Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

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.)

(P.S. YOU HAVE OVARIES!)

  • jseadia

    You always make me laugh Heather, but for some reason, several of your descriptions made me laugh out loud this time around.

    Glad to hear everything is ok (so far) and way to take potentially bad news and make it funny. Laughter is the best medicine!

  • George

    Can’t. Stop. Laughing.
    Weird looks from my SO and oldest kids. *gasps for air*

    (Glad it was nothing though.)

  • Moxie-Dude

    Yes, that IS scary. When I was 16 I had a cyst on one of my ovaries. It was removed and so was the ovary; leaving me with ONE. Apparently that’s all you need because I’ve had four kids since. Sometimes technicians know more than doctors when it comes to how things should look. I’m sure you’re as healthy as an ovulating chicken.

  • amandancer05

    I had a ruptured cyst on my ovary when i was 16. I was still a virgin at that point so apparently it was especially rare. Anyway not knowing it was just a cyst we went to the ER, I needed to get an ultrasound and they just put something up me and inflated it. I don’t know why they don’t do that all the time. They could inflate it the exact amount they need and while it felt like I had to pee there was nothing for me to accidentally pee my pants with. That said ruptured cyst pain is a bitch

  • mandinka

    Congratulations!
    If you were missing an ovary, I’d totally give you one of mine.

  • J. Bo

    P.S. This may well be your funniest post of all time, I’m just sayin’.

  • jrzygrl72

    I had an ultrasound as a teen. I drank WAY too much water and forgot to go to the bathroom before bed the night before. The technicians called my bladder ‘miraculous’ for holding so much liquid. In fact it was too full for the ultrasound, so they asked me to get rid of ONE cup. I had to do that twice. Just one cup, after holding it in for almost 18 hours. That was more than 20 years ago, and I still remember the agony.

  • RedRobyn

    Well, I haven’t had kids and this “new” OB/GYN did the same thing to me. So, she had me completely freaked out and worried sick. I went through the ultrasound – OMG – it felt like she was taking a hot poker to my cervix! I yelled out (I’m not kidding) “This is why I never had kids” and she looked at me like I was nuts. A bunch of people told me later I should have had anesthesia for this.

    So, I waited and waited and worried for the results. They came back – everything normal. On the phone call back from the nurse when the results came back, I asked her what was it, exactly, that triggered the order for the UltraSound of my uterus. Her response? I shit you not – “oh, we do that now as just a more of a preventative test – similar to a mammogram. It’s not necessarily ordered because something suspicious was going on in the pelvic exam.”

    I was furious. Had I known that, I doubt that I would have gone through with it since there was no real indication of a need for it.

    I never went back to her. I’ve heard this same story from other women. The thing that pissed me off so much (am I swearing too much here?) was that they never told me before hand – she made it seem like something was “wrong” and it freaked me out!

    I’ll never forget that hot poker. And I’ll never have kids cuz I’m a scaredy cat of pain. I can barely handle cramps.

    Your telling of the story is much more funny. You’ll be fine. You have OVARIES, my dear!
    Hugs