With all the controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood in the last few years, and with a new supreme court judge with right-leaning tendencies, I feel as though it's important that we clear the air about the nonprofit.
So, here is my experience with Planned Parenthood as a patient. I won't tell you the purpose of my visit, but instead, I will discuss the quality of care and my overall experience.
The day of my appointment, I walked through the entrance (once I finally realized that it was a pull door, not a push one), and I received a warm greeting from the woman at the desk.
I gave her my information, and she asked if I would wait in the waiting room — which does, in fact, have free condoms in a bowl next to the mostly out-of-date tabloids and informational brochures. How unbelievably misguided of them to provide free access to birth control, so that there aren't a bunch more unwanted babies being born.
Anyway, let's get back to it. I waited less than five minutes before I was called by a nurse. The nurse walked me to the exam room. She took my weight and the usual vitals.
Then she asked the nature of my visit, and as I was answering, I noticed something unusual.
This woman was looking at me while I spoke and appeared to be nodding occasionally.
Could it be, I thought, was she actually listening to me? What?!?
I explained the symptoms I was having to her, the same symptoms I previously divulged to my regular physician. But this time, I was given a very real answer. She even called a doctor in to confirm.
What was this place? Who did these people think they were? I was listened to and presented with thoughtful responses, solutions and options.
How dare they. It's like they wanted me to feel in control of my healthcare and my own body — completely inappropriate!
So, sarcasm aside, as a woman, I have a gynecologist I see for various things. But every time I mention a symptom I am having, my doctor stares at her computer screen and says that it's normal.
Not everything is normal, folks. And I know my body pretty well at this point, considering that I have lived in it for 25 years. When I voice a concern about something, I want it to be taken seriously.
I know that part of the problem when it comes to birth control is just that there's a lack of research, particularly where women's health is concerned; but institutionalized sexism isn't a valid excuse for ignoring my needs as a patient.
So, those are the bullet points, folks. Take it as you will, but my visit was a refreshing experience.
Being a woman, it feels good to be heard and given whatever information I need without pulling teeth — especially when it comes to healthcare,