You Probably Need a Will, So Here's How to Have That Potentially Awkward Conversation with Your Family
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I really don’t know what to do next except try not to be too sulky and woe-is-me while waiting for the clinic to call and tell me what my next step is. In the midst of waiting for what seems like forever, Dr. Waller calls me on my cellie while I’m out eating Indian food with Dashiell.
According to the good doctor, I’ve got two stupid options –- one, they bring me in for a look-see, and if they don’t like what they see, they get up in there. Two, they just get up in there. Dr. Waller recommends just getting up there.
It’s clear that my uterus is NOT all-clear, so better just get in there and fix the problem right from the start, and not have me endure a camera being slid through my cervix. With option no. 2, I’m knocked out from the start.
“Oooooooo-kay,” I say sort of mumbley. What else can I say? I have to have another surgery.
I ask Dr. Waller if this is something I can have Dr. Wendy do. It is! That makes me feel such a tiny bit better it hardly registers as better at all, though it will later. Partly because I will take any chance I get to hang out with Dr. Wendy, even if it’s unconscious on an operating table. Also because, if I go through Dr. Wendy, insurance will cover it.
I scribble all of this information down on a Walgreens receipt I find in my purse, then hang up with a sigh. Instantly, a waiter is at our table with a complimentary bowl of delicious rice pudding FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER. Here’s to random acts of kindness! That little bowl of pudding really cheered me up.
Me and Dashiell walked home to binge on the first season of "Homeland" and I continued to eat my feelings, in popcorn formation.
A few days later, I receive in the mail a print out of like a hundred fuzzy ultrasound pictures of my uterus. I also get a phone call from Dr. Wendy, who speaks with a sensible regret in her voice.
“We should just get in there and look inside,” she says, agreeing with Dr. Waller. There for sure is something at the top of my uterine cavity, quite possibly a freaking fibroid.
“Geez, you had enough of them,” Dr. Wendy remarks. “Sometimes, after a surgery, as your uterus heals it moves things around. It could have displaced a fibroid we didn’t catch.”
Just one little son-of-a-bitch fibroid squatting my womb (to use language that insult some of my favorite people –- bitches, their offspring, and squatters). Is it really such a big deal?
“It will probably interfere with implantation,” Dr. Wendy says. “There might also be a little adhesion, the uterine walls sticking together.” Then, Dr. Wendy launches into a barrage of information I only half-understand, and perhaps even have notated incorrectly.
“I thought we had stayed outside your cavity,” she says referring to the initial surgery, “But there does appear to be adhesion.” That would explain why Dr. Meredith Baxter Birney thought I’d maybe had a D+C somewhere in my checkered past.
Also, the shadow could be an actual fibroid. “The top of the uterus is sometimes hard to reach,” she explains. “If this is a fibroid it could be a little in the cavity, and then a little in the uterine wall. You don’t want to dig into the wall, you could go through to the abdominal area and all those organs.” Gross! Scary!
If there is indeed a fibroid nesting in the top of my uterine cave, Dr. Wendy will "shave" it down, causing the uterus to contract and expel the rest of it. This expulsion could happen handily within minutes, while I’m up there on the table. Or, it could happen in a week, prompting another procedure to fetch it.
“We don’t want to bivalve your uterus and shell out that piece,” Dr. Wendy continues, making me feel like a sea creature. “We want to get it without entering your endometrial cavity, even if it means we don’t get it all at once. You may already have scarring there, and we don’t want to scar you more.”
So, that’s the plan in the event that the "shadow" is in fact a fibroid. What seems perhaps more likely is that, in a rather grisly turn of events my uterine cavity healed together after my last surgery, which will require Dr. Wendy to snip it back open and then insert a foreign object, like a quarter or gumball, up there to prevent it from happening again.
Kidding! Dr. Wendy would never put spare change or penny candy into my uterus. She will instead place a tiny catheter, or an Intra-Uterine Device, or IUD. I’ll also be put on birth control, to build my uterine lining back up.
Dr. Wendy keeps using the idea of a balloon to explain the physicality of the uterus, and I’m lost. I’m dumber than usual, because my friend Sara Seinberg, who runs Seinberg Holistic Health Coaching, is offering a two-week cleanse and I am going to DO IT!
Attracted to extreme food and diet endeavors, I’ve always wanted to do a cleanse. This one seems like a great first try because it’s gentle -– you omit a lot of food but there is a ton of food you can still eat. Alas, coffee is not one of those foods. Considering that I eat coffee more than any other food, I’ve begun weaning myself off in advance of the cleanse, so as not to get whacked down so hard. I think I’m on a quarter-cup of coffee talking on the phone with Dr. Wendy. And I’ve reached my intellectual limits.
So, I get off the phone with the understanding that the worst-case scenario will be me having two surgeries, and in the best case scenario that mark the sonogram picked up is just a shadow and I go through this procedure for nothing. Once I’m all healed up I’ll come in for another sonohystogram (the thing with the balloon in my balloon-y uterus –- I’m asking for a Xanax this time!) and then I am on the road to babyville. Not that I ever got off it.
The conversation with Dr. Wendy leaves me rattled. I can’t tell how I feel –- or, rather, I have the odd feeling of feeling feelings underneath my meds. It’s like there’s something down there, but it doesn’t quite make it to the top. I think that this is all probably a great excuse not to work today, and feel guilty for being so shady and manipulative and dramatic until I realize I really SHOULDN’T work. I’m sort of a mess.
I have such a weird relationship to work. It’s very guilt-driven. I think it’s because I love my work so much but because of my upbringing feel that I should be working in a coal mine or cleaning toilets, so to make up for that happiness gap I need to beat myself up about it forever and never slack off. WELCOME TO MY PSYCHE. Oh wait -– you’ve been here before!
I leave a message for the nurse at the fertility clinic, get into bed and fall asleep with a copy of The New Yorker.