When I told my mother-in-law that I had an ultrasound today, she asked if it was going to be the one where they went inside. I said I didn’t know. She wished it wouldn’t be, for my sake; she said, “It doesn’t hurt, but it’s…uncomfortable.” I told Mari a few days later, “I hope it isn’t the invasive one.”
When I went to the screening room today, the first thing the technician said was, “Have you ever had a vaginal ultrasound before?” So much for that.
I stripped waist down, lay flat on my back with my ass dangling and my feet up in stirrups, and cringed as a long white probe (wearing a wet condom) was shoved up inside me. Later, I would reflect that this must be what heterosexual sex for lesbians is like. At the time, all I was thinking about was ignoring the fact that it was unpleasant.
I expected it to last a few minutes, like a regular GYN exam, and then the discomfort would be over. So when the exam went on and on, with the technician pressing against my lower belly and forcing the proboscis around in ways that brought tears to my eyes, I was not particularly happy. I had no idea when it was going to end, and it felt like she was doing the same things over and over.
It turns out that she was.
Eventually she called “Dr. Judy” over. I started to feel a little worried. “I’m just going to have her look,” the technician said when I asked if something was wrong. After a few minutes of watching the screen while the technician moved the probe around, Dr. Judy had me press down on my own stomach while she did the exam herself. From their murmured conversation which I could barely hear, I figured out what was going on.
“Can’t see my ovary?”
The technician pulled the probe out. “Sure can’t,” she said. “Sometimes that happens.”
After a pause, I responded, “But the other one was okay?”
“Actually, we can’t see either one of them.” She didn’t sound particularly bothered by this. “There’s a lot of stuff in there that gets in the way,” she explained. “I’m going to look from the outside.” She removed the stirrups, raised the foot of the bed, had me straighten my legs, and lubed up the normal ultrasound device, the one that feels like a steamroller.
“After my exploratory lap, the surgeon apparently told my mother that my ovaries were fine,” I said.
“Oh? When was that?”
She began rolling the thing over my pelvis. It was far less uncomfortable than the vaginal probe, but now I was edgy. She shoved it across the middle, then either side, and then finally pulled it away. Something about her manner clued me in.
“My ovaries are still there, right? They haven’t, like, spontaneously combusted…” I said.
“Should be,” the technician said. “We just can’t see them. If they need to, they’ll do a CT scan to get a look at them.” She gave me a towel and told me to clean up and get dressed. When I did, she showed me where to dispose of the towel and hospital gown, told me she’d fax the results to my endocrinologist, and said, “Goodbye.”
I almost started crying on my way out to the waiting room. In the parking garage, I accidentally walked up one flight of stairs too many, and when I got back to the correct level, I almost walked right past my car without seeing it.