My freshman year of college, a day before my 19th birthday, I woke up with a strange pressure in my... well... in a spot that had me wondering what my ex-boyfriend had *really * been up to all those nights he was "studying late."
Looking at it with a mirror in the bathroom, I notice a tiny little ball sticking out on the left side of my labia -- an ingrown hair I reasoned. But man, I thought, how disgusting looking.
Dismissing the pain, I left for class (late as I was already) and decided that the pressure would subside at some point if I just went about my day. WRONG.
As the day grew longer, the pain doubled, turning into a pulsating feeling where the ball-like cyst was. I call my mother. She tells me to call the school nurse, who then tells me to come in so she can take a look at it. I trudge my way in--heated text messages in draft mode ready to be sent to my philandering ex-boyfriend for giving me what I assumed could only be an STD.
Upon eternal contemplation, the school nurse comes back and says I have what appears to be a cyst, but that she's never seen one placed there and isn't quite sure what to make of it. She tells me she's going to "scalpel it" for testing. I, in turn, call my mother who immediately tells me "ABSOLUTELY NOT’ and to make an appointment with a gynecologist.
The day wears on. My birthday party is that evening and the pain is worsening. Every time I move too quickly all I can think about is the pain that feels like half my left labia is being squeezed off of my body. I can feel it getting bigger as I move.
Halfway through the party, I find myself crying in some poor frat boy's bathroom with my three best girl friends (God help them) sitting on the side of a tub, legs open showing them my now black, purple, and blue cyst that has now grown to the size of a circular half-dollar.
Horrified, they can’t stop staring. Horrified, I can’t walk with my legs together.
I do not sleep that night. My friend stays with me. All I can do is lay in bed thinking about the pressure that at this point is feeling like when your kid brother pinched you and instead of letting go, held on and twisted the skin while you wailed. At 7 a.m. I crawl, CRAWL, to my car with her and she drives me to the gynecologist. Once there, I slump into the waiting room, unable to sit down unless I'm on my front side.
The nurses rush me in, sensing my sheer discomfort. Immediately, they give me a shot to numb the pain and I find myself never so thankful to spread eagle for a doctor.
One he comes in, I explain to him the events over the last day and a half. At first, I can sense that he thinks I’m being dramatic, but as I see the doctor gaze at it, a look of confusion forms on his face. He brings in his nurse cronies. Everyone now is huddled around my womanhood trying to distinguish what this ball is that appears to be sucking the blood from my vagina.
"It's not a cyst, he says. It’s not in the right spot or place for it. It's not an ingrown hair, I've really never seen [this?] before."
Eventually, after hesitation: the doctor says he has no choice but to
remove it. The nurses are eagerly taking notes behind him, hopeful to see their first live circumcision of the female genitalia.
I call my mom–loopy and drugged from the shot–and she and my father (and now the rest of my extended family who is waiting on speed dial to hear about my vagina woes) agree that whatever needs to be done should be done.
The doctor takes out his scalpel. I think about what my life had come to–-a poor helpless part of me being wielded off for testing.
As he goes to make the first cut, a little bitty light bulb flickers.
Had I told him about *this* already?
He's leaning in.
"Doctor," I say, hesitantly. Embarrassed.
"There's one thing I forgot to mention."
He looks up at me, which is always uncomfortable no matter what man be down
"I forgot to tell you it had hairs coming off it."
"Hairs? Like pubic hairs?"
"No, hairs. Like four long strands of hair." I show him how long with my fingers.
He smirks. "No Lindsey. Pubic hair doesn't get that long."
"I'm telling you, I promise. They were this long. I cut them with scissors."
He furrows his brow. "Bring me a microscope," he says to the nurse.
They all peer into me. It's uncomfortable, yes, but at this point I'd been
laying like this for almost an hour that any thought of decency had long
escaped my thoughts.
"Hmm....," he says.
"Hmmm...," I say.
He peers closer.
"Nurse, look at this."
"Oh my God."
"It's hair isn't it?"
I roll my eyes. "Of course it's hair."
"No, it's her hair. Oh my God it's her hair."
"Give me the scalpel again."
"Lindsey, it's your hair."
Yes, it was my hair. Four strands of my long, brunette hair from my head had somehow trailed their way down to my labia minora and wrapped themselves around it, therefore squeezing off circulation to half of my most prized possession. With one clip of the scalpel, my hair was cut free, the four strands put into a plastic bag for testing while my tender, and bloodless vagina returned to life.
If you’re wondering, yes, it did swell. It swelled afterward and felt bruised for a couple days but alas, today all is well and normal.
This really happened: I had four strands of long hair wrapped around my vagina. Could life get any more ridiculous?