H has, in a excess of zeal and a general desire to fend off any and all stupid questions about why we’re not really going anywhere much this Easter, let alone visiting family, has told his grandparents all about me and Clomid and such.
It’s not that I disagree with his reasons. And it is about him too, and he has a right to manage his family however suits him and them best, and his grandmother in particular is very good at extrapolating the most astonishingly complicated embroidery from the merest hint of anything medical and then telling everyone, and I’d rather the whole of Southern Britain wasn’t under the impression that I’m being injected with Shire Horse mare’s urine and having my eggs removed with a combine harvester. Because I am not. Though, perhaps, it’d be fun to watch them all trying not to ask… And his parents know and my mother knows (which means every damn’ aunt I ever did have probably knows). It’ll be very much less awkward if H and I are not constantly fielding mis-heard hint dramas.
Nevertheless, I feel a tad ‘outed’. Alas, alas, the only way I get to have any control over who knows what is to give over and let everyone know everything. Stupid talkative sharing families. Damn and blast their jabbering.
So, onwards and upwards to today’s Barrel’o’Fun – ultrasound visualisations of my reproductive parts. Via said reproductive parts (the which notion seems to upset the fertile sisterhood exceedingly – my mother, certainly, seems to think her hard-earned taxes are going to the NHS solely so they can violate her eldest daughter on a weekly basis for their own amusement (and that right there, dear friends, is a good reason why I’d rather not discuss the details of my treatment with by benighted family. Dammit.)).
I got to the clinic on time, nay, early, which is just as well, as they’d hidden the scanning office deep in the bowels of the hospital and nowhere near anywhere I’d ever been prodded before. I toured the radiology department, who denied all knowledge of me, the usual ACU suite, which had turned into the ante-natal clinic for the day and which very hastily denied all knowledge of me, the other ACU suite, which was currently being opthalmology but did admit to knowing who I was, and finally a back corridor where some ultrasound machines had been hastily stuffed into a row of little broom-cupboards. Here I was given a pager, and sent away again to wait wheresoever I chose, as I certainly couldn’t wait there, because if they put chairs in the corridor we’d all have had to stand up and hold them over our heads whenever anyone wanted to get past. I wandered back to opthalmology, which was at least quiet, and had a toilet, so I could politely remove my tampon and check my panty-liner was as fresh and un-crumpled as possible. Yea verily, indignity upon indignity is heaped upon the barren woman, and having a trans-vaginal scan on day three of a rather painful period is very small beer indeed. Nevertheless. Big sighs.
I recognised the doctor as one of the many pretty slender twelve-year-olds who seem to specialise in fertility these days, but she did not recognise me, ah well. I reminded her that There Will Be Blood, a remark she didn’t seem to find witty in the least, and I was very crushed, as I after all was the one with the trousers off and surely deserving of every polite chuckle possible.
And then I lay back and she inserted the wand and had a look at Queen Satsuma. Queen Satsuma looked poly-cystic, natch, but wasn’t doing anything at all, which is apparantly exactly what we desire of ovaries at this point. The uterus looked ‘good’, with ‘no lining’ – well, yes, I have flushed most of that into the Greater London sewage system these past two days. And then she went for quite a vicious expedition in search of the Lost Treasure of The Sierra Madre, which she clearly believed to be just below my larynx, and I winced, and she said ‘sorry, I’m just looking for the left ovary.’
And the reason she couldn’t find it, dear friends, is because if it exists at all and hasn’t been incinerated since they asked if they could keep it, it lives in a specimen jar full of formaldehyde on a shelf in a teaching hospital twenty miles away and has done for the past fifteen years. Not even the most sophisticated ultrasound machine in Britain is going to get an echo back off it now. Do these people actually read my bloody buggering notes at all? Do they? May I write ‘there is no left ovary, please do not look for it,’ in huge red letters on the front inside cover of my notes file? Please? Or should I tattoo it across my inner thighs?
Anyway, I pointed this out, very politely, because I am a lady even when I am bleeding all over a gynaecologist’s couch and expensive machinery, and she and her pokey wand withdrew so I could wipe myself (on highly inadequate ‘facial tissues’) and get dressed.
Next appointment, 8:30 am next friday. What’s the betting whoever-is-next wielding the wand will also have packed sandwiches for a Left Ovary Hunt?
Being headachy, and crampy, and feeling very close to having a cry, for no particular reason other than overwhelmedness and loss of faith in my medical practitioners, I went home and hid.