Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sometimes I Wish I Wasn't A Therapist....(#1 of an occasional series)

We had an appointment with the building society to apply for a new mortgage. I decided to take the opportunity to book in for a smear and my ears syringing at the same time, as the GP practice is near enough the building society for it to be an efficient use of my time. My hearing has been a bit crap of late, and this is not good in a therapist. (“I’m sorry what did you say then?....No, just didn’t get the last bit….You feel….? Just that last word, again? You feel suicidal. Oh.”)

I was a bit nervous. The smear thing is fine. I have had 3 miscarriages and a baby so I am quite used to taking my knickers off for the doctor. It is almost a reflex action now when I walk into the surgery. I am worried that one day I will be introduced to a doctor at a party and I will automatically start to undress. The ear syringe is an entirely different matter though. I never put anything in my ears, and I hate doctors even looking in them through that thingy that they have. It just feels so intrusive. I know, it doesn’t quite make sense.

So I arrived for my smear and ear syringe. There are a number of jokes that can be made about this double booking, and the receptionist made several as she ticked me off on the computer. The funniest one involved me walking around for the rest of the day with wet knickers, which quite tickled her.

The practice nurse asked me in her best bedside manner which procedure I would like to ‘get over with first’, as she reached for her tray of speculums.

“The syringing” I said, and admitted to being a bit nervous. She looked at me like the numpty that I felt. I don’t know whether you have ever had your ears syringed. I can’t tell you what the instrument looks like, because I didn’t look, but I am guessing a turkey baster attached to a pumping machine. I focused hard on the tray of speculums in front of me to calm myself, and wondered why there were so many different sizes. We are not that different, surely?

“Are you okay, now?” she asked sweetly as she pumped warm water into my ear, me sitting with my head cocked on one side and slightly trembling.

“Just fine” I said bravely, although in actual fact I was feeling quite dizzy. Then I heard a thump, which was me landing on the consulting room floor. Like a delicate Victorian lady, I had fainted. How bloody embarrassing. She made me sit with my head between my legs, whilst she consoled me that I must have a very sensitive middle ear. She made soothing noises for a few minutes, which did nothing for my embarrassment, and suggested that I have the smear and come back for my ears on another occasion. I felt a bit silly, as well as nauseous, dizzy and shaky.

Knickers off. You know the procedure. Except she couldn’t find my cervix. Several insertions, change of speculum, internal examination. Still no cervix.

“I definitely have one” I said. “I’ve had a baby. He would still be in there if I didn’t have a cervix.”

More poking and prodding. This was getting uncomfortable.

“Perhaps you could try left lateral?” I suggested helpfully. (Blokes, ask a woman. I’m not explaining this one.) Left lateral worked a treat and I could finally get the hell out of there.

I rushed into the building society 20 minutes late. The Husband was in the advisors office, making small talk, and flashed me an irritated look as I was ushered in.

“I’m sorry I’m late”, I flustered, “but I had my ears syringed and I fainted – it was horrible - and then she couldn’t find my cervix!” and then I burst into tears in quite a dramatic fashion. I know it’s not the worst thing that’s ever happened, but I was feeling a bit delicate. The mortgage advisor looked mortified, and went rushing off to find tissues and a glass of water. The Husband looked bemused. He is used to me. I just don’t normally do it in public.

The application went fine, with The Husband answering all the questions and me snivelling into my tissue and sipping my water. He gave all his personal details. And then my turn. Name, date of birth, occupation.

Oh fuck.

“Psychotherapist” I said, ever so quietly.

“I’m sorry?” she said. At first I thought she had said “I’m sorry”, which would have been entirely appropriate under the circumstances. But it was definitely a question.

“Psychotherapist” I said, just a tiny bit louder.

“Oh!” she said, looking both surprised and amused. The Husband smiled wryly. I knew he thought it was very funny.

“Could you spell that?” she said.


Caroline said...

Oh my oh my. I want to coo and be kind, but I am still giggling. I do hope that you didn't hurt yourself when you fainted ... no ... sorry ... still giggling.


*still giggling*

yellowduck said...

Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle,




Hug, hug, hug,



(shame on you, Duck)



Hug, hug, hug,



Just trying to head off any smart arses, Melodious.


nmj said...

hey ms m, have never had ears syringed, but you are brave to opt to have any procedure on top of a smear - smears are vile, pure medieval torture.

hope you are feeling less fragile.

but it was very funny.


Ms Melancholy said...

Thankyou, sweeties. I am a big baby. I cry at the drop of a hat. I am also known for my ability to faint at the drop of a hat too, - I have low blood pressure and it catches me out sometimes.

Hey, Pony Boy. We miss you when you go a-wandering. Good to have you back.

Ms Melancholy said...

Lovely Pony Boy, so glad you said it twice. Twice the hugs to you, too x

mad muthas said...

the ears made you faint while the freezing jack of the nether regions left you unmoved? now that's just weird!
(did she do both ears or did she give up?)

