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I have a secret to share....


I am about to share with you a story that I have kept to myself for several years.

The year was 2010.

I had just had surgery on my left foot, following an adventure that went a little haywire.

The stitches were out. I was almost walking in a convincing way.

Every morning, I would change the tape that was holding the dressing pad over the wound. I tend to live life rather enthusiastically, you see, so the tape would be full of grot by the end of each day.

This is an important piece of information to keep in mind as you read this blog.

Because I did not keep it in mind.

I had an appointment at the GP, for something completely unrelated. Ladyland stuff.

Now. When you have an appointment at the dentist, the preparation is pretty damn obvious: brush, floss, gargle – anything that will fool the dentist into believing that you do not need any dental work done.

I’m adventurous but I won’t ever floss my ladybits. Minty tingles just aren’t my thing. And there is no list! No one decisively tells you to leave your socks on or take them off. Because if they come off, then you have to pay attention to your heels, don’t you. Make sure your toenails aren’t too long. Your feet end up so close to your fanny in these situations and you know the doctor is going to notice.

Then the hair! Do you shave your legs, even if it is the middle of winter? Pretend you are always totally glamourous? The lady garden? Bald? Trimmed? Wild and wooly?

It is stressful – and this is before the speculum joins the party.

What do you do about the chances of wind? Because – and this is a separate story – I had to have a proceedure for my ovaries a few years ago. All I know is that when I was lying there waiting to be taken in, I was holding onto some wind that threatened to force the hospital into emergency evacuation mode. So I tended to my evacuation needs by holding them in. Clenching. Feeling the whale moans in my belly as the wind tried to spout.

When I came out of surgery, I no longer needed to fart.

My conclusion? The surgeon got me into the stirrups and I blasted her with a gas that must have seemed specially prepared as a deterrant.

But that is not the story.

So, groomed, toileted, showered, and teeth flossed I arrived at the doctor. I had only just started seeing this GP and she wasn’t aware of my ridiculousness yet.

We make the totally natural small talk that occurs when someone is looking at your cervix.

I saw surprise on her face.

Then shock.

Then wondering.

Then amazement.

“Um… you’ve got something… It’s on your… um…”

Cue: panic. Cancer? Tumour? Undeveloped conjoined twin?

With a rip and a tug, the doctor waxed one side of my vag.


She held up what was stuck.

A strip of medical tape.

With hair on it.

And little bits of dirt.

In changing my foot tape that morning, I had inadvertantly managed to affix the old tape to my fanny.

The tape from the day before had melded with my most un-footlike parts.

As I said.

You know to floss for the dentist.

No one tells you to check for medical tape.


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