Much is made of the relationship that men have with the appendage between their legs.
Not as much is said about the relationship women have with their corresponding body parts.
It's a rather strange anomaly. Think about it - how many naked women do you see on television - how many full frontal shots of woman, normally sans pubic hair, are visible on mainstream television after the watershed - then think about how many times you see a naked fellow in full view. Let alone a bloke with a stiffy. Jeez, that would just be wrong wouldn't it!
I've been reassessing my relationship with my nether regions over the last few months since this rather inconvenient pain has shown up on my side over what is known in medical terms as McBurney's point, or roughly where your appendix is. Mid July I ended up spending eight hours waiting at St Vincent's hospital only to be told, "You've got something around your ovary, it's not appendicitis, it's not cancer, we're not sure what it is but you'll need it investigated in a few months when things settle down. We're going to treat you for chlamydia and the clap just in case". My reaction to the meds was almost as bad as the shere annoyance about not knowing what was going on. And what do you mean a few months? I have to live with this pain? You're effing joking.
Annoyance moved to acceptance after seeing my GP a few days later. Yes, this was going to take a few months to resolve. Deal with it, don't run much, rest - and the pain would ease.
The guys at work have asked why I haven't been running. "Something's wrong with the nether regions" is enough to make them put their hands on their ears and go "LALALALALALA." Others have asked in more specific terms about what's going on. "Oh, my wife has those problems," is a common response - before throwing their hands over their ears and singing, "LALALALALA."
My poor vajayjay (thanks Grey's Anatomy) went into spasms at this point. And my head started to spin. There's something wrong down under. Argh. Would this mean I'd been flashing my bits to the world in the near future? Were my poor neglected nether regions finally going to get an airing and not in a way I'd like them to be presented?
Maybe it's my Methodist upbringing or just the fact that there's not been anybody significant in my life for years, but all this talk of my girlie bits has been truly confronting. I've been very fortunate to not have had any problems down that way, so other than the fundamental two yearly service, I'm a gynaecological virgin.
I remember being told at the age of six or seven by my dear old grandmother, "Wash between your legs, it will be important one day."
I finally worked out what she was saying at the age of thirty-five.
Thanks for the advice, Gran.
So, Tuesday, I presented myself to the Epworth for the follow up ultrasound. After being messed around with where to go, an hour after drinking the required litre of water, I was taken by a radiography student to the room where the ultrasound would be done. I looked at the gurney and the mass of electronic equipment, and then to the door, which lead out the the waiting room and reception area.
Argh. Was I to be exposed to the world?
Thankfully not. The radiographer came in and locked the door, after closing a screen in the corridor before entering.
I'm not going to say the ultrasound was pleasant, but it didn't hurt and the operator acted in a professional and sensitive way. Even better, I was treated like an intelligent human being, not a piece of meat . Finally, I know what's going on. There are some cysts on my fallopian tube that will need to come out. I have the pictures. Now it's a matter of going back to the doctor, getting a referral to a specialist and seeing what happens from there.
All of this is still confronting. You do what you have to do. I've got no problems being examined. I have no idea how anybody who's pregnant or has trouble copes with repeated examinations.
Or maybe this is my own strange little foible that I need to deal with and get over. Think of it as any other bit of my body, like a leg or an arm and get on with it - and get it out of my head that if you don't use it, you lose it.