The doctor asked, “What happens to our vaginas as we get older?” I just stared at him stupidly. A) Only one of us had a vagina. B) Didn’t he go to medical school so he could tell me the answer? The doctor then explained the aging process to me with graphs, charts, and sweeping gestures. He came just short of breaking out the hand puppets.
It turns out that we get drier, the tissue gets thinner, and it gets more sensitive. I only got one answer right out of three, so I hope he’s grading on a curve. I like my OB/GYN, but he seems to take a perverse pleasure in pointing out my aging anatomy.
He ordered the bone density scan that told me I had osteoporosis. I scurried back to work after that doctor appointment and made a beeline for the ladies room. I proceeded to turn one way and the other looking for any telltale signs of a dowager’s hump in the mirror. I swear, if I’d had a pimple on my shoulder I would have freaked!
It’s really disconcerting when your years of hypochondria start to pay off. Most of my life, even when I thought I was dying, my blood tests and x-rays came out normal. Then, about a year ago a doctor ordered an EKG for a simple blood pressure issue.
“Ms. Telega, we found an abnormality on your EKG.” the doctor announced.
“Pull the other one!”
“No really, you have an extended QT wave.”
“Where’s the camera? Did my kids put you up to this?”
The abnormality turned out to be a side-affect of a new medication I was taking, and my heartbeat went back to normal as soon as I stopped the meds. Nevertheless, it earned me my first trip to a Cardiologist.
So far, plummeting estrogen levels are responsible for: lower tolerance for some medications; broken bones; vaginal dysfunction (the other VD); and a mustache. I shouldn’t be surprised since they call it “the change of life,” but I had only mentally prepared myself for the facial hair.
With so many Americans entering their 50’s, newly old people will be flocking to all kinds of specialists in the medical profession. I hope the doctors all have a good supply of hand puppets.