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oh Doctor!

So I needed to get some pills to delay my erm, monthly womanly flow, because I was going to Batam with my best friend, and I didn't want the inconvenience. Yay the marvels of modern medicine, yay!

It started from a trip to the Polyclinic at 3 plus in the afternoon. I registered, and because it was my first time at this particular polyclinic because I moved from the really laidback West to the pretentious "no-this-is-laidback" East, I had to go through consultation and all. Apparently our polyclinics do not share information.

So after half an hour of waiting for my number to be called at my consultation room (and seeing every other room's patients change like pedestrians in Raffles Place at lunch time), I finally got to see the appointed doctor (who, I was sure, tired of executives coming in on a Friday after for a MC after giving a bad impersonation of a hacking cough or stomach ache) and surprised him with my request. See, I decided to ask for just birth control pills instead since they also do the same job.

The thing about doctors that really piss me off is that they apparently don't realise turning away from the patient to type in their records is not very polite. However, I do appreciate their hard work and understand that after 8 hours of depressing tongues of smelly mouths they do try to attend to everyone. So this doctor, a gentleman, typed and typed while I briefly said:

I want birth control pills.

You would think I was describing my family's history a la Vicky Pollard.

But I swear, those 5 words were what I said. He sat and typed. And typed. I swore he was going to do a Carol Beer.

But I digress. Anyway, so he replied me just one question, "Do you smoke?" First time my doctor has asked me that in relation to my er, reproductive organs, so I answered truthfully, yes.

We now interrupt this post for an important message:Now kids, never ever EVER lie to your doctor. It makes no sense for dignity with them if you're dead. All the cop and doctor shows on tv nowadays should convince you so, and if it's on tv, it must be true.

Now, back to regular programming!

Immediately he told me, ok, we may have an issue. So apparently all the popular pills on the market ain't suitable for smokers - we ain't allowed to use estrogen based pills due to a risk of blood clots. He was even defensive about it when I asked for more details since it's the first time I heard of it. He gestured to my iPad and said, "Google it! It's all there." He then sent me to the women's planning consultation room to discuss my options with the nurses there.

Once there, I met with the Senior Enrolling Nurse who really really really liked to repeat herself. So I sat down, and told her, "Doctor from Room 17 sent me over." "Ok, what for?" "I want birth control pills."

She started fumbling around. Brought out some pills. We talked about the smoking issue (rather I talked, and she made verbals words that meant nothing). Talked about the pills I used to take and then the different options (and cost) of birth control I used before, and those which were available at the clinic. Then I asked her about a pap smear since it's much cheaper at Polyclinics (I love public healthcare!). And she asked me the most astounding question:

You had sex before?

Erm ok. I was actually so stunned I paused to gather my thoughts before I answered. Long story short (yes, a bit too late) for the polyclinic, too bad for me because they only carry a single type of the Pill and it's not suitable for me. So off to my GP for other choices I went. But because after the whole process of going backwards and forwards and paying for consultation even though they couldn't offer anything, 2 out of 3 clinics were closed (they close at 4.30) by the time I reached them. Hopeful, I went to the 3rd one, which was also my favourite.

I waited another 30 minutes, and explained the issue to the doctor. He looked at my quizzically and said, "You shouldn't smoke anyway." Uh huh, doctor, but... how? "All my options are Estrogen based." "Crap!" "But you know, you can just take aspirin every morning. And make sure it's not on an empty stomach, you have a history of gastric problems." He then got up and started showing the exercises I should do in a crowded plane on a long haul flight to prevent blood clots.

The funny thing about this doctor is, somehow, our conversation veered towards cigars and we ended up talking for 5 minutes about it.

Oh Doctors. You guys make my life interesting.

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