I’ll never look at Cookie Monster the same way again.

If I was a person who analyzed my dreams, or took the interpretations to really mean something, then I might be worried. Usually my dreams are incredibly dull; folding laundry for hours on end, for example, is a common dream of mine. But Saturday night I had a vivid dream that I was supposed to make a cake to look like Cookie Monster. It was incredibly agitating; whoever was asking me for this cake specified that it could not be round, it had to be the exact shape of Cookie Monster’s body. I kept stressing out about the EYES, how would I make EYES to look like Cookie Monster? What kind of decorating tool would I use or could I buy something that would be like an eye. And the mouth – oh, god, I didn’t want to make a mouth out of black food colouring. Then, when I went to bake the actual cake in a kitchen that wasn’t mine, the oven wouldn’t heat to 350 degrees. Instead, it heated to all sorts of strange and unusual temperatures: 414, 273, etc. I woke up in a panic about it and then wondered, why Cookie Monster? My kids haven’t watched Sesame Street in many years. That was weird.

My friend Hannah (HI HANNAH) suggested it sounded like an anxiety dream. If so I should have had it last Thursday; Friday morning I had a physical with my doctor. Now, I’m very healthy and have no issues, but I was due for a Pap test. Menfolk, you might want to consider not reading on, if you happen to be squeamish about women’s issues. First of all, my period is due any day now, and so I was worried Aunt Flo would arrive 20 minutes before my appointment and I would have to rebook. Again. The only reason I had this appointment was because I was scheduled for a Pap five weeks ago, and my period unexpectedly shown up. I was worried this would happen again, and again, and again, and I would have to call the office and rebook constantly. If there’s one thing I hate to do, it’s phoning for appointments.

Why is making appointments over the phone so hard? I dread it; it’s almost like I hate committing that time to an appointment. There never seems to be a good time for anything; and then once I figure out an appointment that will work for me, it’s not available, and we start all over again.

Anyway, Aunt Flo stayed home and I was able to carry on with my appointment. All signs point to healthy; and then it was time for the Pap. My doctor – who I really do like, and who I really do feel is a good doctor – could not find my cervix. Longtime readers will know that this is not the first time this has happened, and it probably won’t be the last. The only doctor who did NOT have a problem finding my cervix was a woman, and although it is a small sample size – one that I do not want to get any larger, three different hands up in my business is quite enough, thank you – I think it is significant, if not statistically, then emotionally.

Time goes slowly when one’s feet are in stirrups, so a solid ten minutes of speculum-prodding feels like hours. The doctor asked me TWICE if I’d had a C-section; I have not, and I’m not sure what C-sections have to do with cervical positioning. I’m not sure I want to know. “I’m sorry,” the doctor said, “I know this is uncomfortable, I have just never had so much trouble finding a cervix before.”

“Well, you’re not the first,” I told him, “But I’m pretty sure it’s still there.”

Ten minutes and two different speculums later, my cervix was found. Hurrah! Except…”Oh dear, the speculum moved. I have to reposition it.”

Now that I think of it, maybe my Cookie Monster cake dream was a post-traumatic anxiety dream. Maybe my anxiety about making the eyes was some kind of response to the cervical searching, and the big black mouth was a symbol of the cavernous wasteland of my womanhood? In any case, it’s only about 362 days until I have to start thinking about my next Pap test, so carpe diem? Or something.


  1. Maybe it was! The googly eyes spinning off madly in all directions, unable to focus on the one thing *right* in front of them. *shudders*

    Not fun.

    If it’s any consolation I have been told I have a tilted cervix, so it can be difficult to see right away. That is a really weird question about the C-section. Hrrmm. Now I want to know what the heck that has to do with anything.

    Also, recommendations have changed if you have never had a problematic pap result. You may not have to plan your next one right away. 😉

  2. I had a c-section with Noah and my gyn has never had any trouble finding mine since then. If’ you go to practice with a lot of doctors, can you request the one who didn’t have trouble?

    My latest stress dream was about sending June to boarding school. We didn’t want to do it but for some reason we had to and we were packing and crying. It was before I got her switched out of the stay-up-all-night-and-ruin-your-health Girl Scout camp so I’m pretty sure that’s what it was about.

  3. This is one reason I LOVE being able to make appointments ONLINE: I can sit there with my calendar and take ALL THE TIME I NEED to figure out what will work, instead of basically PLAYING GO FISH with the receptionist.


      You’re so right. Go Fish with the receptionist. See also: booking car service appointments around all our car-required activities.

  4. I get so anxious about this that I just take the first date that they give me. I am not sure why. Fortunately, this has worked everywhere but the dentist’s office, but the dentist office will communicate by email, at least.

  5. SO agree about making appointments. I hate talking on the phone, and committing to a time, and then as soon as it’s made I want to cancel it. I think it’s cool that your cervix is all mysterious and plays hard-to-get. Also, scanning my dreams, I’m not sure I’ve ever had one that ISN’T an anxiety dream.

  6. If you have 3 clear annual Paps in a row, and you’re in a relationship where you don’t need to worry about STDs, you only need a Pap once every 3 years. It was like angels in heaven sang to me when I heard that…

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