Reading the Signs said...

Funny, Ms M! But I'm amazed they were so cavalier about syringing. It's not unusual for people to feel very weird afterwards.
I hope you referred the mortgage people to your blog.

Dandelion said...

Another fabulous offering from my new favourite blog. Thank you ms melan!

I have to say though, I'm not surprised about the ear syringing. I've never had it, but I imagine it would be horrendouse. Like drowning from the inside out.

lavenderblue said...

I hate Doctors.
I get flippant in a nervous sort of way, I would probably have told the nurse, whilst she was poking around for my cervix that 'I had it when I left the house'.And then bolted.
Never had the ear-thingy- for some reason I thought it might be quite a nice sensation.
Changed my mind.
I really am trying to keep a straight face here.....sorry,sorry........

bindi said...

Very brave to have tried to do these yucky things on the same day.

Could you not tell them when you go back for the syringe, to wait until you faint (with soft landing prepared beforehand) and then go for it while you're out?

swimmer6foot4 said...

Wonderful, Ms M, your tale brought tears (of laughter) to my cheeks. Can't stop laughing (not at you but with you, honest, with you).

This takes me back to several years ago when I got stopped (as ever) going through HM Customs and was subjected to a search. This was less than 24 hours after yet another follow-up visit to the GU Clinic. Tired and working on auto-pilot, I walked into the inspection room, dropped my pants and began to "enable" the examination (if you don't know, ask a man!). This all came as a surprise to the poor Customs officer - who had not yet asked me to remove any clothing - he blushed bright red and turned away. He promptly asked me to dress and sent me on my way.

Entering the US last month a handsome immigration officer asked me what I "do". I told him I was a psychotherapeutic counsellor, a term they seem to understand, and he responded: "Oh, aren't you English all supposed to be sorted out". Yikes, how do I respond to this, I wondered? I remained silent. Then I fumbled, flustered, mumbled and stuttered. Judging from his physical prompts, this man appeared to be flirting with me and I was left a trembling mess and looked totally unconvincing. When will I grow up?

Syringing your ears sounds like an awfully heavy way of dealing with blocked waxy ears. I wonder, have you already tried gently warmed olive oil?

Hope you get your finances OK.

Ms Melancholy said...

Hi MM - I know, I know, just doesn't make any sense at all. Tell them to try left lateral next time you have a smear though - it is so much more comfortable!

Hi Signs, - I agree with you about the syringing. I felt shit all day and had a visual migraine later. I won't be going again. I am clearly a delicate flower.

Hi Dand-ee-leon (so sophisticated!) Drowning from the inside out it is a very good way of describing it. Most unpleasant.

Lavender - don't go there, unless you like feeling like the world is swimming around you. Its ok to smile - you should have seen hubby when we got out of the bs. He likes to find me funny.

Bindi - you really think I'm going back for more?!

Hi again Swimmer

Tired and working on auto-pilot, I walked into the inspection room, dropped my pants and began to "enable" the examination (if you don't know, ask a man!). This all came as a surprise to the poor Customs officer - who had not yet asked me to remove any clothing - he blushed bright red and turned away. He promptly asked me to dress and sent me on my way.

Now, that is very funny. Very funny. Very funny indeed.

I have tried warm olive oil, every day for about 2 months and it hasn't shifted it as the nurse could see that both ears are blocked. I also tried hopi ear candles, which also freaked me out and didn't do any good. I will persevere with the olive oil. I'm not going back for the syringing - or perhaps I need a few sessions of CBT?

bobo said...

I can see a whole new Victorian melodrama side to you now. Aside from your knack of recreational fainting, this will impose a set of rather new duties for a modern gal like you:

× dabbing the corners of your mouth with a lace hanky

× living in the attic room

× swooning, especially within close proximity of tall dark strangers in riding breaches (doubly if in possession of a fortune)

× performing charitable works for the deserving poor

× a new wardrobe of Empire line dresses and ludicrously complex underwear

× the ability to curtsy without falling over

× the ability to make polite conversation commonly featuring the word Tafetta

× play a selection of entertaining recitals on the pianoforte

× deferring to your elders and betters, not least of whom being The Husband

Hmmmm ... I think I can spot a flaw in this otherwise foxy cunning plan.

tyger said...

I told you.

How very Jane Austin.

yellowduck said...


Sorry. Big hug.

Hey, if you ever wanna talk, you know, about stuff, I can email you my number.

I got an infinitely extended frown from Mrs D when I asked her where left lateral is.

I am amazed Leesa entered this blog in her competition.

By the way, remember to vote for Ms Melancholy in the Battle Of The Blogs HERE (scroll down to the bottom). Do it NOW. She is getting clobbered by the competition.

La-Que-sabe said...

