I had to go to the doctor. The LadyBits doctor. I don't want even to start on how tough it is to get an appointment to see the ladybits doctor. I have to say that I'm not overly keen on seeing physicians in the best of times, and really there are no best of times for seeing physicians. I tried to avoid this by seeing my Regular Doctor, who is a nice person, my age, and with whom I have An Understanding. She calls me Potnia and I call her Jane. She talks to me like an adult and gives me pubmed references for things that I question. She tells me when I'm being foolish but when I disagree with her, and when I'm not foolish, we talk about it. In my mind, this is how all the interactions should go.
But Jane told me that I needed to see the ladybits doctor. And she got me into see an unfortunately young (but fixable with time) ladybits doctor. I did not have to wait two months to see this person, but even in two months, she would not have been old enough to talk to me like I was a human being.
Ladybits doctor started talking to me in baby-words. First I responded using the real names for things. That had no impact. So next I said that I was a professor in a medical school and I really did know the anatomy, physiology and endocrinology behind what she was saying, and that we could use the grown-up words. This did not change how she spoke to me. Ladybits doctor then started giving me advice as if I was an 18 yo virgin who wanted to know if you could get pregnant from kissing. This was not going to solve my problem. I tried to explain that I knew about Stuff, including that you didn't get pregnant from kissing, especially when you are post-menopausal. But she interrupted me at least 3-4 times as I was trying to explain various somethings. I will admit that I am sensitive to this, as the department chair from hell felt that interruption was one of his most important management techniques for uppity women.
In my youth (and youth is almost always distant these days, it seems), I would have said something. I would have tried to be polite while saying something, and maybe succeeded. Older, a bit wiser, and mostly concerned with getting some help, I didn't. I didn't exactly get the help I need, but I have more information than when I started.
The thought that I left with made me very sad. I am tough and can outlast ladybit doctors to get what I need. I know enough of the system not to think that ladybit doctors sit at any hand or foot of any diety. But what about the women (and men) who don't know? People talk about the high cost of poverty, and being able to know enough to get the help you need is just one more, very depressing, part of that. I will do my part in teaching embryonic physicians. I just wish that this ladybits doctor, and all the others, could just see themselves for a minute. Just one minute.