labor nurse has been reborn and shares her experiences as a new nurse-midwife, woman, and blogger

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Trap

Ya know, having my experience on the obstetrical side of the vagina, I've had some catching up to do (and still do!) on its gynecological end. Midwives may focus on the childbearing years of a woman's life, but she is also required to have a solid base of knowledge in gynecological care.

I've come to learn that there can be many items stuck in a vagina at any given time. You name it, it's been in there. My naivete shows here, because I had no idea. I've heard of the occasional tampon string getting lost and therefore making its removal difficult, and of course who can forget about the urban legend concerning a hot dog.

One of my more recent clinical encounters involved a girl who had something stuck in her vagina. It had been there for several days. It was now emitting a fetid odor. Before heading into the exam room, I discussed what I was supposed to do. I asked if I just put in a speculum and use ring forceps or a tenaculum to grab the item and pull it out.

To my surprise, I was told just stick my hand up there and grab it.

Ok....

So I do. I'm fishing around in there, and then my fingers come across what I think is the culprit. I say that I think I found it, and my preceptor tells me to put two fingers around it and pull. I do. It's slipping out of my fingers. I just can't get a grip on it. After several minutes of this, she says she'll give it a whirl.

As her hand is moving around in there, I can see her furrow her brow. Was I wrong? After another minute, she says, "I don't feel anything."

Well. The girl says she knows there is something in there. Just smell it! she exclaims. But because I thought I felt it, my preceptor asks for a speculum. She carefully looks around with the help of the speculum, and sure enough. Nada.

Afterwards, I felt terrible. What the hell was I grabbing and pulling on?

10 comments:

LeosMama said...

The cervix?

Maybe she had sex with a boy with poor hygiene and she herself isn't too knowledgeable in the rinse in warm water routine?

AtYourCervix said...

Could you have been grabbing part of her cervix? Or a vaginal wall rugae?

Jack and Lexi's Mom said...

Several of my favorite "stuck" items: a garbage bag (no lie! white, drawstring, kitchen sized! I felt like a clown pulling an endless scarf from someone else's pocket.), a diaphram tester ("Oh, yes, they fitted me for it last year but I went with the pill."), a round hairbrush, and two condoms (why not dig the first one out before proceding? Why shove another one up there?!?)
I love being a midwife.

I am a Monkey's Momma said...

That's just wrong to leave us hanging like that! I can only imagine what was in there...and what was the girl doing through all of this??

kristina said...

I once heard a story of a woman going to a party at another woman's house, who just happened to be married to an OB/GYN. She proceeded to tell the room full of women about her stuck tampon, and said that she couldn't wait till the woman's husband came home so he could do an exam and remove it. At his HOUSE. Ew. Needless to say, the woman throwing the party called her husband and told him to come home late that night.

mommymichael said...

oh man. i've had a diaphragm TRY to get stuck in me once. not to give TMI here, and sorry. But needless to say I think they fitted me with a size too small, so it suctioned to my cervix a little TOO well and hurt so badly when I finally got it out. My husband wondered what took me so long after my bathroom break. haha

Amy said...

I'm totally freaked that you were tugging on something and then it disappeared.

Labor Nurse said...

I was totally baffled myself...after thinking about it further I may have been tugging at a large vaginal rugae. It didn't feel smooth like a cervix, but who knows.

tofu lou said...

hehehe. not a laugh at your expense, a laugh WITH you ;) yeah, what WAS that you were pulling on? ;) poor girls. my madre recently had a little... "incident" in which she swore she had put a tampon in at some point during the night and, in the morning, couldn'd "find" it. i was able to get her into a gyney and... nada. sometimes you do, sometimes you don't ;)

french panic said...

I used to work at a university that kept archival records from various teaching hospitals, and one day I was randomly flipping through a huge register that recorded the problem the patient came in with. One of them, from the 1910s-ish read: Safety pin in vagina.

Abortion attempt? Masochistic masturbation adventure gone wrong? I'll never know....

(Oh my - the word verification code reads: ssexgpx)!