A couple months ago, my ob/gyn sent me to radiology for a pelvic ultrasound. Why, you may ask? Because I'm pregnant with our 3rd set of twins. There, the cat's out of the bag....whew, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Geez, I'm just kidding! Okay, pick your jaw up off the ground already. Could you imagine?? Seriously, another set of twins on top of the 2 sets I already have....I'd be pulling a Kate Gosselin on Tim so quickly he wouldn't know what hit him....you know, a super bitch on wheels, though I don't think I'd go far enough as to do the backwards mullet with my hair.
Moving on, now that your hearts are beating regularly again, the pelvic ultrasound was to examine my innards...my uterus, mainly. I went a whole 14 months without a period and my doctor congratulated me, "Welcome to the land of shriveled, dried-up vaginas....make yourself comfortable and take some extra calcium so your bones don't crack in half next time you high-5 someone".
But then...bam...out of nowhere, my period came back with a vengeance, making up for lost time. It was a serious WTF moment for me because it came out of the blue...no cramps, no headaches, no bitchiness...but then again, I'm bitchy all the time so I guess I should say no EXTRA bitchiness.
So I called my doctor and made an appointment, explaining that my uterus had apparently come out of retirement for one last hurrah. The first thing the nurse did was ask me to pee in a cup to make sure I wasn't pregnant. I said, "Look, don't even waste your time. My doctor tied my tubes so tightly with my last c-section that NOTHING is getting through, trust me". She laughed and continued insisting on a pregnancy test, saying it was routine. I grabbed the cup from her hand and muttered, "I don't even remember the last time my husband and I had sex", but then I quickly clamped my mouth shut when I realized I had said that EXACT same line when I found out I was pregnant with our 2nd set of twins.
Pregnancy test was negative, of course. My doctor gave me an exam and announced that my uterus felt small and normal but she wanted to send me for a pelvic ultrasound to see what my uterine lining looked like. That would give us a little more information to work with, in terms of what had caused my period to come back. She started throwing around words like fibroids, hormonal imbalance and the big C....cancer, but the chance of cancer was pretty small much to my relief.
2 weeks later, I go in to the radiology department with my bladder so full, which was required, that it felt like it could possibly explode without any warning. After a 10-minute wait of me shifting my body uncomfortably in a chair and looking at my watch, a guy named Dave calls me into the back.
He starts to explain to me that I'll need to undress from the waist down, while he leaves the room. Then he asks, "Uh, this is kinda awkward but I need to ask if you'd prefer a female technician. I'm totally fine with doing the ultrasound but I figured I'd give you the option. I've done this a million times. I can also have a female tech in the room with us if that works okay for you". Because I didn't want to hurt his feelings, I told him I was cool with him doing the ultrasound, provided a female tech was there as well. Check me out...I didn't want to hurt HIS feelings. Am I Mother Theresa or what... the things I do to make others happy. This oughta earn me a place in heaven, don't you think?
Dave does the abdominal ultrasound, pressing hard against my bladder to the point where I continue to grimace. He apologizes for the discomfort but he assures me that we're almost done. He turns the screen towards me and points out my ovaries (oh yeah) and my uterus (woo-hoo) and does some measurements.
Then he says, "Okay, you can go empty your bladder. I'm going to get the vaginal probe set up so when you come back in here, I want you to lie on the table and insert the probe. I'll be back in shortly thereafter".
I stared at him, completely motionless. He said, "Any questions?" and I said, "Uh, yeah...you want ME to put the probe where? In my...uh...private part?" He nodded his head and said, "Yes, place it in your vagina". Was he freakin serious? Apparently, he was. This was some new rule that the HMO had in place now where ultrasound techs were not allowed to do this anymore, that the patient has to do it herself.
