Today I had the best pelvic exam EVER! I know that sounds like a weird thing to be excited about, but truly, it was so good. Pelvic exams used to be the worst thing. I would avoid them for as long as I could manage to justify it to myself. During them I would disassociate – take my brain off to someplace nicer and leave my body to be poked and prodded. It was horrible and a huge disconnect for a person who is sex and body positive! Healthcare providers should be like lovers – willing to communicate, respectful of boundaries, and eager to please.
Many people find the traditional healthcare system to be frustrating and degrading. I know because I worked in healthcare for 15 years, including trying to teach good customer service technique to hospital staff. And I’ve seen a lot of health care providers in action. Some of them have been very good providers, but they were still limited in their care options by the system. I feel really blessed to now have just the best nurse practitioner, Jennifer Martinson, at Qliance, an organization with a very innovative model for health care.
Today I spent an hour and a half with Jennifer, talking about any and all of my health concerns. I actually feel like I’m working with a knowledgeable and friendly consultant about some issues I’ve run into while living in my body. For example, we decided that the silicone lube I’ve been using lately may be contributing to my urinary tract infections. And that physical therapy might help with how sore my knees get, especially when I’m doing a lot of bouncing (like when I’m on top). I feel listened to and respected, even when I talk about kinky sex and being polyamorous.
I feel like I’m being offered all of my options, like when we discussed testing for sexually transmitted diseases. While I’m not at all concerned about having an STD, my lifestyle is high risk and I haven’t been tested for a couple of years, so it seemed like a good idea. Totally my choice to make.
My care is completely geared toward my needs. With the pap smear, Jennifer was totally great. She showed me everything that she was going to use on me and explained what she was doing. The speculum was seriously cool. It was disposable clear plastic, but it had a rechargeable light pack that plugged into the handle. It lit up the whole speculum so that she could see inside my vagina. I know because she found me a hand mirror and gave me a guided tour. AWESOME! I was immediately on my phone trying to see if I could order my own. I want to do photo shoots of lit-up cunts!
Anyway, it was the best exam ever. Jennifer talked to me the whole time, keeping me engaged. I know that if I had felt the smallest amount of discomfort, she would have been instantly responsive. I didn’t even have to put on a gown. I said that I was more comfortable in my clothes and she was fine with that. I was wearing a skirt, so all I had to do was slip off my underwear.
It’s so amazing to have health care where I am treated with the kind of respect I demand and expect from a sex partner. It’s exactly how it ought to be. I want my health provider to be body positive and know that I am ultimately in charge of my health, physical and emotional. I like being seen as a whole person. I love having a health care provider that I can trust.