Today’s the day I went for my endometrial biopsy.
In the waiting room I told myself to relax. It would be over in no time. It probably wouldn’t even hurt. I always make a big deal out of nothing.
Turns out, I was wrong.
First, I had to sign something that said I understood I was in a high-risk category for cancer, which is why my doctor chose to do this procedure.
Me? High risk? When did she say high risk?
It also said I understood I’d be in an awkward position and uncomfortable and no anesthesia would be used.
How much more awkward than a regular exam could the position be? And should this really be done in an office?
I signed my life away and asked the nurse to please tell me what to expect, now that I was completely freaked out.
It’s not going to be a big deal, she tells me. The doctor would stick a long straw-like thing up through my cervix to the uterine lining and scrape, scrape, scrape some samples for the pathology lab.
It would all be over in seconds.
What about the polyp? Is she going to scrape the polyp?
Oh, there’s a polyp. The nurse tells me she didn’t know that. In that case, she wasn’t sure what else the doctor would do.
I go into the room, take my bottoms off, drape a huge paper towel over my legs and wait and wait and wait.
I try to breathe. I try to meditate. I try to forget. But there’s no way to let go in this awful room.
The doctor and nurse come in and I lie back on the chair, feet in the stirrups. The nurse tilts the chair way back, and now I feel like I have less control over my body than in the normal position. It does get more awkward.
The speculum goes in and the doctor tells me she’s going to use a local anesthetic, but I might still feel some cramping.
The anesthetic goes in and so does the long straw – every centimeter of which I feel.
It’s painful because my cervix is closed and tight, the nurse tells me. Somehow this does not surprise me.
The speculum opens wider. Major cramping ensues. I shriek.
The nurse tells me the fibroids are so big, the doctor needs to make a path around them to get to the uterine lining.
When are these stupid fibroids going away, I ask.
Menopause, she says.
The doctor finally gets to the lining and I feel the scraping. I want to kill someone. Local anesthetic my foot.
The scraping is over and I wait for the speculum and whatever else is in there to come out.
But the speculum stays in.
I have to go back in, the doctor says. I need some more samples.
I want to tell her to stop, I can’t take another second, but I know I have to get this over and done with.
I say OK, but hurry!
The scraping instrument goes back in, the speculum opens wider and I gasp, God in heaven help me today!
Dig, dig, dig.
It’s over, it’s over, the doctor says.
Finally everything comes out and I can’t move.
I apologize for being a less-than-stellar patient and they both tell me not to be sorry, I did a great job.
The doctor puts her hand on my tummy and I say, let’s never do that again. She says OK.
I get up, get dressed and make an appointment in two weeks.
The nurse making the appointment asks if I’m OK. I look pale.
I’m OK, I say. Can I get the results over the phone when they’re in?
They apparently can’t give you the results over the phone because it’s easier to explain the results in person.
This makes me feel it’s going to be a really bad news, moderately bad news or less bad news type of thing.
The doctor is pretty sure I have a hormonal imbalance, which could be precancerous, but she doesn’t think so. But we may need to decide a treatment.
This basically tells me nothing. But I guess there isn’t much else she can say until the results are back.
The drama on the inside continues – stay tuned …