Saturday, October 14, 2006

Forecast: Clear Skies, 2% Chance of Cancer

Since I know the status of my uterus has been keeping you all up at night, I'll give you the down-low on my trip to the doctor. I was feeling great when I got to Dr. Turner's because I hadn't had a period in 13 days so I thought that the problem might be taking care of itself. Insetad, after being weighed and blood-pressured, I dismissed myself to the restroom only to find that ugly Aunt Flo had dared to show herself again. Lovely. At least that gets me out of an exam, I thought to myself.

As I situated myself in the exam room, my favorite nurse Rosie started firing away with questions, fun things to answer like am I currently having an active sex life, is there any pain involved in intercourse, etc. Such fun I thought as I answered Rosie and watched her type away into my chart. When she finished with her questions, she got out the stuff for an exam (and by that I mean the gallon sized jug of AstroGlide they keep on hand for such things) and told me that he would probably still want to exam me to see what was going on. I reiterated again that I had just started my period and she said she understood that while it would be uncomfortable for me, it would be the only way for him to assess what was actually happening. Super lovely.

A few minutes later, Dr. Turner appears and is all smiles and hugs and I remember instantly why I love him. He makes me feel incredibly comfortable which is a great quality in someone who constantly peers into your nether regions and I enjoy the rapport that we have. After a few minutes to catch up, he dives right in. Well, kind of.

He starts by asking me if I've had an increase in stress in my life and if Brad and I are doing okay. Surprised by his questions, I assure him that all is well except for the constant trips to Costco to buy the economy box of Tampons. We talk about a few things that may be causing this (hormoal imbalance, thyroid disorder, etc) and then he tells me that he does need to do an exam.

"But I'll bleed all over you and that's gross" I protest.

"You've gotten a lot worse stuff all over me in the past" he points out.

True that.

He steps out to change and I strip down below the waist, horrified by my rotten luck.

Rosie, ever so thoughtful, had put out a huge flat diaper for me to sit on and I climb on top wishing that I could be doing just about anything else in the world.

Dr. Turner and Rosie come back in and examine me. That's all I have to say about that.

When he finishes, and after making several strange noises during the exam, Dr. Turner looks me square in the eye and says "the good news, Karen, is that since you're only 27, the chance of it being cancer is very low."

Thinking that the good news is that he thinks I'm only 27, his statement takes a moment to register.

"I feel so relieved" I say flatly.

I tell him that I'm actually 31 (he swears I don't look it) and that cancer was the furthest thing from my mind.

He clarifies: "I'm not saying you have cancer, Karen, I'm saying that you do have something unusual going on and that we need to do more testing. That's all. You're uterus is enlarged to that of an 8-10 week gestational uterus, which could be explained by your three past pregnanices and that your stomach took on GARGANTUAN PROPORTIONS while pregnant (he didn't really say that) but we need to be sure."

He turns back to the computer and starts typing up all the lab orders he wants me to have done and tells me that he is scheduling a vaginal ultrasound.

"That sounds like fun" I say.

"It's really not that bad" he tells me.

"Really, how many have you had?" I ask.

He looks at me at smiles. "Right, Karen, you're right, but from what I hear, it's not that bad."

As he finishes everything up, he turns around and says "maybe you're pregnant!"

"What, why, I mean, why would you say that. I'm not pregnant, I have a period every two weeks, that's why I'm here, I can't be pregnant, I mean, I'm not pregnant, there's no way, I can't, I mean, no, no, no, not pregnant, right?" Serious panic and anxiety flood me.

"Of course you could be pregnant! That would explain several things here."

So not what I wanted to hear.

He adds a pregnancy test to my blood work and I head downstairs to the lab where they draw NINE vials of blood and test me for everything under the sun.

As I drive home, horrified at the thought of pregnancy, I stop at Wal-Mart and pick up a test. When I bring the bags into the kitchen Brad's reaction to seeing the test is almost identical to mine.

It turns out I'm not pregnant. PHEW. But I am still bleeding like a stuffed pig and staring down the barrel of a vaginal ultrasound. At least there's a low chance it's cancer. I'll keep you posted.


Tharker said...

Have a great time with that! At least baby #4 isn't on it's way yet!

Lindsay said...

Wow! That would have been the craziest thing if you were pregnant. A vaginal ultrasound does not sound like fun either. Definitely keep us posted though. I know I am a big worry wart, but I'm still worried about you, Karen.

Puerto Rican Princess said...

Yet, Tharker? Are you serious? There is no yet...

Thanks for the concern Linds. I'm sure I'm A-ok.

Kel said...

Being a girl sucks. Glad to hear you are relieved about the negative pregnancy test results, and hope this problem gets resolved quick and painlessly. I'll feel a whole lot better when they know exactly what's wrong with your plumbing...I too, am a worry wart.

Heather said...

From experience the v-ultrasound really isn't that bad, and DON'T you just love that Rosie???

GS said...

I think you write brilliantly. This is well written and very funny ........ but you are scaring the crap out of me!

Kim said...

Ditto on the vaginal ultrasound. It's not that bad. I had half a dozen of those during Ally's pregnancy. (Vesa previa) They get WAY better pictures since it's RIGHT THERE! Hope you get an explanation soon and it's all good news. I'm relieved you're not pregnant, too. Eight kids during a swap? J/K. We can handle it, right? Definitely keep us posted. We'll all get through this together!

Nicole said...

Yikes Karen. Hang in there with all of this unknown. I really hope there is some reasonable explanation. I have had that ultrasound a few times, and really, it isn't THAT bad. I was all worked up, and you get in there and the techs act like it is the most normal thing to be doing. At least they let you keep a little of your dignity. Good luck! Keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

I thought the jelly felt kinda good.....If a pig is stuffed, does it have any insides to bleed out?