The Black Hole

I try to be the most compassionate and selfless person I can be.

While dining with others, I never take the last slice of pizza. (Unless the people I’m with are overweight, in which case I’m actually doing them a favor.)

Also, whenever I go on a double date, I make sure to give both guys equal attention. Even if one guy is more attractive, I do my best not to roll my eyes and make gagging noises at the ugly one.

I credit my philanthropic nature to the time I spent in Girl Guides.

Since I also learned in Girl Guides that “Date number two means you’re ready to screw,” I see my gynecologist at least once every five years, whether I need to or not.

It was after my last appointment that my doctor called to tell me that my pap test results had come back abnormal.

“Does this have something to do with my questionable sexual past?” I asked.

She said it was possible, but  it was also common for women my age to have abnormal pap smears. Just to be on the safe side, she was sending me in for a Colposcopy.

Because I am only gifted in fat gram content and street smarts, I had to Google what that was.


I could actually feel my cervix retracting into my stomach.

Devastated, I called my sister (who is also a nurse).

Sister: Hey.

Me: (sobbing) You win.

Sister: Win what?

Me: Mom’s video card. It’s yours.

Sister: What video card?

Me: The one we fought over when we were calling dibs on our inheritance.

Sister: That place closed down, like, fifteen years ago.

Me:  Well, keep it as a memento. I just found out that I’m probably dying.

Sister: Even if it was still in business, it’s not like I’d ever use it. I rent all my movies online.


Sister: So what is it this time? Did your baboon heart finally give out on you? Or is your Benjamin Button disease acting up again?

Me: Shut up. I’m being serious. I need to know what a Colposcopy is.

Sister: It’s when the doctor sticks a camera up your butt and looks around for problems. Why?

Me: WHAT???

Sister: I know, gross, hey? Don’t you remember Uncle Pat was talking about it at Thanksgiving last year? He said he couldn’t wal–

Me: Wait…you’re talking about a colonoscopy. I SAID COL-POS-COPY.

Sister: What’s that?

Me: Well, seeing as my gynecologist booked the appointment, I’m guessing it has something to do with my vagina.

Sister: Oh. Never heard of it.

Me: Be honest. Are you really a nurse?

Sister: I’m in the psych ward. We don’t deal with that stuff.

Me: Thank God. Just imagine if they put you in the operating room. The patient would be getting his tonsils removed and you’d start prepping him for surgery by shaving his private parts.

Sister. Very funny. …Look, I gotta go. I’m meeting C for dinner.

Me: Dinner? It’s only one o’clock.

Sister: I need to get ready.

Me: It took you ten minutes to get ready for Grad.

Sister: (heavy sigh) You really don’t know how to take a hint, do you?

Me: That’s not what your mom said last night.

Sister: There are like, seven reasons why your comeback doesn’t make sense.

Me: Yes, but there are eleven reasons why it does make sense.

Sister:  I seriously can’t believe we’re related.

Me:  Well, we are. I’m your new step dad.

Sister: You’re a freak.

Me: Don’t talk to your papa that way.



Two months later, I was sitting on a chair in the examination room, legs pressed together and car keys poking out between the fingers of my fist. The nurse gave the usual pre-exam spiel. I looked for alternate escape routes.

Nurse: Ok, Rebecca, I’ll just need to see your health care card.

Me: (grabs purse, pretends to rifle through it) Uh, somebody must have stolen it.

Nurse: I’m going to need some identification.

Me: How about this? (hands over Costco card)

Nurse: (squints at card) This isn’t you.

Me: It’s my mom. But trust me, they never look that close. I just keep my head down and talk about boring things like scrapbooking and church and stuff.

Nurse: How about a Driver’s license?

Me: (grudgingly hands it over) Do you really get women coming in here pretending to be someone else just so they can get their ovaries scraped?

Nurse: (ignores question) I take it this is your first Colposcopy?

Me:  Yes. I’m a virgin.

Nurse: Oh. So, there’s no chance you could be pregnant, then.

Me: Oh, no. What I meant to say is that I’m a virgin at having my ovaries scraped. OF COURSE I’m not a real virgin!

Nurse: So, is there a chance you might be pregnant?

Me: OH, HELL’S NO. (whispers) I haven’t had actual sex in like, forever.

*awkward silence*

Me: Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I haven’t had plenty of offers. (casually lifts up pant leg, pretends to scratch extremely toned calf muscle)

Nurse: (closes file)

Me: It’s not like I’ve turned into a total prude or anything.

