My uterus seems intent on making things.
It grew a bunch of fibroids which I had removed and a recent sonogram revealed two polyps. We, my doctors and I, decided to remove them with an out-patient procedure called a D&C: dilation and curettage.
At home the night before I had to vaginally insert four pills to relax my cervix. I usually just have a glass of wine, but ok.
The next morning in the office, before signing a consent form, we reviewed the risks. My ears perked up at “a one percent chance of puncturing the top of my uterus.”
“Say what now?”
The Doctor assured me it was rare. I said, “But if it does happen, how do you fix it? Do you spackle?”
My consent signing bonus was five milligrams of diazepam; street name: valium.
The room where we did the procedure was small and packed: me, the doctor, a nurse, a couple of PA’s. It felt like ladies’ night at the club. I said, “Is it happy hour? Had I known there’d be so many women in here, I would’ve brought snacks.” But the estrogen was cozy and comforting. They reminded me that HDIC (Head Doctor in Charge) would be coming in shortly and that he was a he. As the valium kicked in, I said, “Sure, the more the merrier.”
I expected to be laying down with my feet in the stirrups. But instead, I sat in a medical recliner with my calves resting on what looked like two big shoe horns. It was a great position to take a nap while getting a pedicure. Then they said those four little words that every woman knows, “Can you scooch down?”
A scooch, by the way, is less than a scoot. A scoot is too much. You might scoot your ass right off the table. A scooch requires core control and body awareness relevant to the surface you’re scooching on.
And then I wondered, “Do men ever scooch? Is that something they’re ever asked to do?”
And then I thought, “Wow, valium is a helluva drug. Maybe if I ask nicely, they’ll let me take some home.”
My Medical Team made every effort to make me feel comfortable; even suggesting that I listen to music during the procedure. Ear buds in I considered Drake... Beyonce... but since I had to stay still, I opted for the restful tones of my meditation app. When they asked if I wanted a pillow, I said, “Only if my insurance covers it.”
As we began, they explained everything they were doing. To numb the area, “You’re going to feel a little pinch.” That was a matter of perspective. It didn’t feel like a little pinch. It felt like an angry wasp continuously stinging my delicates. “Can I get an IV drip of valium?”
The Doctor said, “I’m sorry. It’s going to hurt at first and then it’ll feel better.”
“I’ve heard that one before.”
There was a knock at the door. I said, “Come in!” And in walked He Who Was Foretold: The Man Doctor. He introduced himself and I said, “My apologies. I usually stand up when I meet someone.”
But he was just in time for the big show. They were inserting a camera so they could see my polyps. I knew they weren’t going to slide an iPhone up there but they had what looked like a radio antenna the length of a pool cue. I said, “Where are you going with that?”
They assured me they weren’t going to insert the whole thing; just the tip.
“That’s what they all say. Listen, if I feel it at the back of my throat, you’ve gone too far.”
The tiny camera revealed not two but three polyps. “Y’all! Gentrification is real!”
And then I said, “Hey, I probably should’ve asked this earlier but now that you’ve found them how exactly are you going to get them out? Ask nicely?”
They said, “Chop them up and scoop them out.”
“Like on a cooking show?” Yeah, I probably should’ve looked up the word “curettage” before I sat down.
They said, “Ok, you’re going to hear a loud noise.” I expected something like the drill at the dentist. Instead, it sounded like a kitchen blender on low. I said, “Who ordered margaritas?”
The Man Doctor said, “You’re funny. You should take this on the road.” And I thought, “I don’t think a D&C is gonna play well in the red states.” But out loud I said, “Doc, I’m kinda hoping this is a one night only show.”
In situations like these I have two settings: angry or funny; the dark and light sides of my fear. The funny side brought you this. If I’ve overshared, blame it on the valium.
Leighann Lord is a veteran stand-up comedian, author, and podcaster.