Pap Smears While You Work…Anyone???

Yes, you read it right but first allow me a few sentences to set the stage for this post.  I will assume that my readers understand what a pap smear is and who gets them so I will bypass that portion and get to the other stage notes. 

 Two years ago I left my office job at a large manufacturing plant after nineteen years and moved on to a new thing.  Recently, I went back to visit the people I worked with for those many years.  Amid the hugs and the smiles, I learned that the company had implemented a new benefit since my leaving.  I learned that the company had hired an on-site nurse practitioner and ANY employee can go see said nurse practitioner ANYTIME and WITHOUT a co-pay.  Needless to say, I was wowed.  This is a huge benefit for their employees and one that caused me a temporary moment to question my decision to leave my post.  I mean think about it…if you could skip down the hall and get your yearly physical as opposed to driving to the next town wasting gas and time, waiting an hour past your appointment in a waiting room with people hackin’ and sneezin’ and wheezin’, wouldn’t you consider it a perk?  Yesiree, I thought so.

 As if I wasn’t impressed enough already by the mere fact of the on-site nurse, my toes tingled after hearing the list of things this nurse practitioner can do IN the on-site office, ANYTIME and WITHOUT a co-pay.  For example, the nurse can draw blood and get it checked for whatever they check it for.  The nurse can check your blood pressure to ensure your blood is moving at a normal rate.  Said nurse can conduct physical exams, perform EKGs, handle workplace accidents and emergencies, prescribe treatment plans, write prescriptions, AND do pap smears.  Yes!, pap smears…if you are so inclined. 

 My mouth flew open and my jaw hit the floor upon hearing this tid bit.  I doubled over in pain from the laughter that ensued and I could not stop the instant onslaught of visions rushing through my head.  And believe me, I wanted to stop the visions cause there aint nothing cute about gettin’ one of them tests especially in an office in the middle of a manufacturing plant.  I could almost hear the “beep-beep-beep” of the tow truck as it zoomed up and down the aisle near the paper thin door while my unclothed yonder regions were hiked up and strapped onto those leg and foot supports.  Furthermore, I imagined overhearing the muffled sounds of men and women’s voices on their two-way radios as they called out for someone to clean up the spill in the break room and other important tasks. 

 I broke free from my pap smear visions only to chuckle about it with my friends.  I absolutely wasn’t poking fun and making jokes at the expense of those who chose to partake in the service because on a very serious note, LADIES…THIS IS AN IMPORTANT TEST and one you should have every year or two.  I was simply laughing at the very thought of my own self exposed there on the pap test table.  I applaud the company for providing the services of a nurse practitioner for their employees and I could not be more pleased that they have done so but as for me and my pap tests, well, we will see the doctor, two towns away.   

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Puddles

I’ve spent a hair over a year rehabbing a compressed disc in my lower back through chiropractic and holistic healing methods.  I am moved to tears to report that I am nearly 100% healthy.  I am not 100% but NEAR 100% and through the ordeal I have learned to give myself a break.  Over the past year, my body was no longer capable of enduring the pain of a serious physical workout which led to weight gain and muscle loss and some depression.  My mind was still attached to the desire to be physically active and fit but my body said “no, not now” and I had no other choice but to listen and comply but I couldn’t sit idly by waiting for my healing to come.  One thing I knew was that I had to take an active role in my body healing itself and that meant that I had to stop interfering with its natural ability to heal itself and I had to change my activities.  Notice I didn’t say stop my activities.  I said I had to change my activities.  No matter how much pain and no matter how long it took me to roll out of bed each morning, I could NOT stop moving.  AND I didn’t. 

 On the other side of that frustrating year, I am now easing back into rigorous physical activities.  Yesterday, I did an hour and a half long cardio and strength training routine in which the end left me totally spent.  As I was cleaning up my living room (slash workout room), I noted that I left a puddle of sweat on the hardwoods where I had completed the cool down phase of the workout.  “Yuck!” I said out loud and then that quiet sweet inner voice immediately reprimanded me and I allowed her voice to settle in and enlighten me. 

 That voice showed me that the puddle of sweat lying on the floor was so very symbolic of many things that I should be proud of.  First, I had just labored through a tough exercise in which my body and my health applaud me for and there was the puddle to prove my efforts.  Second, exercise is mentally challenging and therapeutic.  I’ve learned to release my anxieties and worries during my workouts.  Lastly, I had accomplished an exhausting activity in which my back did not break; ache it did but it lasted and endured which was something totally impossible this time last year. 

After I sat a minute in sweet physical tiredness, I wiped up that puddle with a smile on my face and on my heart.  With each swipe of the rag, I mentally recalled the days of previous physical frustrations that I no longer dealt with.  I thought of the countless problems that life hands out and cause me concern and I wiped them up off the floor on the next swipe.  On the floor is exactly where I needed to leave all the toxicity that creeps into my life and on the floor is exactly where I left it.  I could hardly contain my enthusiasm at getting to today’s workout as I was contemplating all the things I was going to leave on the floor.

 Are there things you need to leave on the floor?  If you drop them there, you can purposefully dance over them, stomping a little harder and happier in certain places, while you are exercising to a better body and better mind but first you must make the choice to get on the floor.  Bring your heart, your mind, and a clean up rag.