i only wear white when it rains

because blogging is cheaper than therapy

a heart-shaped uterus: just in time for valentine’s day

with 4 comments

For those male readers who didn’t realize “uterus” was your indication not to read any further, this is your final warning.

Cobwebs as you head into the torture chamber

Growing up near a Superfund toxic waste dumping ground disguised as a NJ State Park has always had me dreading the inevitable discovery that my internal organs are completely radioactive.

So it was with full hypochondriacal dismay that I began noticing my recent abdominal bloating. A sane person might have recognized a weight gain due to enjoying more than a country’s share of S’mores on vacation last month. But having earned the nickname “hyperbolsen,” I was envisioning each ovary exploding through my belly in a fury of carcinogenic rage, Sigourney-Weaver style.

Luckily for me, I have a friend who is not only a well-respected Ob-Gyn, but also someone who is not the least bit offended when I start saying things like, “holymotherofafuckingredheadedwhore” while she’s cranking open my Netherlands with a telephone pole that doubles as a speculum.

So after a $500 deductible and more than one reminder to “relax my knees,” I’m happy to report that spending my formative years marinating in my father’s secondhand Camel smoke and drinking Tang made with nuclear runoff hasn’t thrust me into the halls of Moffitt Cancer Center just yet.

However, we did discover that my uterus (apparently pissed off that I’m no longer putting babies in it) has decided to show signs of growing its own little happy meal toy in protest. So I allowed Dr. G to embark on a journey to the Netherlands where she and her demolition crew would machete out a benign mass that has taken up residence in my uterine lining. In reality she probably used tweezers, but just play along.

Pre-opping at Auschwitz

Even the simplest procedures require pre-operative torture. And it is during this process that I realized our healthcare system actually makes the United States Postal Service look efficient.

I requested to have my surgery at St. Anthony’s Hospital since having it at Bayfront where Brian works seemed a guarantee I’d wake up from anesthesia with shaved eyebrows or a Sharpie mustache.

When you enter St. Anthony’s, there are three things you must avoid:

Make a right past Jesus, but do not make eye contact

  1. The homeless men lurking behind the Jesus statue. They get very angry when you refuse to make eye contact.
  2. The hospital auxiliary volunteers at the front desk. Trust me, you do not want to listen to their directions because you’ll end up in drain pipe on the bottom of I-275 if you do.
  3. Any first floor bathroom (unless you like stumbling upon homicide scenes). Whoever used that bathroom before I cracked open the door had such a galactic asstastrophe, that the toilet seat was practically blown off and the wall looked like a Jackson Pollock. One can only hope that person was on his way to the emergency room to have his colon removed.

Once you move past the crime scene to the second floor where you’ll need to make the 4-hour investment in pre-op registration, you’ll be directed to sit in between two waiting rooms (with chairs and CNN) in a hallway with no available seating. You will stand, and since for obvious reasons you could not use the bathroom on the first floor, you will ask for a restroom nearby.

“You mean you have to,” the nurse asks lowering her voice to a whisper, “potty?”

Why are you whispering, I thought? And why the fuck am I standing? Get me a chair. What is this… Auschwitz?

After being talked to like I was auditioning for Sesame Street and not allowed to use the “potty,” I was forced to see three different nurses who all asked me the same series of questions like they were conducting some sort of psychological exam or police investigation. It was almost as if they were expecting my answers to vary based on my desire to go home or the fact that my urine was increasing to toxic levels since no one would let me pee.

“As I told the last nurse and the nurse before that, I do not mix heroin with my cocoa puffs in the morning.”

Then, after I’m given a bottle of antiseptic to wash with before surgery and directed in a whisper to “avoid using it on your lady parts” (what is it with these nurses and their daycare vocabulary?), it’s now time for my bloodwork.

The sight of a needle piercing my vein is always unsettling, so I’ll Linda Blair my head completely around in an attempt not to see anything but the back of my shoulder blades if I’m really lucky. Again, since I was in a place where efficiency is not included in the patient’s bill of rights, the phlebotomist strapped a tourniquet on me before walking away to use the bathroom while my hand turned blue and my fingers fell off. I later found out that my blood “hemolyzed” in the container and could not be used. I can only imagine this is because it took Slowy McSlowington 36 hours to walk it to the lab or because she left the tourniquet on until I needed an artificial limb.

So much for anonymity

I know I'm fat right now, but were the queen sized panties really necessary?

Guess it didn’t matter I chose St. Anthony’s for the surgery because I barely broke Jesus’ threshold when people were already checking out my make-up-free, NPO after midnight, swollen 5am face, noting that I was Dr. Burke’s wife. Thankful I at least had the good sense to get a pedicure, I was delighted to meet Alfred E. Newman, the freckled, 12-year-old, new anesthesiologist who seemed to be the only person yet to meet Brian.

“Oh good. So he hasn’t had a chance to piss you off yet?” were my last words before drifting off into a general anesthetic haze that I imagine will wear off some time in the next few weeks.

My maker had a sense of humor

When I finally woke up in recovery, drooling and delirious from surgery where Dr. Newman gave me enough narcotics to not only kill my pain but most of my brain cells as well, Dr. G informed me that she had to remove the happy meal toy as well as a septum from my “heart-shaped uterus.” How sweet.

This was news to me, but I’ll just add it to my impressive uterine dossier which also includes the descriptions: “retrograde, retroflexed” and “s-shaped cervix.”

Apparently I’m rockin’ a triple spiral labyrinth of reproductive organs. And all those years of birth control pills might as well have been Mentos because I’m pretty sure even sperm equipped with state-of-the-art navigation would get as lost as if the hospital auxiliary themselves were directing them from my “lady parts.”

Now in addition to a belly that looks and feels as if I just birthed an NBA player, I have a very special heart-shaped gift for my Valentine this year.

Too bad I’m on seven days of “pelvic rest.” Or is it seven weeks? Hmm. Guess it’s good to be friends with your OB.

Written by I only Wear White When it Rains

January 26, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Posted in heady

4 Responses

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  1. Ok, I just pee’d my pants.

    mom

    January 26, 2012 at 6:31 pm

  2. Perfect story for Valentine’s Day! I read it twice, it was so funny!

    Lisa Hahn

    January 26, 2012 at 7:49 pm

  3. Hilarious!

    Shaheen

    January 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm

  4. A question I have always wanted to ask an author with a sense of humor – does the world seem funnier to you (than to the rest of us) DURING these experiences, or are you just able to tinge it with humor in retrospect?? Susan

    saj1967

    February 4, 2012 at 4:06 pm


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