(With my apologies to Judith Viorst. And my apologies to everyone who reads me, because I really have turned into quite the whiner of late.)
Ladies, do you ever have that… not-so-fresh feeling? (Guys, take this as your cue to exit now if you are squeamish.)
Alright. I thought last night was bad. Ha. Once again, I have forgotten that if I assume there is nowhere to go but up, I merely haven’t spent enough time envisioning down.
We got off to a slow start today. Just when I thought we were all just tired, drained, and cranky… my shower was interrupted by “Mama, can you clean my undies?” Call it an aftershock, if you will. (That’s the most pleasant-sounding thing I could think of to call it.) Finally we were all up, cleansed, and clothed… and it was time to head to Daddy’s for the afternoon. (Wednesday isn’t his regular afternoon, but I had a doctor’s appointment, plus it’s his birthday.)
By the way… martyr or damn fine human? You decide: despite being the purveyor of the Toaster of Cluelessness, the ex is receiving this little slice of geekdom from his children for his birthday today. (Don’t worry; we got it on clearance at Target.)
Anyway. I dropped the kids and headed off to my appointment; number 36, I believe, in the series. I checked in. I sat in the waiting room. A nurse called me back. She asked me a battery of questions, but didn’t appear to be paying much attention to the answers. So when she’d finished her list of medication questions and reiterated, “So you’re not taking any type of medication at all?” I couldn’t stop myself from casually responding, “Nope, nothing other than cocaine.” It took her a minute. A very long, worrisome minute. Then she looked so panicked I felt sorry for her, and had to confess that I was just kidding.
I was parked in an exam room and instructed to take off my clothes and don the latest in paper fashion. I did. I sat, and sat, and sat some more. I read an entire copy of Allure. About an hour later, my doctor came in, apologizing for the delay. She recapped our last visit–and this time remembered that I’m having surgery, woohoo–and said today was just for a quick pre-op physical to make sure I was healthy enough for surgery. Okay then. She listened to my lungs and heart, felt my thyroid, did a quick breast check, and then directed me to the stirrups.
Bear in mind, at this point, I’ve had exactly one piece of toast since last night’s ill-fated Bologna Sandwich of Doom. I’m tired. I’m cranky. I’m wearing overgrown paper towels. “Again??” I blurted out, regarding the stirrups with horror. She apologized, but said they have to check for infection pre-op; so yes, again. I slid down, grumbling. She disappeared up to the elbow and I hastily (and probably loudly) reminded her again that I’d had a cyst rupture on Sunday, so please don’t press too hard. No problem, she said. And she only poked me until I wanted to scream, not until I wanted to vomit, so I suppose she was true to her word.
Eventually all foreign objects were removed from my much-beleaguered nether regions, and she left me to dress while she checked out my swab under the microscope. “Have fun!” I offered as she headed out the door. I used my wadded-up paper gown to scrape the three pounds of Artificial Slime away, then redressed. And waited. And waited. And then the doctor came back, and said “Good news. You don’t have bacterial vaginosis.” But the thing is, she didn’t look all that happy.
“Um… I sense there’s a ‘but’ coming…?” I hedged. Well, she explained, my cervical mucus was showing an elevated white blood cell count, which could indicate an infection of some kind. I very much wanted to offer my own hypothesis, which is that perhaps my cervix is just all kinds of pissed off at having been poked and prodded a gazillion times in the last month, and what with the ruptured cyst and the stomach bug, calling in a few extra warrior cells just seemed like common sense. But I didn’t. Instead I asked, “So what do we do now?” and she started to write me a prescription for some sort of vaginal cream, saying that certainly I wouldn’t mind using this cream for a few days.
“Sure!” I said. “Heck, lord knows I’m gonna need a warm-up for Sunday’s marathon of magnesium citrate, enemas, and medicated douches! A little vaginal cream will just help get me in the mood! And then I’ll be all ready for you to slice me open on Monday!” She stopped writing and looked up. I offered a weak smile. She started to laugh, and told me I’ve got “quite a sense of humor.”
What a relief. I’ll be the funny lady in the OR, having a panic attack, but with the intestines and vaginal canal clean enough to eat off of. That is so reassuring.
