Friday, March 23, 2007

Have a nice day (part two)~

I left the doctor's office, with an appointment for, among other things, a pelvic scan. From the description, I gathered the procedure would be just like the ultrasound I'd had when pregnant with David: drink 32 ounces of water to fill my bladder and provide a clear window through which to visualize the uterus; lay on the exam table while a cold gelled probe is run across my belly, directing rays of some sort into my internal parts.

At first it was exactly like that. Quick and familiar, done fully dressed, with my jeans unzipped. If I craned my neck, I could see my uterus on TV, not as icky as the show I watched when my routine age-fifty colonoscopy was done. The technician finished and told me to empty my bladder. Medical people never say, "Go pee."

I thought I was done, but there was part two. She told me to undress from the waist down-- they never say, "Take your pants off," either-- and lie back down on the table. There was an internal scan she needed to do.

"Now," she said, "before I show you the probe, I want to tell you that much of it is the handle."

"Okay," I said. Wild thoughts flitted through my mind, along with jokes I felt would be considered inappropriate, and might give her the wrong impression about me.

She turned, and held a white phallic-shaped probe that would be the envy of many a man, had it been flesh and blood. I relaxed. I could handle that, I knew. My first birth was completed with the aid of forceps, a salad-tong like instrument with the length and breadth of an eagle's wingspan, that is inserted in the vagina to pull the reluctant newborn down the birth canal. My third baby was nine pounds, four ounces. The probe looked harmless.

I lay under a sheet, on my back, in a position quite familiar to women. At her request I inserted the probe, then she took over at the controls.

I felt like a video game. The object was to find the fibroids and other internal creatures before they caused problems. The technician held the joystick, and played with an intensity I've seen in video game addicts. I refrained from mentioning the joystick image, afraid that she'd think I found some pleasure in the procedure. I didn't.

When it was over, I said, "I'll bet you never said, "When I grow up, I want to . . .'" I stopped, not knowing how to say what I was thinking.

She laughed. "I'm lucky," she said. "I got to do what I always wanted, to be a hairdresser. Then I changed careers, and I absolutely love this job."

Holding a finger to her lips, she hinted that things looked good-- internally. We chatted a while, found some mutual connections, there are always connections of some sort. Like me, her parents were teachers.

"Have a nice day," she said, leaving me in the dimly lit room to put my jeans back on.

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Click below for more "nice days."

Have a nice day (part 1)

Have a Nice Day (part 3)

1 comment:

Frances Mackay said...

This is a bit close to home Ruth. But a good piece of writing. I've just been to the Surgeon for my yearly review. Hope everything comes back clear for you... It is amazing what common ground you find with others, even in situations like this. I left a comment on your Muse piece. Loved that. Frances.