Tuesday, June 12, 2007

adventures in PLanned Parenthood

After my recent struggles to find a doctor in this city, I settled on going to the clinic at Planned Parenthood. This was a new experience for me.

Upon entering, I had to give my backpack to a security guard while I walked through a metal detector. The guard asked me if I had any knives. I only said the word No, but in my tone I said "No, I don't have any knives! What are you, crazy? Why would I have knives?" but then I remembered that some actual ferverous person might bring a knife to a Planned Parenthood clinic. Not me, though. I want them to help me.

There was an initial waiting room, which I guess was for spouses or support people. I was ushered into the inner waiting room, which was for people that had appointments. There were a lot of people there, all about my age, women AND men. It was definitely the kind of atmosphere that did not invite small talk. The magazines remained untouched on the table. After showing my ID to another security guard, and a bit of a wait, I was called to Window 2, which is where I gave them my insurance card and $20 copay (which luckily I had on me, because I wasn't thinking about that). I signed some papers and went back to my seat. More waiting, and then I was called by someone in a white coat on the other side of the room.

"Follow me please." and we walked down a hallway to the inner inner waiting room. Here there was a tv and they were playing the movie "Employee of the Month," which (unfortunately for me) I've learned is one of those movies that should never be watched. It tries to hard to be funny, and fails, and follows a cookie cutter script and plot line, complete with the line "...but I'm gonna need your help. Who's with me?" and the characters exchange encouraging nods and smiles.

I had to go in and out of this waiting room into a tiny office where I was weighed (I've lost weight! Thank you gym!) and my blood pressure was taken (still so low I'm almost a zombie). Then she gave me some papers and directions on how to get upstairs to THE LAB. I prob coulda figured out how to get there on my own, as it was back into the 1st inner waiting room, on the elevator, press 2, turn left. Seriously the elevator was like 15 feet away, and then the lab was directly next to the elevator with a big sign that said LAB. But I guess they're used to dealing with people that are emotional and might not be in possession of their full cognitive faculties.

Anyway, I was very nervous on this elevator ride because I thought I needed a blood test, and you all know how I react to needles. (The word "needle" said. des is on an unconscious heap on the ground. I can't even type this.) Plus, my last doctor, the evil one that I hated, always did pregnancy tests by blood because "they are faster and more accurate." So I had this fear. But no. The lab tech handed me a cup and pointed me to the bathroom. I think the relief is what gave me my super pee ability.

So give my cup back to the lab guy, sit and flip through Entertainment Weekly while he draws someone else's blood (I've never concentrated so hard on a crappy magazine). Then something beeps, he signs a paper, folds it, and hands it to me. Of course as soon as I'm on the elevator back to the 2nd inner waiting room, I peek at it. Surprise, I'm not pregnant. I see the clinician in the hallway & hand her my proof, and I have a seat yet again. I think I was only there for about 15-20 minutes, but I was watching that horrible movie so it felt like 25 hours. I didn't want to become engrossed in my book in case I missed it when they called my name, which has happened before.

Finally they did call my name, and I went into an exam room. I was relieved once again when the doctor told me to sit on the chair. This means I did not have to disrobe and have my very personal space prodded. The doctor was young, only a few years older than me. And she was super nice. She said things like "are you ready for your lecture?" and proceeded to tell me the things she is required to, like bc pills don't protect against infection and blah blah blah. It's also standard procedure at Planned Parenthood to make sure the patients are not abused, either physically or emotionally by their partners. Here's how that conversation went:

How many sexual partners do you have?
Male or female?
Does he ever hit you, yell at you, tell you you're worthless, force you to have sex, anything like that?
Nope. He wouldn't live to see the day.
(she laughs) That's the answer I like to hear. You ready to get out of here?

She hands me a prescription, good for 6 months. I couldn't get a year because I didn't get that super fun test done, but "this will buy me some time" per the doctor. Sweet.

So hooray for Planned Parenthood. I went to a fundraiser for them a few months back, and now I'm glad because I know my donation was justified. Whether or not you agree with all aspects of the clinic, everyone can agree that they helped me by giving me exactly what I needed: a competent, pleasant doctor and a short waiting time (in & out in 45 minutes).


mar said...

i've got my super-cool fun annual appt in about 2 1/2 weeks. yay!
glad it was a good experience. i've only had the one gyno & she's a nurse practitioner, but totally no-nonsense and pleasant.

super des said...

She sounds like a keeper. no-nonsense and pleasant is the best combination.

DangerDoll said...

I used to go to PP once a year for exam & pills. I was dead broke and they were always awesome! The part that sucked was occasionally having to walk the "Baby killer!/Whore!" scream gauntlet while trying to get to the door. The funniest time was when a very, very pregnant and outspoken friend went with me. Good times.

I like that they ask how your man's treating you. Cool.

super des said...

Luckily I did not have to walk through any protesters. If I do, I have a few smart remarks for them.

Brillig said...

Oh, I'm so glad you finally had a decent experience somewhere! Phew!

super des said...

Me too. I hope to repeat it, but not for a while!

viciousrumours said...

I get to have my yearly PAP next week..hooray. I hate being a woman. The receptionist at my OBGYN knows me by voice. She always ends our calls by saying, "Did you write that down?" because I'm notorious for forgetting appointments.

super des said...

HA HA. It's good to have a repoir. My old doctor would always talk about my next hair color.

Suzanne said...

Ah, very excellent. Glad to hear that it went well.

MsLittlePea said...

I used to go to Planned Parenthood when I was single and too poor for insurance. It was always a pleasant experience. Except for the freaky people outside who would occasionally scream at me,"Don't kill your babyyyyy!" I got so sick of it, one day I finally screamed back,"I'm here for a f-ing papsmear dumbass! Don't you guys have some books to burn, why are you bothering these people?" They then informed me that apparently I hadn't accepted my Savior and I would go to hell. Hell could be avoided if I wanted to join their prayer group." I told them what they could do to themselves at said prayer group. They said I was Godless and they would pray for me. Fun.

super des said...

That's about what my response would be.

Anonymous said...

I am so distressed at how these pro-lifers have treated individuals coming into the clinic. I would never want to be associated with these individuals. I am pro-life, but that is completely uncalled for. I am so embarrassed.

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