I entered the room after emptying my poor bladder (which seemed to take a whole 5 minutes) and eyed the vaginal probe. Okay, how exactly was I going to do this? Should I lay down on the table and then grab onto it? Should I sit up and try to insert it? Oh, Lordy, this thing was HUGE...it reminded me of the many many times I had had vaginal ultrasounds during my IVF cycles. But I was never asked to insert it in myself, for crying out loud! But I guess when dealing with infertility, the doctors figure that it'd be nice for me to hang on to that last little bit of dignity I have left.
I grabbed the probe and decided to take charge. I mean, really, was it that big of a deal? Now, I kinda wished I had thought to bring Tim along. Could've killed 2 birds with 1 stone...I would've gotten my ultrasound done and he would've gotten his jollies off at the same time.
Finally, the darn thing was in place...inside me. And there I laid on my back with my legs wide open, holding the probe in place. I wondered if could I let go of it or would it fall out? I didn't want to find out, on the chance that it would fall onto the dirty floor and I'd have to tell Dave what a loser I was. The time seemed to drag by as I waited for him and the female tech to come back into the room.
Okay, hold on...was I supposed to wait until they came back into the room before inserting the probe? Oh God, I couldn't remember. Would they both walk back in, see the damn thing in between my legs and assume the worst? I envisioned them having a good laugh about that later at lunch with their co-workers..."So yeah, we go back in the room and the patient is just laying there holding the probe in her vagina, as if we caught her in the act...I mean, someone needs to get laid obviously".
No, I was pretty sure the reason he had left the room was to give me privacy. That was the excuse I was going to give him, anyway. They finally come back into the room and Dave asks, "Did you manage to get the probe in okay?" I laughed and answered, "Yeah, but I had to clear a few cobwebs out of the way first". They both remained serious, without even the slightest sign of a smirk on their faces. Oh man, this was just a little bit awkward.
He says, "I've got a hold of the probe now so you can let go". Thank God! He has a confused look on his face though as he asks, "Uh, did you have the probe in as far as it would go? Cuz I'm not seeing anything clearly on the screen". I said, "I just put the tip of it in because I wasn't sure if you wanted me to put it in all the way"...OMGosh, did I seriously just say that?! Wasn't that something that the guy is supposed to say?
Then he asks, "Do I have your permission to push the probe in further or would you like to do it yourself?" I just stared at the ceiling, wishing the torture would end already. I was waiting for someone to pop in the room and say, "You're on Candid Camera!" I said, "Just go ahead and do what you need to do so this can be over with"...hmmmm, I think I used that same line when I lost my virginity to my high-school boyfriend.
As if that wasn't bad enough, Dave pushes the probe in further and he asks, "Does it feel like it's in far enough?" I shrugged and said, "I guess so...I mean, how far do you want it in? Like as far as it will go or just enough to see what you need to see?"
At this moment, I think he just wanted to get it over with as quickly as I did. So he pushed the probe in as far as it would go, practically piercing a vital organ. I said, "Uh, I think that's as far as it'll go...unless you want to examine my brain". He didn't laugh. Of all the ultrasound techs, why did I have to get the one with NO sense of humor?
As I waited for him to do the measurements, I imagined Dave in bed with a lover, asking her, "Do I have your permission to put in further? Does it feel like it's in as far as it'll go?"
Thankfully, the ultrasound was all over after a matter of minutes. Before he turned to leave the room, he explained that the radiologist would examine the results and forward them to my doctor. Then he said, "Do you have any questions?" and I SOOOO badly wanted to ask, "Yeah, was it as good for you as it was for me?" but I refrained, surprisingly.
In the end, my uterine lining looked unusually thick so my doctor ended up doing an endometrial biopsy, which oddly enough didn't bother me as much as the vaginal ultrasound did. I'll take having the inside of my uterus scraped with a curette without the use of pain medication OVER having to insert a vaginal probe inside myself in the presence of a male ultrasound tech who doesn't have one ounce of humor in his personality.
Oh, and all is well with my innards...there's no explanation for why Aunt Flo decided to come by for a visit out of the blue, other than she missed me and wanted to make my life a living hell for a few days, like any loving relative would do.