Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Round 2

The announcer screams into the microphone, "In this corner, wearing the white lab coat and completely unnecessary stethoscope, we have Doctor Gyno! He's spent the last 15 years staring down the gaping holes of women all over the city in preparation for this very moment. In the opposing corner, wearing the exceptionally revealing paper gown and complimentary threadbare lap sheet, we have the increasingly suspicious Mouth! She's spent the last month worrying about the turnout of tonight's fight. Let's get ready to rumble!!"

And the crowd goes wild....


"Mouth?" The nurse standing in the door way looked expectantly over the crowded waiting room. I'm not sure why I feel this way, but a crowded waiting room at a gynecology office is usually a good sign. "Mouth?"

The nurse is smiling, revealing braces with multi-colored bands. She's not much older than I am. It takes guts to sport a hunk of metal in your mouth at that age. She's got a no-fuss ponytail and generic, single-colored turquoise scrubs on, with bright pink tennis shoes. She's carrying a laptop, which probably has write-ups of every patient in the place and then some. I like her instantly.

She extends her hand to me, balancing her computer on her hip. "Heya Mouth. I'm Doc Gyno's nurse, Sporty. Nice to meet you." I smile and accept the handshake. "Wanna follow me?" I look at the wall clock before we disappear down the hall. Ten minutes before my appointment was supposed to start. That means they're running on time, which means that the waiting room isn't crowded because the office is late. They're just that busy. It's a good sign.

She shows me to a room painted in a subdued blue and plops her laptop down on the countertop. We chit-chat about weather, what I do for work, if I'm dating, her fiance, and somewhere in there, she manages to squeeze my medical history out of me. Just about the time Nurse Sporty breaks into overwhelming laughter from my dry sense of humor, there's a knock at the door.

A man with spikey hair and glasses perched on the end of his nose peeks his head in. "You ladies mind if I interrupt?"

"Of course not!" chirps the nurse. "Mouth, this is Doctor Gyno." The doctor shakes my hand and smiles at me.

"So, what's up? I hear you're having some problems."

I hand him the copy of the medical record I carried from Dr. Lee's office. I tell him that I only vaguely know what's going on, but that they want to do surgery next month. He flips through the chart, taking note of the diagrams and lab results from the past few months. We chat briefly about my sexual history. He gets out a marker and starts drawing all over the examination table paper. "This is your cervix. These are your problem areas. All this needs to be removed." He draws a circle around the bottom third of the illustration. "If you were in your forties and I knew you weren't planning on having any children, we'd take all of it - cervix, uterus, the works. Because you're so young, and there's still a possibility you might be able to carry a child, I'd like to take a more conservative approach. I still think you're borderline pre-cancerous, rather than cancerous. I don't think at this stage that you're spreading, but I don't want to mess around with this thing. We need to get this taken care of as soon as possible, so no flying off to Europe for the winter until we're done, okay?" I laugh. He's a good doctor.

We talk about pregnancy, and my previous miscarriages. He mentions nine months of bedrest and a few stitches in my cervix. I ask him if he thinks it's possible. "Possible," he says, "yes. But not likely. We'll see how the surgery goes, okay?" I nod. I had already braced myself for that.

I mentioned that I'm in pain, that it flashes off and on throughout the day and night. "Well, then, that's something different altogether, isn't it? We'll want to take a look at that before I get you under anesthesia. Can you schedule an appointment for an ultrasound first, then we'll do the surgery to take care of the other, okay?"

When I leave his office, I'm all smiles. I feel like the Governor just called in a reprieve. The ultrasound is scheduled for the 22nd, with the surgery to follow shortly behind that. I'm nervous, but at least now I have a firmer grasp of what's going on. I hear the remake Cake did of "I Will Survive" playing in my head. Guitars whine as the singer breathes over the mic, "I will survive. I will survive! Hey, hey!"

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