I finally went to the gynecologist today. It had been a long time. She scolded me, of course, and I promised to be good and go again next year. I explained that my previous doc was kind of scary so I stopped going. When I went to her clinic, she would bark at me in English: “Why are you here? Why did you come to my clinic today?”
“Um…pap test…please? If it’s not too much trouble?” Scary.
But every two years, the ward sends me tickets for an almost free pap test and mammogram and they expire at the end of this month. The new doc doesn’t seem to speak English, but she knows the terminology. My Japanese is pretty fluent, but there are gaps in my vocabulary. Between what she knows and what I know, the visit went very well.
Here’s something interesting. The doc told me that since medical care is so expensive in the States, about 90% of American women get their annual check-ups as preventative care. But since Japan’s medical system is semi-socialized, only about 30% of Japanese women do. She said breast and cervical cancers are the number one killers of women. I didn’t know that. So I will make my annual pilgrimages and maybe even try to learn some new words. Boob test is scheduled for next week.