By the time you've had a baby (or two), you've encountered enough bodily probing to last a life time. Especially during those last few weeks of pregnancy, when the doctors begin checking your cervix for dilation every few days, seeing whether the baby has "dropped" yet, feeling for its head, and generally poking around way too much.
The worst amount of prodding and poking occurs during labour and afterward. After you get over the initial outrage, you come around to the idea that basically you're a human lab rat and you're going to have to let the medical folks do what they need to do.
In my case this wasn't necessarily a bad thing - thanks to the poking and prodding from the medical folks, one doctor was able to unhook the umbilical cord from around my son's neck while I was in labour. While he was still in the womb. Ouch. But, thank goodness she did.
Then, as you enter motherhood, you realize that your old protests that never ever in a million years will you clear up anyone else's vomit or other bodily substance because that is just GROSS dude, is no longer valid because now it's simply part of your life.
And suddenly nothing bothers you any more.
A wounded soldier could turn up on your doorstep and ask you to clean up his open wound and sew him up and you'd fetch your sewing tools and do it without batting an eyelid.
I used to be squeamish. I loathed blood tests, injections, and any kind of medical exam. The pale green interior of a hospital and the chemical smell of it would make me want to sprint in any other direction. If I accidentally cut my finger, the sight of blood made me faint. Watching a medical drama with a surgeon cutting into someone on the operating table would have me hiding behind a cushion or switching channels.
Now? Nothing. Nada. Not even a little flinch of horror.
A year ago I went to my doctor to have a mole removed from my neck. I lay on the table and watched as she hovered above me and began carving into the skin around the mole, dabbing at the blood with cotton wool as it escaped. Five years ago I might have actually passed out or thrown up at the sight of the blood and the thought of what was going on. Instead I lay still, chatting casually about something irrelevant, fascinated in what she was doing.
And after a week spent playing nurse to a house of stomach flu victims (myself included), I've come to the conclusion that I have a stomach of steel. I simply must have. Because very few things body- or medical-related phase me any more.
Funny how things change.