Friday, March 11, 2011

Yes, You Really Do Need to Get Naked

Most of you probably don’t know this.  I mean, unless for some reason you found yourself in need of a gynecologist while in France.  And in that case, boy were you in for a surprise! *snicker*

You see, here, you’re expected to get completely butt- naked at the gynecologist’s.  I’m not kidding.  I actually had heard about this (thank god) from reading American books on France.  I Googled it and yep, sure enough, you have to put on your birthday suit at the ol’ gyno’s. As you can imagine, as a student here I opted to stalk up on bc pills before leaving the states.
 
Unfortunately, when it came to my first pregnancy in France, I didn’t have much of a choice.  So I made sure to pick a woman gynecologist.  No way was I going to show my white puritanical American arse to:

A.-  Some strange man.  
B.  A Frenchman at that  
C.  a man who voluntarily did ten years of med school so he could look at hoo-hahs all day long.  (I’m sorry, but my rose colored glasses are perpetually lost when it comes to this--although I can kind of understand it if the men also do obstetrics and deliver babies for a living- That’s the miracle of life after all!)

They don’t give you anything to cover up with, no robes, no toga sheets, nada.  Now to Americans (or maybe just me) this is kind of horrifying.

It took me awhile to prepare mentally.  But it turned out by the time the visit was over, being naked was the least of my worries.

My French gynecologist was a little rough around the edges.  After shaking my hand and introducing herself, she slipped behind her massive desk and abruptly told me to ‘git naked’.  But, you know, in that breezy French way that sounds like they’re asking you if you’d like coffee or tea.

So I did. 

Being naked in the middle of an office with a complete stranger was completely surreal at first.  But I just did what any normal woman would do and pretended I didn’t notice I was naked.  Take my weight naked? Sure!  Hop up on the table?  Naked?  No problem!  It’s just like being clothed…but not.

Dr. Optimist then informed me we’d be doing my first ultrasound, afterall, ‘my baby could be dead.’  (her exact words)

Lovely.

Once we finally established that my baby was alive and well, she confirmed I’d already gained too much weight and to lay off the taboulé from here on out.

Yes, she was a real peach.

Be thankful for friendly doctors and medical robes people.  They might air out your back side but at least you don’t have to go full-monty with your well known health professionals on a regular basis. 

Oh, and have a great weekend!

*CQG*

36 comments:

Stephanie M. Lorée said...

OMG! I don't think I could do that. It's so crazy to me how different cultures are between America and Europe.

You are a brave soul, CQG. Thanks for making me laugh. :)

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

That sounds like a nightmare. Although by the end I am glad her previous thoughtless concern was inaccurate and all is healthy and well. I have to go to the doc today, for something different but now the crazy side of me is wondering if my new doc is French. Yikes! Have a good weekend!!!!!

Gina said...

I am so with you on the male gynecologists! How the hell can they call themselves experts on parts they don't have, and act like they're not just out to feel up boobs all day?

My fertility specialist is a male and told me recovery time for a laparascopy was two days- lie. Then, when we knew I was about to have a miscarriage, he told me I might not even notice when I passed the empty sac. HUGE LIE.

But apparently women can be just as bad!

Laura Pauling said...

I would die! But I guess you gotta do what you gotta do! As far as gynecologists - some don't have a choice. They might not get their first or second choice and if they want to work, they have to take the fellowship or specialty training offered. Does that make you feel better? :)

Katie Mills said...

Um...Not really. LOL Laura!

Ryan Z Nock said...

Weird, and amusing.

I guess I'd never given any thought to the state of undress one would be in for various medical examinations. I wonder why they do that there.

Sandra Rose Hughes said...

Oh my goodness! This was so hilarious I almost threw up my oatmeal. I would be INTENSELY uncomfortable in that situation. I will pray to never have to go to a gyne in France. It is a new prayer for me- but I think, an important one.

Sandra Rose Hughes said...

Oh my goodness! This was so hilarious I almost threw up my oatmeal. I would be INTENSELY uncomfortable in that situation. I will pray to never have to go to a gyne in France. It is a new prayer for me- but I think, an important one.

salarsenッ said...

Nothing to cover up with!! Brr...WTH?? You are a trooper, my girl. Enjoy your weekend.

Carolyn Abiad said...

Yeah - I would be frozen. Paralyzed by fear. And then there's the ridiculous draft. I can't even imagine what it would be like in the winter... Do they at least heat the room like a sauna??

Aleeza said...

OMG WHAT!? after reading this, i am definitely not EVER going to live in France. I mean, I only entertained some silly fantasies of it, that's all...but after reading this, nope, not happening. there are just some places where you draw the line, i suppose, and this would be one of them. definitely. *shudder*
(i hope i dont sound stupid by saying this. nakedness is just something i am NOT comfortable with...heh.)

Candyland said...

OMG I'd be like "YOU gained too much weight, lady!" Oh man...

KLM said...

