The exam

September 9, 2011
“Can you shift a little to the left?  We need to get a better look.”

Easier said than done when sandwiched between a flat, cold steel table and an x-ray machine, your legs spread open and your OB/GYN pushing dye into your uterus through a catheter.  I moved, and felt another excruciating pain shoot up my side.  I tightened my fists and drew in short, sharp breaths trying to keep my composure in this cold basement hospital room, with four people staring intently up at a black and white screen.

When they asked me to move again, the doctor and the x-ray technician talking in strange words – “Septate?”  “Maybe unicornuate,” I started to worry.  I stole a glance over my shoulder to the right though the rest of my body was twisted to the left, and saw my spine, my hip bones, and what looked like a dark deflated balloon with air spilling out of it.  There was only one tube but that didn’t register at the time.  They just kept shifting me, and the pain kept waving over me.  Then, in deafening silence, it was over.  My doctor patted my legs and said to get dressed and she’d talk with me in the next room.

The nurse helped me to the bathroom to change, where she had laid out a large sanitary pad, wipes, and towels for me to clean up.  So thoughtful, as had been the warm towels she had laid over my legs when I first got up onto the table.  I changed and sat waiting for my doctor.