June 4, 2012
I knew there was going to be construction, so I left my house at about 6:30. I was almost to 131 when I realized I’d forgotten to grab a water bottle. At that point, I was closer to my parents’ house than mine, so I made a quick detour. With that, I was still on the highway before 6:45. I finally made it to the clinic at around 7:50. Yes, it took more than an hour to get there. But I still got there early enough to be fourth in line. I can’t complain too much about that.
There were four of us. Four women. No men. Sitting and waiting for them to open the clinic doors. There’s a lovely lobby area. I got out my knitting. (It’s not a jinx because it’s for Courtney’s baby, not mine!) One of them was reading a book. The other two were on their phones, texting, checking email, updating Facebook. I couldn’t see, and I didn’t ask. At 8, the doors were unlocked, and good Midwesterners that we are, we filed in in the order in which we’d arrived. They took our names and validated our parking, and then we all took new seats in the waiting room and, well, waited.
You know how at the dentist’s office the hygienists come out and call you back by first name? It was like that. Except we were all waiting for the same hygienist. (And, honestly, I much prefer a teeth cleaning to a transvaginal ultrasound.) And he used my full name. People just can’t resist that alliteration: Bethany Banner. All those Bs and Ns… A few married couples did come in while I was still waiting, but mostly the room was filled with women who were there alone. I don’t know how many of them were like me, single and cool with it, or if their partners couldn’t take the time off work. I can only imagine. We didn’t talk.
Eventually, my turn came, and my ultrasound was… exactly the same as a month ago. I have a follicle on the left. Looks an awful lot like the follicle that was there on May 2. He doesn’t think my endometrium is thick enough. (Are you fu kidding me? I spend 13 years having 35-day cycles with 8-day periods before finally getting regulated only to then have my endometrium to be too thin?) That’s probably not a follicle. It’s all quite clear to him. I must not be ovulating at all. How old are you?
“I’ll be thirty-four tomorrow,” I choke out with tears welling up in my eyes. I’m not that old, I think, I’ll only be 34. He doesn’t even look at me, not really. He just tells me that I’m to come back on Wednesday for another ultrasound to see if there’s any change. If it’s really a follicle, then there should be. He hands me the file, and we’re done.
What happened to the doctor who was joking about ovaries being like high school? A little empathy would be nice!
Needless to say, I was crying by the time I got to the front desk to check out. The assistant very sweetly asked if I wanted to talk to one of the nurses. I told her that I was okay. I was just stressed and my birthday’s tomorrow. And, OMG, I had to get out of there before I really started to cry, just let me leave so that IcanbreathefreshairIjustneedtobewherepeoplecan’tseeme,okay?canwedothat?
Okay, I didn’t say that last part. I thought it, but I didn’t say it. And there was a shining moment: My insurance covered my initial appointment 100% less my $30 copay, so I have a $220 credit. I’ll just think of this appointment as being free…
I did manage to get to my car without too many people seeing me. Thank you, Marcia, for insisting I needed those fabulous leopard-print frames as my prescription sunglasses. They were perfect for hiding behind.
I sat and let myself cry for a minute or two. And then I did a brief mental map to remember just how I reverse the drive to get home. Took a deep breath, and headed off only to discover that the southbound ramp to 131 is, you guessed it, closed. “How the hell am I supposed to get on 131? I don’t live around here!” I screamed before seeing the car in front of me (which had clearly been heading for the 131 exit as well) suddenly cross all the lanes to the next exit. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with this route, the 131 exit is on the left. The detour requires you to exit on the right.)
And it is, of course, about an hour-long drive. Which gave me plenty of time to start crying, and stop crying, and start crying, and stop crying, and tell myself that I’m almost home and it’s okay because once we get there wecanclimbintobedandhugourbodypillowandcryuntilwefallasleep. (I have this tendency to talk to myself by using the first person plural. Just like the Queen.)
And I get home. And I pull into my driveway. And there’s a car in my parking space. Not only is there a car in my parking space, there’s a blue Honda Civic in my parking space. My car is in my parking space. Or rather, Ted’s sister is in my parking space; we drive the same car. I can’t believe it. I can’t control it. I burst into sobs as I back my car into one of our guest spaces. While I’m doing that, Ted’s sister comes running out.
“Am I in your space?” she calls.
“Yes,” I reply rather plaintively.
“I was just helping Ted move, and someone said they saw my car pulling in, so I thought I must be! My keys are on the table. I’ll be just a minute!”
A variety of thoughts ran through my head. Where’s Ted moving to? Does this mean Susan sold the house? Or will it be for rent again? I do like Susan’s house. That would be an okay move to have to make. Ted’s sister (I’m sure she has a name, but I don’t know what it is) must think I’m so mad at her. I hope I get a chance to tell her that I’m just having a bad day.
Didn’t get to ask any of those questions. By the time I’d moved my car into my space, she was long gone. That’s okay. She didn’t need to hear the whole sob story.
I sent my mom a quick text to let her know I was home. She texted back asking if she should call. I said sure, so she did.
After that, I watched some Hulu… I cried more at the season finale of Smash than the episode probably deserved, but it’s not my fault they cast the wrong girl as Marilyn and I know just how it feels to be perfect for a role and still have it go to someone who’s taller and skinnier and just be told that you didn’t fit the director’s “vision”. If they’d cast the right girl, and I’d been having a better day, I probably would have just rolled my eyes. And then I watched an episode of Angelina Ballerina on PBS and found that I’m an absolute bitch today because I was yelling at a CARTOON about a MOUSE who does ballet that she should already know how to dance in unison with other dancers because what the hell kind of ballet class is she taking if that’s not part of what’s being taught?
Did I mention this was a cartoon about a mouse? Yeah, that’s when I knew I’d lost it.
I rolled over, pulled my quilt around me, snuggled Colin to my chest, and cried myself to sleep.