So last night. After four hours curled in a fetal position, groaning, I finally gave in and asked to be taken to the ER. This was not gas, nor was it going away. J dropped me off at the door and I plopped myself into a wheelchair because the idea of walking across the lobby seemed like crossing the Sonoran Desert on rollerblades. But at that point, I still felt well enough to get irritated with a walk-in who entered at the same time as me, practically sprinted to the desk, and took a year to be processed.
The pain in my abdomen and side began to escalate while we waited…it felt like an army of mustachioed, middle-aged nerds was re-enacting the Battle of Antietam in my uterus.
Once in the exam room and my stylish hospital gown, a parade of nurses began to enter. My favorite was the one who gave me morphine. Because by then, I’d gone to the place where the pain is so intense that you are nearly hovering above yourself, having weird memories like the time you and your friend Wendy laughed so hard at Bo’s leather jacket on Days of our Lives (you used to watch this in college) because every time he moved, it creaked loud enough to drown out his conversation with Hope. Or maybe this was the morphine talking?
But yes! Ah, the pain. It also made me do exciting things like vomit into a plastic bucket as I was still being processed.
“Jessica, when is your birthday?”
This was the third time a nurse asked me. Hey, maybe they were planning a surprise party for me!
“Could you spell your last name for me?”
“R – I – (gag) L-E-Y.”
Punctuated by another hurl into the bucket. Yay, me!
A young, cute doctor came in, examined the fun, and surmised that I could have a kidney stone.
Wouldn’t that be something? Despite my writhing and groaning, J and I began to plan who we would give it to, after I had it set in a ring first. My friend Fee immediately came to mind. It would go well with the set of wisdom teeth earrings her sister had given to her for Christmas one year.
So we launched into a battery of tests: a CT scan, bloodwork, and urine sample came first. No kidney stone…and they couldn’t even FIND my appendix. So on to an unanticipated pelvic exam (of course I hadn’t showered and was wearing my most disgusting underwear) and an ultrasound for the hooha.
You don’t even want to KNOW what that test entailed. Let’s just say I didn’t ask for any souvenir photos.
Back in the private little curtained room, I began to worry. We’d only recently started talking seriously about having children, and it was quite clear during my pelvic exam that the pain was radiating from my uterus.
A nurse came in and gave me another dose of morphine, because despite feeling 'Lisa Simpson “I am the lizard queen!”' out of it, the pain was still marching across my gut. I asked J to tune our television set to The Golden Girls, which is for me, the equivalent of TV comfort food. Soothed by the rerun where Dorothy might discover that Sophia isn’t really her mother, J crawled onto the gurney next to me and began to snore.
Floating on the edge of sleep, I wondered: we were finally in a place to talk about trying for children...what if we’d waited too long? A commercial came on featuring an adorable baby and I felt like I’d stepped into a dark, empty room. Had we meant it when we said we’d be okay if we couldn’t have children possessing our genetic material? Had I meant it when I said I would be fine if I couldn’t get pregnant someday? Maybe it was the morphine, but I didn’t panic at the prospect. I would accept whatever the answer was. Still…no high chair, no crib, no tiny shoes, no tiny snowpants, no tiny jars of pureed plums, no baby giggles…pangs of regret began to squeeze my heart.
And then my overactive imagination REALLY kicked in. If it’s cancer, that’s the least of your troubles. I used to think now and then on really good days that if I died the next day, I would die happily. Even though I’d never gone to Nepal or Africa. And then I thought, what am I, f*cking NUTS??!!!!!!!
Around two in the morning, the doctor came back. He told us that I have a LARGE cyst on one of my ovaries, and it burst or started leaking or had engaged in some kind of funny business that made me vomit and hallucinate about old soap operas. I also had a UTI. And they were still worried that my appendix was wonky. Basically, I was … AM… a mess down there. Today, we fill my new prescriptions and I make an appointment with my doctor to follow-up. Funny, even though I was groggy with exhaustion and morphine, one of my first questions to the doctor was, “Can I still get pregnant?”
And he said, “Uh, that’s not really my department. Most women come to me when they DON’T want to get pregnant.”
A Bob Dylan lyric suddenly streamed through my mind. “Nah babe, that ain’t me, babe.” So ... there you have it.
(Wow, I can hardly wait to see what kinds of posts I’ll be writing when my new Vicodin prescription is filled!)
ETA, Friday: Not out of the woods yet. The only position that isn't making me cry in pain is the child's yoga pose. Appendix, is this YOUR doing?? Will be returning to the doctor...