only at a strangely balding but friendly face, but at a ginormous painting of a well endowed mother breast feeding her child. Strange. We talk for a minute and he instructs me to change my clothes in the small dressing room at the other end of his office so he can do an exam.
I shuffle into the dressing room and see a dressing gown with the back cut out waiting for me. I know the drill. I struggle to keep it together as I pull off my boots and work suit. I long ago lost the “bum in the air” shame of doctor’s visits and as soon as I tie the strings at the back of my neck I'm at the door turning the handle to come out.
But it’s stuck.
I pull harder. It’s still stuck. I twist the knob both directions and it won’t unlock. I knock at the door ever so slightly but no one hears. I try the handle again and it is definitely stuck. So I knock louder and the office nurse comes to the door to try and pull the door open. Niether of us can get it open so then the consulate nurse, who thinks I’m freaking out behind the door, comes over to help pull on it and calm me down.
“It’s ok my darling, don’t worry, don’t worry!” She says in increasingly higher pitched tones.
THEN the doctor himself leaves his position in front of the bare breasted painting and come to the door to fiddle with the handle. At this point I’m laughing hysterically. After a terrible horrible no good very bad day, I got locked in the dressing room with basically a sheet tied around my neck. This is hilarious and just what I need. But the more I laugh the more the nurse thinks I’m freaking out and everyone is in a frenzy.
At one point the doctor says in a very commanding voice, like one would a puppy, “Brooke. Get a towel and hold it against the lock. Push it down as hard as you can.”
Eventually the lock breaks free , the door opens, and I am in much better spirits on the way to the stirrups. Unfortunately, the exam that follows is not very encouraging and by the time I am back in the dressing room I am feeling my eyes well up again. But halfway through dressing I look into the full length mirror and I am stopped in my tracks at what I see. Black leggings, black half shirt I wear under my sweaters so I don’t have to tuck them in and David Bowie’s haircut from the movie Labyrinth staring back at me. Tina turner called, she wants her back up dancer back on set. Did I forget to mention that I got the worst haircut of my life this week? What I said to Jean Pierre was I would like a Bob with a few layers at the bottom, here’s a picture. What I got was David Bowie from the movie Labyrinth (Poofy mullet for those of you who haven't had the pleasure.)
For some reason, Bowie mullet notwithstanding, a giant grin spreads across my face. You know what? Life gets hard, haircuts go wrong (very wrong), bodies malfunction, and work can get to you – BUT things are good. There is something in our church we refer to as “Tender Mercies” – moments when you get a reprieve from the sadness or pain of worldly things. I don’t know if getting locked in your doctor’s dressing room with your fanny out or being caught by surprise by your back up dancer ensemble will ever make it into a Sunday school lesson, but they were certainly tender mercies to me!
Merry Christmas to All!