I made my mother take me to hospital. Wifey was busy at home. If there was nothing wrong with me, it was supposed to only take a few hours.
On the way to the hospital, she asked gently,
‘And what are you having done?’
It sounds like a teenagerish thing to say but it was mostly accurate. I hadn’t elaborated on the medical situation. TBH, I was a bit annoyed at one of her assumptions when I had asked her to take me to the hospital for planned surgery day #1.
‘I had that surgery when I was your age. They inject dye into your fallopian tubes and look at them and then your wee is blue!’
I nodded, resisting the urge to query why on earth myself or any legitimate medical professional would be interested in the state of my thoroughly redundant fallopian tubes. I have never used them. I will never use them. I don’t even know if they exist and they would have been just as useful to me if they didn’t.
Having been denied the chance to explain once, I did not bother again. Then, having major doubts about the surgery going ahead, I didn’t even commit to mind what I had been told of the surgery months before.
We got to the hospital and I was taken to the little check in room to be questioned.
‘What are you having done today?’
Suddenly the answers of, ‘I dunno’, ‘Just wasting my money’ or ‘Just wanted to know if there’s a reason I can’t have kids’ seemed… inadequate. I wrenched a couple of words from the archives of my mind.
‘Hyss-ter-o-scop-ee and lap-er-o-scop-ee’, I enunciated slowly, adding quickly, ‘did I say that right?’
Apparently, I had sounded out the words correctly (phew). She must have seen my title (Dr) but she didn’t ask me if I was a medical doctor. That must have been *quite* clear. Hopefully, I had avoided looking like a complete dullard who shows up at hospital with no idea what they are doing there.
I was sent to get changed, put on silly stockings and some shitty thread-bare dressing gown. I was thankful that my period only lasts 48 hours, as I had to get naked and I did not want to explain that I was bleeding everywhere. Just like always, my little trickle of blood that started on Thursday morning was over and I didn’t have to negotiate nudity and some elaborate blood catching apparatus.
I lay in bed with my mum waiting for the doctor to arrive. As he had never worked at the hospital before, they suggested that I look out for him as they wouldn’t know what he looked like. 12 o’clock ticked by (at which the surgery was supposed to begin) and he still wasn’t here. I was getting pretty stressed by this stage, having paid my $7k, collected my worthless promises, and gotten all dressed up. What if the surgery got called off again. What if he just never showed up?
I was so excited when he did show, I think I said something like,
‘You’re actually here!’
He didn’t seem concerned about being 5 minutes late. I was ready, after all, and, probably, so was he. We both had to sign a consent form (which was good because I still didn’t really know what was going on.)
‘So you know what’s happening?’
I nodded confidently. Again, ‘you’re going to see if there’s anything wrong with me’ sounded very childish.
‘And do you have any questions?’
‘I do’, my mother interjected. ‘Can you just tell me what is happening? She hasn’t actually told me anything.’
So, for my mother’s benefit but secretly for mine, doctor #3 explained the basics of a hysteroscopy and laparoscopy for the purposes of excising endometriosis. If I didn’t have endo, doctor #3 would take biopsies of everything and the whole thing would be over in less than 40 minutes and I would be free to go home in a few hours.
Fun fact: endometriosis is easiest to spot right after a period as the blood is fresh and it ‘lights up’. Timing, it seemed, was perfect.
‘And you think she has endometriosis?’
‘I am quite confident she has endometriosis.’
‘I’m not.’ I scoffed under my breath.