It seems to me that most of the exam rooms in fertility clinics are alike. Table with stirrups, “guest” chair, ultrasound machine, tiny sink/counter area, and a curtain that can be pulled closed so that everyone in the hallway doesn’t have to see you half naked when the doctor opens the door.
Am I right?
My issue today is with the position of that guest chair and the curtain.
Catch is with me at 98% of my appointments. She very rarely misses an opportunity to see me with my pants off. The dildo cam is like an added bonus for her. I think she derives great pleasure from seeing it sitting there with its little swirl of lube atop an elongated condom.
The two of us walk into the room together. She sits in the chair. The nurse closes the curtain. I strip and position myself on the table. This is the drill.
When the doctor comes in, she can’t see around the curtain. She knows I’m there because a) she can usually see my feet and b) she has been told that her patient is waiting for her. By the time she clears the curtain, she has generally announced her presence and greeted me. Seeing Catch in the chair ALWAYS throws her off. Every time. The three of us joke about Catch tucked away in the corner at almost every appointment. “I’m never sure if you’re going to be there!” my doctor exclaims.
Yesterday takes the cake, though.
I saw a different doctor for the first time. He walked in and started introducing himself while looking down at my chart. He acknowledged me, and then—still looking down—he turned toward Catch and said, “And who’s this young man? Woman? Woman! Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry!”
We laughed. We all did. It was… funny?
It seemed funny in the moment, anyway. It even seemed funny when we were waiting in the conference room later on and he came in and greeted us with an exaggerated, “Hello again, LADIES.” He really was a nice guy.
I feel bad for Catch, though. As honest and innocent as the whole, “Oh, I didn’t see you there!” thing is, she is always an afterthought in that room. She gets really happy on the rare occasion that my RE will direct a comment or question to her instead of to me. She wants involvement beyond tucking my underwear inside my folded clothing.
I do understand. I am the patient. Catch is the holder of my hand. I just wish there was some way to give her more of a presence inside that tiny little room. Some way for her to be more than just the girl(?) who may or may not be hiding behind the curtain holding my pants.
I am the one being poked and prodded, but there is no way I could do this without her. She is as important to this process as every growing follicle and every frozen sperm. She is my rock. She is my world. I hope she knows that.