Last week I was telling my friend about my first visit to the endocrinologist, and as I got further and further into what I thought was a painfully boring and lackluster story her face got progressively scrunched and puzzled. "He gave you a breast exam?" she said.
"Yeah, it's probably just standard intake stuff." I said.
"I have been seeing endocrinologists for the last 10 years and I have never had one check my breasts."
I'll preface this story by letting you know that I have a rare condition that has been causing me some issues lately, and I was starting to wonder if my hypothyroidism was contributing in some way. I have always had my thyroid monitored by any number of my other doctors and specialists, but realized it was time to have a proper doc check me out.
The doctor was highly recommended by a very good friend who is incredibly trustworthy, so I didn't even think twice to make an appointment. It was a lovely office in a fabulous neighborhood with a fancy network. I sat in the waiting room reading on my iPad with zero concerns and was pleasantly surprised that the patient ahead of me was running late so I got to head in early.
(My friend) looked like I had just told her I had a dead cat in my purse.
We sat and chatted in his office for quite awhile, and I appreciated his thoroughness. All my questions were answered, and he seemed so knowledgeable and genuinely interested in helping me feel better. I was in great spirits.
As we entered the exam room he produced a napkin dress from the drawer and told me to "remove everything" like a gynecology visit. I didn't flinch—I have had two kids, so between that and the Korean spa, I have stripped down in front of half of Los Angeles at this point. I wrap myself in paper, read a 4-year-old magazine article on Clooney and wait.
Two minutes later the doctor is back and checks my thyroid, neck, back. He listens to my lungs, checks my eyes and taps me with the little reflex hammer on my knee. When he asks me to lay back so he can do a breast, abdomen and pulse point check, I think nothing of it. We chat about mammograms and he pokes around my abdomen and checks the pulse points in my groin area. Again, he's very professional, and I'm thinking nothing of this.
Then he shakes my hand and says he'll call me in a day or two with test results. I get dressed and leave, texting my friend on the way to my car to say thanks for the great referral.
"He checked the pulse points in your GROIN?" my friend spat at me. She looked like I had just told her I had a dead cat in my purse.
"He was very thorough?" I began to question myself. Come to think of it, there was no nurse in the room—wasn't that a law or something? I needed to make a few calls...
After phoning several friends and confirming that none of them had gotten to second or third base with their endocrinologist, I headed to Google. Well, looks like it's not "standard practice" to feel up patients. Even with this information, I still am not alarmed. I mean, I wasn't feeling well and he was trying to be helpful, right? It's not like he gave me a bath robe from a paper bag under the sink and locked the door—he had paper dresses in the room. Someone else must be wearing these like me. Right???
"Who cares?" my husband said. "So he touched your boobs, big deal."
I know most people would get all kinds of fired up about this, but I'm not for some reason.
Doctor called me the next day and tweaked my medication a bit. I haven't talked to him since. Will I return in 10 weeks for my follow up? Sure. Only this time I'll know to get a bikini wax and shave my legs first.