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[an Experiencer memoir]

I was recently reminded of the first time I came into contact with a true UFO believer (and maybe an ET).  It happened during my student days at a large, southwestern U.S. university.  I had an appointment at the Student Health Center for my annual poke-and-prod (known to all women as the GYN checkup).  Men will never understand the intensely unpleasant experience that most women in the western world subject themselves to every year in the name of reproductive health.  And yes, guys, we get proctological exams too, so don’t whine to me about those.  Of course, I’m aware of the many women whose lives are saved every year by early diagnosis of various diseases found in annual poke-and-prods.  I’m not saying they’re useless, just that they are one of the most unpleasant gifts western civilization has ever bestowed on the female members of the species.  (I’ll reserve the subject of mammograms for my blog post on torture devices of the Spanish Inquisition.)

But back to my remembrance.  Upon arriving at Student Health, I was ushered into a private office to wait for the gynecologist de jour.  While waiting, I couldn’t help but notice a plastic model of a flying saucer on the desk and a large poster of another on the wall.  Not typical décor for a doctor’s office, but cool.  The doctor eventually appeared - young, capable and apparently human.  After a short chat, I was shown into the examination room and told to disrobe and get on the table – the usual routine.  A few minutes later, the doctor returned and proceeded through the preliminary part of the examination – the part that didn’t require my doing a head-stand sans underwear.  Open wide and say Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.  Take a deep breath and exhale.  Raise your arm.  Does it hurt when I do that?  Yada, yada, yada.  Then the uncomfortable part – lie back, put your feet in the stirrups, scoot down to the end of the table, open your knees and relax.  Yeah, right.  Any woman who can relax at this point is doing some serious drugs or just came from a three-Appletini lunch. The only way to make it through this routine is to breathe deeply, pretend that you're studying the water circles on the ceiling and try to forget that you are lying, spread-eagle on a cold paper-covered table with a complete stranger eyeball-to-eyeball with your nether regions.

Usually, this moment is accompanied by awkward silence, so imagine my surprise when I heard the doctor’s voice rise up from the stool between my knees - “Can I ask you a question?”  I thought, okay here it comes, she’s gonna give me a hard time about that piercing I got last year. "Sure," I said.  In the most matter-of-fact, professional voice you've ever heard, she asked “What would you do if you got up one morning and looked out your front door and the whole sky was dark with flying saucers?”  Her exact words.  Pregnant pause.  Moment out of time.  I felt the universe squeeze in around me and all I could think was “huh?”  My mouth answered, “Well, I guess I’d be a little scared.”  Apparently not the correct answer.  “Why would you be afraid?  They’re not here to hurt us.”  “As a matter of fact, there is a giant mother ship in orbit around the Earth right now,” from the stool.   Okay, now I know I’ve entered the Twilight Zone.

As a Sci-Fi fanatic practically from birth, this idea wasn’t completely foreign or even frightening to me.  As a matter of fact, I considered it a fascinating possibility.  It’s just not something I expected to hear from a medical professional busily scraping my insides with a sterile spatula.  It was one of those slipping-into-unreality experiences that either make you laugh hysterically or sends you screaming for campus security.  I laughed.  Time stood still and I don’t know what happened next except that I managed to get dressed and flee.

The good news is that I got a clean bill of health – not pregnant, no cancer, VD (or alien implants).  Just a crazy experience to write about in a future blog.  My health insurance even covered it.  Many years later, when I consciously became involved in the UFO phenomenon, I wondered who – or what – this doctor really was.  Even though I had visited Student Health a few more times after that, I never saw her again.  Maybe this was my first nudge in the direction of who I would later learn I actually am and what I would be doing.  At any rate, it was good for a laugh, and I haven’t had such an interesting poke-and-prod since. 

If the Truth is really out there, it’s probably lurking in the places we least expect it - doctors' offices, department store fitting rooms, coffee shops.  If I had the chance to go through that examination again, would I?  You bet.  Only this time I would have a lot of questions for the doctor.  And then a three-Appletini lunch.

Three Appletini
Three Appletini

Gwen Farrell, CHt, RT