OH GOOD GOD. And here I thought it was bad when I had to sit in my paper skirt, waiting and waiting and waiting for the Dr to arrive yesterday morning. I finally went out in the hallway and found NO ONE around -- like what the hell? Had there been a fire drill or something? There were no nurses, nothing. Finally the dr shows up and I'm all snarky at her when she blithely asks how I am. I said, "Time kinda drags when you're sitting around without your pants on."

But OK, in France it's clearly worse.

randine said...

Oh I don't think I could handle that. I thought the paper towel/sheet was bad enough...

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Wow, my son has asperger's but he has a way better bedside manner than that. Geesh.

Janet Johnson said...

Oh my goodness! I might just have gotten back on a plane and finished the pregnancy here. You are one strong woman! Yikes!

mshatch said...

wow. I am so glad I don't live in France. My doctor provides a cotton cover up with snaps, bless her heart.

Stephanie said...

thanks for the laugh dear - sorry it was at your expense!

Raquel Byrnes said...

I just could not imagine. We are so used to the steps medical professionals take to keep the veneer of modesty here. Yikes!
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Old Kitty said...

Oh my stars!!!! Oh you poor woman!! At least, at the very least, your charming doctor was a woman!!!! What an experience!!!

Thanks for sharing! take care
x

Nicole Zoltack said...

OMG! I would have slapped her.

With my first, one of my doctors said that I looked really big. Needless to say, he was my least favorite out of the four (still is my least favorite). I'm so glad he wasn't on duty both times I delivered.

Jen Daiker said...

HOLY CRAP I WOULD HAVE DIED!

My face would have been bright red (then again at this point NAKED would have overroad my tomato red face)!!!!

I wouldn't have been able to do it so I'm glad it was you and not me but what a horrid bedside manner. No, when I got to those places I prefer them to treat it like a spa day. The experience is already rough enough!

Laura Marcella said...

Holy moly! I would've been sooo embarrassed! Like you, I definitely would've made sure to choose a woman gyno! (I do here in the States, too!)

It's cool how Europeans are so unabashed about nudity though. They don't think being naked is anything to be ashamed of. I wish Americans were schooled to think that way! (I don't mean pornstar thinking. I mean just being okay and satisfied with our bodies and how we're built!)

Bekah said...

I will be thankful for my robe! Since I worked with lots of ob/gyns, I actually asked them why they wanted to look at va-jayjays all day. All answered it was more getting to deliver babies and seeing life enter the world, getting to be the first one to hold them...not the annual part as much. And let me say...after seeing alot of lady parts...you just get used to it.

Matthew MacNish said...

That sounds absolutely chilling.

Melissa said...

If horror was a scenario....this would basically be it. That's AWFUL. Oh goodness. *shiver*

Next time I see my doctor....I'm hugging her.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Oh my gosh. Okay, I know that Europeans are a lot more relaxed about nudity, and that's probably a good thing. Americans are way too uptight about it (me included). Must be those old Puritan beginnings.

But talk about blunt. Yikes. What a bedside manner!

LTM said...

at first I was confused b/c at my gyn, I always have to get completely naked. But they give us that little paper robe... no paper robe? How ... awkward! :D <3

Elle Strauss said...

Europeans view nakedness differently, that's for sure. When I lived in Germany I had to get a mammogram and afterwords they didn't give me a chance to put my bra and shirt back on. The (male) doctor came into the room sat on a chair right in front of where I was sitting, bare breasted, and started giving me the report. Weird.

Angela Scott said...

I laughed so hard reading this, I'm actually crying. Seriously. My eyes are wet and I just about peed.

I officially declare that I will never go to a gyno in Europe. Never. I'll just say, "My parts are good, thanks for asking."

KatyDid said...

In my head as I weas reading this, I gave the gyno a German accent instead of a French one. Oh, and a mustache. It just felt more nightmarish that way.

Seriously. This felt a little like a slasher movie to me. Can't look, can't look, tell me when this scene is over...

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

OMGoodness! I couldn't do it...I'd have to be medicated for an annual! YIKES!

J.D. Meier said...

Contrast puts in all in perspective. Well done.

I didn't realize hoo-hoo was the official term, but I heard Jeff Foxworthy use it too.

erica and christy said...

When I was in labor with my first, it didn't go, well, easily (it was natural and he was uncooperative) - so all I could do was march around my room, breathing heavily, and bending over every once in awhile. Completely naked. For hours. Those poor American nurses probably wished I was in France where they're used to it!
erica

Ashley said...

haha oh my gosh! You are one brave sista!!!!!!!!! LOVVVVVE your blog's happiness!

Julie Musil said...

ARE YOU SERIOUS????? I swear, I don't think I could handle it. And think of the others who sat in that same office in their birthday suit. Yikes. I agree about the male gynos. Once I saw a new doctor, and he was a young, hot guy. It wasn't exciting, it was horribly embarrassing. Now I always ask for women.

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