Nurse: (hands over gown) Okay, now I just need you to take this and change behind the curtain over there.

Me: Not to brag, but in high school they called me “Backseat Becky”.



After changing into the gown, the nurse had me lay down on the examination table. She positioned my legs in the stirrups. I thought about the hobbling scene in “Misery”.

“Well, hello, Dr. So and so.”  A troll-like man wearing scrubs shuffled in to the room.

I avoided eye-contact. He asked me if I had any questions. I silently wondered if the jar of tongue depressors would fit in my purse.

“Would you like me to turn it on for you?” The nurse pointed to a giant television screen that was mounted on the wall next to my head.

” Yes, please!” I said, relieved that I’d have something to distract me.

“No worries, Dear. I know how some women like to know exactly what’s being done “down there”.”

Confused, I looked up at the screen. That’s when I noticed a pair of familiar looking ankles, two inches from my face and magnified to approximately three thousand times their original size.

The doctor made a joke about the camera adding ten pounds. Then he lifted up my gown.




The last thing I remember is looking at the screen and thinking that if the black hole ever does come in contact with earth, at least I’ll know what to expect.



  1. based on my personal experience of saying awesome things to nurses, they must really hear the best comments. Seriously. People tell nurses everything. I should get a nurse costume and go around pretending to be one.

  2. Absolutely hilarious. I’ve totally been there and I have to say, nothing makes you relaise how bad your hasty last minute self-waxing was than seeing it in super zoom-o-vision.

    • Ha! Call me naive (and inflexible), but never in a million years did I think I’d come face to face with my crotch, let alone having it magnified to colossal proportions. How is this supposed to make the patient feel better? It’s not like I know what anything is down there, anyway.

      In situations such as these, I truly believe that ignorance is bliss.

  3. Whenever anyone asks you during a medical procedure if you want to watch, say no. Conversely, if they ask if you’d like some fentanyl, say yes and ask if you can invite some friends.

    • Fentanyl?

      Oh, wait…never mind. Where I’m from we usually just call it Apache, China girl, dance fever, friend, goodfella, jackpot, murder 8 and/or Tango and Cash.

  4. When I delivered baby number one, they asked if I wanted a mirror to push, yes, good incentive right? When I saw what my husband and sister had been looking at for the last hour I apologized profusely. That was incentive to push!

    • HAHAHA!! Queso reina, is that you?

      If so, this is just another reason why I heart you so much.

      If not, I still heart you. (Only in a less creepy way.)

  5. Oh dear lord. There is a reason that all that is down there and not in your immediate viewing area. When I had my babies, there was discussion of a mirror, to which I was all “hells to the no, I don’t need to be seeing all that. Just take those suckers out of there. Thank you very muchly.”

    And anyone who makes jokes while they are in my crotchal area gets an immediate knee to the cranium. Just saying.

  6. I had that too. No biggie except they gave me lidocaine (<— surely spelled incorrectly) and I had some sort of reaction that made me feel like I couldn't breathe. The nurse leaped on the table, tore my gown down and stared at my chest. Then she said, "Niiiice…"

    No, actually, she said: "No rash, it isn't bad" and I started breathing again, like magic.

    So, hey, at least you didn't nearly die and get felt up by a nurse. (Unless that was what you were hoping, for, and then.. sorry, I win.)

    Just make sure you have a safe word next time.

  7. Ummmm I dont know what to say…ummmm funny story…had to read a few time and thought to myself did she actually say that….lolol…i just love reading about your misfortune…well you posted it…..hahaha no i am just playing….what a post..this should go in the BSCHOOL HALL OF FAME….zman sends

    • Z! Yes, unfortunately I suffer from a disease where I blurt out inappropriate things in times of duress. If only muzzles weren’t so aesthetically-unpleasing.

      Always great to hear from you, Z!

  8. You and your Canadian Socialized Astronomical Medical Procedures!

    Gotta wonder though, did the jar of tongue depressors fit in your purse after all?

  9. This was probably the most hilariously awesome thing I have read today.
    Also, every time I have abnormal cells I’m afraid I’m going to die. I’ve been getting colposcopy every 6 months for years. I’m pretty sure because my doctor is constantly surprised I’m still alive.

    • I can’t even imagine. I was supposed to get another one, but I wasn’t in town. So far, I haven’t been able to bring myself to make another appointment.