She gave me the prescription, went over my oh-so-fun “cleaning” regimen, again, to make sure I understood what all was required, and then sent me over to the lab for bloodwork.
I checked in. I sat in the waiting room. They called my name, and looked over my paperwork, and told me to come back on Friday, unless I wanted to wear a little plastic bracelet for five days. I did my best impression of a deer in the headlights and she explained that part of my bloodwork was to be a type and cross-check, after which I would need to wear a bracelet until surgery stating my information.
“But, if I come back on Friday, I still have to spend my whole weekend wearing a paper bracelet with all my medical info?”
“Plastic bracelet,” she corrected.
“Fine, plastic. You can’t just give me the bracelet to put on on Monday morning?”
“Oh no, I’m sorry, hospital policy states that we must attach it ourselves.”
Fine. I’ll go back Friday. And I’ll proudly go to church on Sunday in all of my O+/Allergy to E-mycin glory, I suppose.
By this time, I’ve been at the doctor’s for an hour and a half. I am still tired, and cranky, and hungry… and now, also sore from being manhandled. Most of my precious kid-free time has elapsed, but I need to go to the store. For. Prescription. Vaginal. Cream.
Alrighty. Target is out; I go there for prescriptions, normally, and the pharmacist is a nice man intimately acquainted with the children’s and my prescription needs. If I bring my prescription there, I am setting myself up for a life without Target, and that’s just wrong. Walmart will do. They’re so disorganized no one will even notice me. Besides, that way I can pick up all my other embarrassing supplies at the same time, and be done with it. So it’s off to Walmart, where I drop off my prescription and begin loading up my cart.
First: clear sodas and sports drinks. Check. Pull-Ups for the Monkey (“I wanna pee in my pants when I’m sleeping and you can’t stop me!”). Check. And then… a voice from above. A page loud enough to be heard throughout all 277 acres of the Super Walmart, calling me back to the pharmacy. Well, that can’t be good.
And it wasn’t. Sorry, we don’t have any. We can order it, and you can come back tomorrow. Oh, but that would violate the fill-the-prescription-and-not-show-my-face-in-that-store-again-for-40-days-at-a-minimum rule, so no thank you. I take my prescription back and shove it in my pocket. Fine. Well, I’m here, I’ll buy all the other stuff, at least.
I swing my cart over to Health and Beauty, trying to act casual. A bag of pads, no problem. The Pepto I’d really wished I had last night, easy peasy. A quick check to make sure no one is looking… and… magnesium citrate (“pleasing lemony flavor!” Who the hell do they think they’re kidding??). Still no one around… store brand enemas. Now it’s a party. Hooboy. Okay, all that’s left is one medicated douche.
Only, first of all, you cannot buy one douche. You can buy 2, or 4. But not just one. Apparently it is going to be such a rocking good time, I am going to want to do it again, as soon as possible! And to add insult to injury, douches come in a million varieties. Who is buying these things?? And who is in charge of naming them after air fresheners? There I stood, dumbfounded by the myriad of choices, and so stunned to find myself in this situation that I did, indeed, ever so briefly, wonder if “Country Flowers” could, in fact, be Super Special Douche Code Words for “medicated.” (They’re not.) Eventually I found the medicated ones. (FYI, medicated douches come in sad, plain, discreet packages. They are very jealous of their multi-scented cousins with windswept Harlequin Romance ladies on the front.)
Done. Hooray. I checked out without incident (although honestly, a “CAN I GET A PRICE CHECK ON AN ENEMA, PLEASE?” would not have surprised me even a little, at this point) and came home. And sat down. And have not moved, since.
I mean, look. It’s one thing to talk about this stuff here, with maybe a dozen fellow bloggers who are at ease with Too Much Information in cyberspace. This? I love. So much. In fact, I may change my site’s name from Woulda Coulda Shoulda to Douche-a-Rama With A Side of Vaginal Cream. It’s all good. But to go through a day like this? Have to get poked and prodded, read a magazine all but naked, discuss things pertaining to my vagina with a pharmacist not once, but twice? And then I’m to be expected to drive to another store so I can share the joy with another pharmacy? No. Not today. It will have to wait until tomorrow. My cervix needs to rest, dammit.