'A tampon,' I answered. 'You know, Tampax?'
The nurse had no idea what I was talking about, so I told her what a tampon was. She still didn’t get it, so I pulled one out of my purse and opened it, thinking that if she saw it, she would understand.
'Ok, could you please call the doctor in?' I asked. Surely a licensed gyno would know what I’m talking about.
The nurse phoned the doctor and tried to explain my situation, but to no avail. She too had no idea what a tampon was. I tried explaining again, only to have her tell me there was nothing she could do for me. 'Ok nurse, what about the other doctor?'
'He’s home right now, but I’ll call him and have him come in.' She called him, we spoke, and I left. He too hadn’t a clue what a tampon was, and didn’t think it was worth coming in to find out.
The only thing French about that hospital was its history. I gave the same spiel to the resident gyno there and pulled the opened tampon out of my purse to demonstrate, only to be met by a confused look and an 'I’m sorry, I don’t know what that is so I can’t help you.'
'Yes,' he said.
'Are you sure? Shall I show you?'
'No need,' he assured med. 'What’s wrong?'
I told the doctor that I had my beeriood, that I think I accidentally shoved a tampon up my system, and would need to have it removed before it caused a potentially fatal bacterial infection.
The doctor laughed. 'Heeya diee masr.' This is Egypt. He then took my blood pressure and told me to sit tight until he finished with his screaming patient.
'Well, the last gynecologist who examined me seemed to think so. Does that count?'