August 19, 2011

Ultrasound; the Sequel

It is against human instinct to leave the house without going to the bathroom first.  I dislike ultrasounds. 

I always drink as much as they ask, which is always way more than I have capacity for.  And then I end up being unable to keep it for the two hours before the appointment, and have to start all over again half an hour before leaving, which means my bladder continues to fill up in the waiting room, even though I’m no longer drinking.

This time when I went, the technician didn’t even ask me to empty my bladder partway, and I know I was as full last time.  I had to lie there in agony, toes cricked and ankles twisting, as she did the sonogram.  And because of that cyst on my ovary, or whatever it is that causes that random severe pain in my lower abdomen, holding it for that long is actually a little painful, especially at the time of the month where I’m somewhat bloated anyway.

Interestingly, she asked me if I would be all right with a trans-vaginal exam.  (Last time, this wasn’t even offered, though I had gone in expecting one.  Obviously they’d found what they were looking for without one.)  I said this would be all right; after all, I'd carefully groomed myself for close quarters.  But when the technician found out I was not and had never been sexually active she said she couldn’t do it.  I was both puzzled and relieved--I mean, if she needed to look at the back sides of the ovaries to ensure I had no other cysts developing, what would it matter what else had been there?

She was, of course, puzzled that I was on birth control although not sexually active, and I surprised myself by saying quite matter-of-factly, “Well, I’m hirsute, so it’s part of my treatment for controlling the hair.  I also take aldactone.”  Maybe I was tired, after being wrung-out about the appointment for so long.  When I get emotional and stressed, I become very frank with people.  She just hmmed like this was a perfectly normal answer, which I actually found vastly reassuring.

When the technician had enough pictures and said I could go to the washroom, I bolted out of there, not even bothering to wipe off the gel.  Then she got me to lie back and began really squishing my abdomen with the transducer.  It wasn’t causing me any pain, but here’s the thing: the monitor on the wall was on, so I could see what she was seeing.  And I’d been having twinges, mere ghosts of that severe pain, all week, radiating from the same spot she kept going over and over, a couple inches under my navel and slightly to the right.  And I could see cross-sections of this dark spot, almost like a hole, as she passed over it again and again, pressing and pushing and trying to get good shots of it.  I was too afraid to ask what it was, because it looked big enough to be an ovary, but... it just didn’t seem to look like one to me.  Was it the cyst?  Did I want to know?

She took the pictures to the radiologist, and then came back saying she needed more.  In the midst of this, my bladder was filling up again from the water I’d downed half an hour ago.  So I had to go take care of that, come back and let her literally dig around some more.  And I just gazed at this mysterious oblong hole on the sonogram on the wall, horrified but intrigued, and oddly pleased that whatever pain I had been experiencing for years, we were looking at the right spot.

But now I have to wait until the endocrinologist calls me with the results, to find out just what that black spot was.

But you think ultrasounds are awkward?  My pharmacy is not too far from the clinic, so I went over to pick up my prescription refills, and as we got into line I was explaining to my mother (who drove me, I would speed like a bat outta hell if I drove myself to an ultrasound on a full bladder) what had happened.  Little did I realize, one of my old friends from high school who I hadn’t seen in eight years was standing right behind me!  She was on her phone, and though she stopped to exchange pleasantries I got no hint that she heard me say “trans-vaginal.”


Anonymous said...

Hmm... Never had the ultrasound, it sounds quite... "invasive"..?
I apologise if I am sounding ignorant but could she not do the internal test because that would mean she'd have to ... devirgin you? Is it THAT invasive?

I thought you mentioned they found "something" last time they saw you? Was it in the same spot? And when you say its painful, what kind of pain is it?

I do that, too, especially with doctors - the more tired and stressed I am, the easier I get straight to the point.

And your friend from the past - wasnt she at the same doctors? She might have had much bigger issue to be worrying about than your transvaginal phone conversation. I KNOW exactly the feeling you must have had when you realised she was there, but even if she did hear it, and even if she paid attention to it - so what??


Alcott1126 said...

I seriously think I'm going to have to look up "transvaginal." I hope it's not as bad as it sounds! :(

Allerleirah said...

Soph - Nah, it's not invasive. Ever seen it on TV or in a movie? It's just like that, they stroke the transducer over your pelvis through some cold blue goo. And I don't think a transvaginal ultrasound would de-virgin me, hehehe. :) Anything can de-virgin you in the strictest physical sense, from tampons to riding horses or a bike. All of which I've done. So I'm kinda baffled... dangit, I should just look it up.

They found a cyst on my right ovary last time. Whatever they were looking at this time was on my right, but I'm not sure if it was the same thing they found last time. I probably should have asked questions instead of lying there staring like a dope. I'll find out in a few weeks.

The girl from my high school was at the pharmacy, at the other side of the mall from the radiology clinic. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. *lol* But she was waiting for a prescription, which could have been for anything of course. She did say she was getting married pretty quick, so I bet she was thinking about that, actually.

And you're right... so what? I might see her at our high school reunion, but that'd be about it.

Alcott1126 - If you didn't look it up, it's just basically a transducer (the sensor that picks up and sends the ultrasonic images to the machine) up the hooha. Not something you want everyone to hear you talking about. ;)