Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Case of the Missing Ovary

Author's Note: Daddy, you may want to skip this one. 

A few weeks ago my right ovary went missing. True story.

It was gone for a full twenty minutes, and I’ll be honest. I was kind of sweating its absence.

The room where it all went down was mercifully dark, but somehow that didn’t make my situation any better. I was there for an ultrasound. Not the cute baby kind either.

Before the appointment even got started, there’d been the typical confusion and panic over the Gown of Doom and the Little Red Button of Humiliation. For those (i.e. MEN) who may be blissfully unfamiliar with these Villains of Gynecology, allow me to introduce you.

The Gown of Doom is a starchy, scratchy, pillow case thing that, at the beginning of a “yearly checkup,” every woman is left alone with to fight to the death in a battle of wits. The Gown is tricky, see. Most hospital gowns open to the back, but no! Not the Gown of Doom. The Gown of Doom must open to the front. I’m probably the only person in the world who has a hard time remembering that, but even without this complication, the gown is uncomfortable and evil. Trust me.

Via - What comes up when you google "Gown of Doom"
After frantically calling my best friend, mom, and sister to confirm the proper usage of the gown, there came the Little Red Button of Humiliation.

When I was first taken into the ultrasound room, the technician chirpily told me that once I was undressed and gowned up,  I “should just press the red button and someone will be right in!” (By “right in” they usually mean twenty to thirty minutes later after the Gown of Doom has given you a rash, and you’ve given up all hope of ever getting out of there alive.)

She made it sound so simple.

I followed her too-happily-announced instructions and stripped. The room was at least 62 degrees, and it was still January. Chill bumps popped up to join me in my shame. The Gown of Doom offered little comfort or warmth.

I eyed the Little Red Button of Humiliation, looked back at the exam table.

The Button.

The table.

They were probably six feet apart.

I decided to try sitting on the exam table, then reaching back for the button. This seemed feasible. I wasn’t an Olympic gymnast or yoga master, but even I could manage the little stretch it would take to reach the button.


As I attempted to make the little stretch necessary to push the button, the Velcro from the Gown of Doom violently protested by ripping apart and leaving me exposed. Now, if I was telling a made-up story, this would be the part where the nurse knocks and walks in, taking in all my shame and full body blush. But alas, nothing nearly that funny happened, and I was left to readjust the Gown of Doom, hop off the table, and press the Little Red Button of Humiliation.

I somehow managed to rearrange myself and get back on the exam table with that awful crinkly paper before the Ultrasound Tech Chippy McChipperton came back in. Thus began the exam.

“This will be a little cold.”

Holy Mother of God!!!!

Yes, she was right. The gel and ultrasound wand thingy were equally cold as she pressed them along my lower abdomen and made small talk about the weather and her kids. Intermittently dispersed amongst the small talk were her attempts to point out various parts of my body. Looking at the gray fuzziness on the screen, I was reminded more of a geography class as she chattered on:

“There’s Mozambique, and then to the South of that is your left ovary, and…


 Hmm? Nobody wants to hear a medical professional ever say “Hmm” when they’re looking at your body or something inside it.

I took a deep breath, searching the Tech’s puzzled face. “Is there something wrong?”

“I just can’t seem to find your right ovary. You do have one, right?”

What the hell kind of question is that? I mean, I guess I have one, unless unbeknownst to me it fell out! “Umm…yeah.”

She pressed the wand thingy harder into my abdomen, moved it here, then there…and back again. 

For twenty minutes.*

The Gown of Doom bit into my skin. The wand thingy started to kind of tickle. I struggled not to squirm.

Finally. Finally, she smiled and said, “Oh, there it is!”

Turns out the whole time it was hiding just behind Russia or some gas bubbles in my colon. Silly ovary.

*Time may have been exaggerated, but it seemed like twenty minutes. Believe me. 

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