  10. I’ve been single for a year, so when I went in for my yearly lady exam, it hurt so bad I was both embarrassed AND about to cry. She must have thought I was an actual virgin too. Sigh.

    BUT. You turned something terrifying into something hilarious. Rockstar.

    • Ha! Thanks. Whenever I know there’s going to be pain, I do this weird thing where I dig my nail into the skin between my thumb and first finger to distract me.

      I’ve had both my dentist and my doctor ask me if I want a tissue/band-aid because I always end up drawing blood.

  11. elizabeth3hersh says:

    As a psychiatric nurse, I can attest that it is quite easy to mix up your colonoscopies from your colposcopies (due to a combination of close proximity of orifices coupled with the obvious similar spellings). Actually, I can recall having cylindrical ‘equipment’ end up in the wrong orifice (due to the former and not the latter)…rest assured, it was simply a ‘wrong turn’ and there was no malpractice involved. No matter… both colonoscopies and colpscopies make me SQUEAMISH!!!!!!!!!!!!! If I ever have either, I would hope to have the likes of Michael Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, at my beck-and-call (both for the meds and for the negligence since I am so squeamish I would just want to die)!

    I wish I could lie and say I would have liked to have been a support person and held your hand throughout the procedure, but the truth is someone would have shoved one of the scopies down my esophagus to shut me up. Okay, so I am a HORRIBLE nurse (at least when it comes to procedures).

    P.S. I hope you are okay!

    • “I can recall having cylindrical ‘equipment’ end up in the wrong orifice…”
      E, please tell me this was a patient’s wrong orifice and not yours. (I’ve heard that hazing rituals in certain medical establishments can be horrifying, to say the least.)

      Don’t worry, even I wasn’t able to hold my own hand during the procedure. I actually had to (mentally) click my heels together and go to my safe place.

  12. I hate going to the gyno anyway, so I can’t imagine having a camera shoved up there. But at least now I know better than to watch. I can only hope that my doctor has an awesome beard like the one in your “photosimulation” to distract me.
    And, I thought I was the only one who used the “car keys poking out between the fingers of my fist” defensive move. I call it Ghetto Wolverine.
    Hope everything is okay!

    • Ha! Thanks, Amy. As far as I know, I’m fine.

      I changed my number and moved shortly after, so even if there was a problem it’s not like I’ll ever know about it. ;)

      Ghetto Wolverine is my new favorite term!

  13. Typically I saw someone that is a psychologist or works in a psych ward has their own issues. But for once, I think your sister got into the business to figure YOU out. haha

  14. When I had a colonoscopy, they asked me if I’d rather be knocked out, OR…I could keep completely still and watch it on the TV sober. I think these “Clockwork Orange” procedural packages will only lead to doctor avoidance and early death.

  15. You are funny to me.

    I seem to recall in college, reading some suggestion by a book that was assigned in a women’s studies class that you should learn to heart yourself by standing over a mirror and getting a good look at, well, yourself. I knew at this moment I would never be a feminist. Because I was pretty sure “myself” was at the other end. The end with the “good” hair. And the brains. Not the gaping black hole.

  16. So hilarious. I too steal from the doctor’s office. I have a nice collection of ear and nose things that go on the otoscope.
    If I lived closer I would give you this after such intrusive appointments. It makes sense.

  17. We leave stuff out for the patients to steal! It makes them feel empowered. The “good stuff” is all locked up. Or in the Break Room. That’s where the “swag sweets” from the vendors and referring doctors are.

  18. um. ok.

    this is so many levels of hilarious.

    um, never had to have that done thank GOODNESS>

    backseat becky was saucy minx.

    um, but i had to have a breast biopsy and i had the same convo with my sister about dying.

    then again, i don’t have a sister. but it would have been very similar

  19. OMG…I seriously love you! I’m still trying to figure out if ‘jesus’ was a good vag Dr. or if his in-experience in the Vag department put him at a disadvantage???

  20. I’m a virgin. For serious.

    Unless super hot lesbian sex counts. Then yeah, I haven’t done that in a while, either.

    Except for last week. But who’s keeping track? Me. It was four days ago.

  21. BUT THEN WHAT HAPPPPENED!? I have one next week, and I’m scared.


  1. […] they crawled out from under. And when you consider posts like How To Help Your Dog Lose Weight and The Black Hole (one word: Colposcopy!), you're not gonna care that she doesn't have a real job. So there you have […]

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