Yesterday with my dress trying on post on APW, comments blossomed on twitter about boob sweat. And I promised an Epic story.
I could have sworn that I’ve written about this already, and I may have before the reboot but I don’t think it’s in these archives (but go ahead and check, I’m sure while searching you’ll run across many more amazingly awkward moments of my past).
First some back story: I have anxiety. And sometimes situational depression. Which really means when my anxiety gets out of hand it develops into depression. This has happened twice. Once in college when I started dating my roommate’s ex (smart, Lauren. Reeaalll smart) and then again when I was working in an awful place that slowly had me spiraling into a weight gaining, PTSD, flinching hole of doom. The situation I was in seemed so inescapable that I sought medical help. But I had kaiser, and my experience with kaiser is a lot like my experience at the DMV. Being thought of as merely a number, always needing to wait in line, and being mildly offended by the “professional” you’re interacting with.
(One time I went for a consult about changing my birth control because I was CERTAIN that the reason for my boobs stopped fitting into my shirts and my chronic bloating was due to birth control… Dr. MAN laughed in my face and I had to demand the switch. So helpful. But I digress…)
In order to get a referral to a therapist I needed to first go in and get a physical. Of course appointments for that physical were 6 weeks out. So, after arguing back and forth with my primary physician I made the appointment and waited it out. When I got to my physical I was nervous because I needed to talk about my FEELINGS and I really just wanted to be professional about it and articulate. “This is how I’m feeling, please refer me to someone specializing in anxiety in young women” the end. But no. My doctor wanted me to take my shirt off and put on a 1/2 gown, which was a plastic lined paper towel cape thing. With sleeves. So their I was. In an overly warm room, with boob skin resting on torso skin, getting all heated up, under a plastic tent. And the doctor isn’t examining me. She is just sitting across from me talking about my history and why I feel anxious and depressed. And I’m trying my best (and succeeding) not to cry. But the entire time she’s asking me questions and we’re having this rather invasive chat, I can literally feel beads of sweat rolling slowly down my stomach, and instead of being fully focused on the conversation, all I can think about is “Oh my god, eventually this woman is going to touch me, breast exam, breathing, heart, the whole bit… and I will have full on swamp boobs.”
The sweat at this point is dripping so much that the waistband of my pants is starting to absorb my sweat drips. And my upper lip is beaded with wetness. Is that not the sexiest thing you’ve ever heard? You can thank me later. My brain is also about to burst with TOTAL PANIC at this point. So without even another bat of my eyelash I interrupt her full on, with my hand and everything, and say, “Sorry, but … I’m totally sweaty under here and I don’t want you to have to deal with it, do you mind if I wipe off?” And like it ain’t no thang she goes, “Oh of course not!” and hands me a tissue… a tissue? Oh no, that would have just gotten lost up in there, I mean really. So I respond, “Oh uh..” and chuckle, “I think I need a paper towel.” And leaped off the table to go across the room and snatch several paper towels from the holder and wipe myself down while she continued to blabber on. It may have been simultaneously the most horrifying and liberating thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.
Then of course I was encouraged to go to church more, because duh… that’s how you cure mental illness! And then told to make an appointment with yet ANOTHER consult who would then eventually get me an appointment with an actual therapist. Who – when I finally went to my appointment (over 3 months from my first inquiry) – was on vacation. VACATION. And they had had a “scheduling error.” I eventually quit my job, joined weight watchers (back in 2008) and my depression subsided.