That's how my gynecologist greeted me on Tuesday, when I went in due to some weird uterus pains. And he didn't say it in a sweet, affectionate way. He said it in a cynical, harsh way, but I had to laugh, because my feet were already in the stirrups.
Then he asked what I did for a living.
"Professional kickboxer," I wish I'd thought to say, but instead I said, "Writer," and he said, "Oh yeah. Sensitive, overly dramatic type."
You do not say this to a woman when you have your hand up her hooha.
He told me there probably wasn't anything wrong with me, but said if I wanted to be sure, I could do an ultrasound.
"But I'll tell you right now, you'll have to wait six to eight months," he said. "Unless you want to pay."
"I want to pay," I said. So kill me. I totally support Medicare, but I also only have one uterus, and was just thinking of getting around to actually using it.
"Call this number," he said, handing me a piece of paper. "That's my private clinic." The address was in a very upscale shopping mall. Like, very upscale.
But did I say no? Did I tell him I'd rather pay anyone else to stick a wand into my best bits? No. I went behind the curtain, put my pants back on, and tried not to cry.
I've told myself so many times before to just suck it up when it comes to this guy. To just deal with it, it's only 5 minutes, and you're lucky to have a gynecologist at all, in a city where 4 in 10 people can't even get a family doctor. But later that day, no matter how many times I tried to, I couldn't call that number. I couldn't bring myself to lay down cash at a medical clinic that probably pays more in rent than most sub-Saharan countries owe in debt.
Then I looked at this book, which was on my bedside table, after I read the entire thing in one sitting last weekend.
Today, I phoned his office and told them I wanted the ultrasound requisition sent to another clinic. Then I made an appointment with a new gyno, who came highly recommended from a friend.
I wish so badly that I could have done more. That I had told this guy where he could shove his speculum. But I didn't. There's a scene in the film Amelie*, where the narrator explains that all shy people wish there was prompter waiting in every cellar window, whispering the comebacks they can't come up with themselves. This is one of the truest things I've ever heard. But there is no such prompter.
Or maybe there is in Paris. But they probably have nicer gynecologists, too.
* top-10-possibly-5 favourite films of all time
** photo via OwningPink.com - hopefully they won't mind