Anatomy of an ovary

Monday afternoon I had my annual pelvic exam (HEY-OH! IT’S UTERUS TIME!), and since my regular OBGYN is overbooked for the next ten years I had to see another doctor in her group. And I had to answer a mountain of questions including, “Do you plan on having more kids?” That’s when I looked furiously around the room to see if someone else was there and answered, “Are you talking to me?”

She certainly couldn’t be talking to me because I’m quite sure that I walk around with a look on my face that says KIDS DID THIS TO ME.

“Yeah, NO. My husband had a vasectomy,” I said.

“But it says here on your chart that you’re still taking birth control?”

“Let’s put it this way: once, a publishing company sued me because I didn’t sign a contract. And another time, I got SHINGLES! while breastfeeding. And then on my birthday I found a mythical bobcat in my attic. You could say that the universe likes to screw with me. I’m not taking any chances.”

So then came the fun part, you know, when the doctor inserts a car jack into your vagina. Love that part. Makes you think, damn, women are lucky.

And then she had to examine all my parts, make sure everything was intact, but she was taking forever. And I was like, look lady, you’re really nice, but I just met you and you have your entire hand in my cooter. Can you at least buy me a drink?

When she finally finished she let slip a worried sigh and said, “Your right ovary is really enlarged.”

I let that sink in for a second, especially since my feet were still in the stirrups and I was undressed from the waist down. “What does that mean?”

“Could mean a few things,” she explained. “You’ll need to have an ultrasound so we can determine what’s really going on.”

Somewhere there has to be a Garfield comic that talks about how Mondays aren’t bad enough already, and here you have to go and throw an enlarged ovary into his soup?

I scheduled the ultrasound immediately, for yesterday afternoon, and then spent the rest of Monday staying away from the Internet. Not going to Google enlarged ovary, not going to Google enlarged ovary, not going to Google enlarged ovary, and then I lost all self control and did this:

Answers ranged from light-hearted joking (“You’re about to lay an egg.”) to downright scary (“Mine resulted in an emergency hysterectomy. Oh, and I died.”)

Jon accompanied me to the hospital yesterday, just in case of an emergency hysterectomy, because then I might need someone to drive me home. And then he said he loved me and everything was going to be okay, and I was like, stop, you’re going to give people the impression that we don’t regularly throw forks at each other. Don’t ruin our cred.

Unfortunately, this was one of those ultrasounds that requires the patient to consume 32 ounces of water an hour prior to the appointment. And then I had to hold it for that entire hour, for however long it took to see a technician, and then throughout the entire procedure. I’ve had two kids, y’all. My bladder sees liquid and runs screaming.

But I did it, I drank that damn water, and then I filled the bottle again and drank another 20 ounces. Because I am insane and wanted to be the valedictorian of drinking water for an ultrasound. Something could have been wrong with my ovary, but I was going to walk out of there and they were going to say to each other, MY GOD, THAT WOMAN CAN DRINK HER EFFEN WATER.

And guess what? Guess what the technician said as she pushed uncomfortably on my full bladder to get a closer look at my ovary? No joke, she said, “I’ve never seen a bladder that full! You did a great job!”

Right now I’m writing the speech I’m going to give at Drinking Water for an Ultrasound Graduation.

As I was concentrating on holding in my urine, the technician kept blurting out things like, “This is ridiculous! What did they send you in here for? There’s an ovary! There’s the other one! YOU HAVE OVARIES!”

And she had a Russian accent. So, you know, for the next month of my life I’m going to randomly yell YOU HAVE OVARIES! in that accent to total strangers. Men, mostly.

After the exterior exam I was allowed to empty my bladder, and as I did so the Mormon Tabernacle Choir broke out into a stirring chorus of, “Hallelujah!” And they continued when, during the internal ultrasound, the technician found nothing unusual. Again, she pointed to the screen and said, “So what! You have an ovary!”

I got the feeling that she wanted to find something interesting, otherwise why even learn how to use this equipment? She’s like all the critter catchers we’ve known, especially the one who was putting grates on some of our gutters to keep out birds when suddenly he got a call to get a raccoon out of a window well and COULD. NOT. CONTAIN. HIS. GLEE. I wanted apologize to the technician and tell her that I wished there were a raccoon in my uterus.

But, Hallelujah, THERE IS NOT!

(Still waiting for official report from the doctor, but all indications are that everything is fine.)


  • MsMegan

    You have the ovary comment in a Russian accent, I have a “Leeft up your leg” because my bikini waxer was Russian.

    A doctor I used to go to had a PA that actually had me get an ultrasound on my throat (to see if my thyroid was enlarged)because… well I still don’t know why.

    As my mother always says, someone has to graduate at the bottom of the medical school class. Sorry you had to be subjected to one of the low-achievers!

  • Gillian G

    Too funny! Glad all is okay!

  • DeirdreMarie

    LOL Cats say:
    I can haz ovary now?

  • jesterqueen

    I’ve been reading awhile, but I just now gave in and signed up for an account to comment on this post.


    I had a hysterectomy last year due to mild but painful endometriosis. And it made me SO HAPPY thinking “I DON’T HAVE OVARIES”!!! as I looked at your page that I had to share my bizarre joy with everyone out there.

  • TropicalPopsicle

    Glad to hear everything looks to be a-ok! Thanks for including the link to the shingles post. I’ve been wanting to watch that SHINGLES! video again. It has been on my mind lately since I keep hearing commercials encouraging people to get a SHINGLES! vaccine. Ever since you made the video, I have not been able to hear that word without picturing you and your wiggly fingers. SHINGLES!!!

  • megsmindnet

    Let me just say that of all the things I would like to have in common with you, being assaulted with a speculum the same day you were is a commonality I could have done without. Ugh! I had conveniently blocked the “joys” of an OB/GYN visit from my mind and it was QUITE the unpleasant surprise to be reminded.

  • Cecily

    I totally just choked on a popsicle reading this. Not that has anything to do with your ovary. It’s just that you made me laugh, yo.

  • karkle

    Truly loved your retelling of these lovely, obligatory annual visits.

    One fine day back in July, I started off at jury duty and ended up in surgery for acute appendicitis. But not before I was poked, prodded and forced to drink the same terrible dye water and wait and wait for the scan and confirmation of diagnosis. I remember alternately taking gulps of water and flinching at intense pains and wondering how it compared to labor.