|Ah, the joys of middle age!
||[Nov. 27th, 2013|10:45 am]
Okay, I've been hanging onto this one as I figured I'd better get the results (negative) back before I put it up, since I couldn't bear the thought of sympathy or others worrying about me....and I suppose you can enjoy the funny with a clear conscience then.
Not the entry to read if you're shy about ladybits...although it's the kind of talking about ladybits that's entirely clinical and should leave you still able to look me in the eye at a cocktail party without flinching. Assuming you can do that now.
So, after finally after a year of hot flashes and other pre-menopausal symptoms, it was official. I was done. Ovaries done, uterus done, now I only kept feminine hygiene products on hand as a courtesy for female guests in need. Another milestone of womanhood officially passed: I now qualified as Crone!
But you know, it's ME. So, as soon as I got feeling all copacetic and used to it...apparently my ovaries were rummaging around the attic one day and said "Oh, hey, look at this! A whole 'nother box of eggs. Let's fire these puppies off, shall we?"
Although, of course, there are other reasons why someone in menopause may suddenly start revisiting her days of Carrie-at-the-Prom, and none of them are particularly good. And although I was really just over the finish line on menopause, apparently I was also just on the wrong side of "if you're this age, we don't really worry about the bad things, because you're right, just extra eggs, or failure of ovarian attention span.
(For the record, failure of ovarian attention span is not an actual medical diagnosis. Although my doctor laughed so hard when I suggested it, that it may well make its way into lexicon.)
So, it was time to trot myself around to other offices to have the ladybits examined with all the technology we could throw at them. First stop, a transvaginal sonogram. You've all seen the lovely "when the parents first see their child" shots, with the roller ball going gently over the woman's belly. Yeah. This is more like a Harry Potter porn flick. Think magic wand shoved up there, shining the light of truth into your netherparts.
Now, here's the sad thing. I fell asleep. That's right. A fat medical probe up my whoo-ha, with a technician waving it around and I wake myself up with a snortsnore. Hey, it was dark, I was laying down, and for fifteen minutes my job was to not do anything. OF COURSE I fell asleep. The technician said "oh, my goodness, did you just fall asleep?" "Um, yes" I said. "Oh, I've been doing this for years and that's never happened before." "Worse sex, ever." I said and she almost fell off of her stool. Note to self: don't make the technician laugh when she's waving a magic wand up your whoo-ha. That is not a good feeling.
But inconclusive...as pretty much damn near every medical test I ever take is. Seriously, one day it's going to be one shrugged shoulders, one "well, it's probably nothing/there's really nothing we can do/I really don't know/let's just wait and see" too many and I'm going to jail.
But then my doctor sleeps on it for a while. And calls back and says "I'm just not happy with some of the findings, so I want you to make an appointment for a biopsy so we can rule out uterine cancer. I'm sure it's nothing, but let's be sure." I was still pretty committed to the extra box of eggs or ovarian attention span diagnosis, so I didn't worry.
Until I tried to make an appointment, and apparently there's only one time slot available on the one day in the next month on which this can happen. And that's a time when I have to be at a major client making a major presentation to their team, a day that took six months to schedule and get everyone present. So, that's not going to work. So the receptionist says "Okay, so the next date available is.." and she mentions a date that is EIGHT WEEKS OUT. "Don't you have anything sooner, I ask?" No, she says. "Okay, then, please transfer me back to the doctor so I can ask her how I'm supposed to spend the next expletive two MONTHS worrying whether I have uterine cancer or not. Because either I do, in which case, I've lost two months in possibly fighting it. Or I don't, in which case, you people have made me stress out for eight weeks over nothing. In neither case am I a particularly happy camper. Yesterday I was happy thinking I was fine. Today, I am not and this is her fault, so I'm thinking that maybe one day she could stay late or have lunch delivered so that she can fit me in." So, I get put on hold for a minute, and gee, whiz, another appointment opens up, much sooner.
Now, I actually adore my gynecologist. So, when I go in for the biopsy and get all up in the stirrups, and she says "okay, this is going to hurt a little, like really icky cramps, but it's only for 15 seconds." And I'm thinking well, okay, the medicine I had to take last night (sticking two horse pills up the chute) you said was going to cause cramping really didn't, so I'll be fine. And while originally, I was a bit squicked about them taking a core sample of my uterus, I thought, oh, just brushing out some cells, pah. So she goes a hunting (basically inserting a very thin tool that will then "brush" around the uterus, collecting sample cells) but in order to get where she's going, she's got to get past my cervix, which apparently is derived from the word Cerebus, because it's taking its role as gatekeeper of the uterus very, very seriously.
"Wow, you're really clamped tight there, I think I'm going to need to use tools." Honestly, I couldn't decide whether to be proud, or humiliated. But I countered with "Well, I AM a WASP."
Although then when she started jabbing around, I thought "let go, you expletive cervix for crying out loud, LET GO, let her in, mother of god, this needs to stop." Although I managed to translate that into a vocal "whoa, that's a little pinchy." And then apparently she got down to business and found the right place "There we go, I'm in!" And I, slow to learn, said "Ow, my EYE!" Which made her and the assistant laugh, which made me laugh, which I thought would be a good distraction from how breathtakingly painful this was. However, laughing when you have a teeny tiny chimney sweep brush up into your uterus? I can't recommend it. Not a good feeling. Teeny tiny chimney sweep brush on fire. Tar. Napalm. Something awful, that cooks rather than just burns.
Anyway, you reach a certain level of hurt and you think okay, I can manage this. And then she says "okay, now I'm going to get started. Now you're going to feel those icky cramps, but it's only for 15 seconds." And tiny part of your brain is thinking, it's so cute the way she crinkles up her nose when she says "icky cramps". And the rest of your brain says "Snap her damn neck with your thighs and get us the expletive out of here because I don't have room to deal with anything on top of this napalm chimney sweep."
But even that part shuts up as a freight train of pain comes roaring up your guts, and punches you in the bottom of your jaw and your flight instinct kicks in and you arch off of that table, only hanging on by your fingernails and that remnant of lizard brain that thinks leaping off the table with a napalm soaked chimney brush still inside of you might actually make this worse, even though every primate derived cell is filled only with running away, and your few homo sapiens neurons are just firing every expletive known to upright, opposable thumbed beings.
But she reaches 15 and it actually starts to subside and now you can concentrate on not throwing up. Which is my crazily maladaptive response to great pain. Although I suppose if someone is causing you pain and you puke on them, you might manage to repulse them and the pain would stop. Probably worked in the Past Times. Not so effective now, when the person causing you pain really needs to finish sewing up your finger, or removing the napalm brush from your vagina.
"There, at least that's over." she says and I'm grateful that she didn't say "that wasn't so bad, was it?" Because then I'd be in jail and probably couldn't relate this story. I did tell her that "icky cramps" was a little misleading and maybe "hurt like a motherexpletive" would be better description.