No matter the clear blue morning sky, or the bright sunshine piercing from above the horizon, I am nonetheless dreading the doctor visit. At age 57 you would think I would be accustom to the annual check-up.
I arrive a bit early and settle myself into a comfortable chair in the waiting area. Lovely art adorns the walls, there is calming New Age music and hot herb tea. It is as pleasant a waiting area as could be found. Still I dread the visit, and once I am taken to the exam room I know why. Its the chair that so dominates this small exam room room. I think it would be grand to be a man who might have to lay down on a flat exam table, cough a few times, deep breathe...fleeting thoughts.
I put on my gown and get seated in the blue mechanical 'cockpit'. The doctor knocks then walks in. We exchange a few pleasantries while she adjusts the chair backwards. I think I know what it feels like to be an astronaut taking off for space.The doctor does a general exam and takes a pap smear.
As uncomfortable as it all seems, it is these routine exams that are important to ALL women. The idea that a bunch of insensitive old white guys can debate, much less have an opinion about womens' reproductive rights and health needs is unconscionable. They do not and will not speak for me. This is the year that I push back against their absurdity.