Oh Ms M, that's rough. But I did chuckle this morning when I first read it. :) I'm trying to imagine what must have been going through the mortgage advisors mind when you said the doctor couldn't find your cervix... And what s/he told her/his partner when s/he got home that night! "Honey, you'll never believe what happened today..."

Miss Tickle said...

Lovely Ms M. Just lovely.

So glad the spontaneous and unpredictable weeping isn't just me.


Calamity Jane said...

Ms M - you do have a gift for black humour. All this giggling just isn't good my pelvic floor.

I always thought psychotherapists were completely stoic. Nice to know you have your off-days too, well not nice per se, you know what I mean ... hopefully.

Boris said...

Oh poor you Ms M,

Last week sore, boobs, and now sore ears and a sore whatsit.

Whatever next? Your month can ONLY improve.


Ms Melancholy said...

Hi lovely BoBo. Did you notice that the very kind YellowDuck has added you to his blogroll? You are spot on. I would love all of that, apart from the last one, oddly. I would rather stick pins in my eyes than defer to your elders and betters, not least of whom being The Husband, but I think you already knew that.

Hi sexy Tyger - what exactly did you tell me?! But yes, very Jane Austin. I really should carry smelling salts around with me.

Hi Darling Duckie - glad my misfortunes entertain you. I may take you up on that offer. What do you charge? And thanks for the plug, but it will take a minor miracle for me to catch up with my rival who is storming ahead. I feel drubbed, already.

Hi lovely lqs - I guess I made her day. It's not everyday you have a snivelling therapist in your room talking about her cervix.

Hi darling Miss Tickle - I am prone to sponaneous bouts of weeping. I once cried at Junior mastermind, much to the family's amusement. I suspect I will also cry at Masterchef if David wins. I am soppy and don't deny it.

Hi lovely CJ - we are not stoic. We just let people think that we are, if that is what they choose to think of course! Projection/transference are useful, after all.

Hey, clever Boris - you are totally right. I may have to take some holiday....speaking of which, I fly to Granada on Friday. Great timing.

swimmer6foot4 said...

I will persevere with the olive oil. I'm not going back for the syringing - or perhaps I need a few sessions of CBT?

If I had to endure a "few sessions of CBT" I should prefer to have my ears blocked up with wax first!

Ms Melancholy said...

Hey Swimmer - I like that! I saw a guy yesterday who has had two courses of CBT and, in his words, 'I play the game, I go along with all the exercises, and neither of them realised that I don't actually want to give this stuff up.' But hey, horses for courses.

yellowduck said...

It's the way you tell them, Ms M :) My ears are so dodgy, so I know where you are coming from (especially when you are a language teacher...).

Oh, I charge 12 euros the hour. For you I'll make an exception. I'll be willing just to elope. You can tell me about everythign then ;)

Political Umpire said...

Good grief, at least you've the holiday to get over this. Not many posts have left me lost for words, possibly on this one and China Blue's "Vadge of Honour". And with one child + 12/40ths, you'd have thought I could deal with all this lady stuff too. For the most part I can. At the ante-natal class for junior ump a very pretty 18 yr old Sierra Leone girl asked me in all innocence what a perenium was. She thought it was one of the drugs, and raised her eyebrows when I narrowed it to 'something you have and I don't. Had to come out with it in the end (the explanation, that is). She smiled amiably. I once saved the life of a 16 yr old schoolgirl. Those two incidents constitute the sum total of my public service, I think.

Ms Melancholy said...

Hi gorgeous Ducky - will elope when I get back from my romantic break with hubby ;)

Hey P-Umpy - your story reminds me of the epiosotomy I had when I had my boy.....but I won't share that one with you. Even the memory is painful. Well done for your tact!

swimmer6foot4 said...

Dear Ms M, within the grand scheme of things the following is extremely insignificant, I'm sure, but it's bothering me none-the-less. Political Umpire writes that he told a young woman (with good intention) that a perenium is "something you have and I don't". This incident, he surmised, constitutes half of the sum total of his public service.

Imagine the impact on the poor chap if he suddenly discovers that the area between where his cricket box ends and his crease begins is, in fact, his perenium.

He'll have to do pro bono for eons to recover from this.

Political Umpire said...

I know that, I was just trying to be tactful, so she'd then ask her sister, but sadly my gentle push into the offside was not picked up by her close in fielders. No option then but to try and hit it to the boundary, so to speak. She understood in the end, so as I said good deed #1 done.

Besides, unless one gets a particlarly nasty short ball (?) a chap's perenium isn't something that figures in polite conversation to the same extent as that of pregnant ladies ...

swimmer6foot4 said...

"a chap's perenium isn't something that figures in polite conversation"

Wouldn't know anything about that, sir, as I hang around blogs like this!

Lynx217 said...

NO ONE puts ANYTHING in my ears but ME. God forbid anything liquid. I will be mad... then hurting in a couple days.