Thursday, July 06, 2006

Goin' Down to C-Town

Climbing out of the subway this afternoon, my nostrils were instantly filled with the fishy odor that can only mean one of two things: Chinatown or Coochietown. Today we would explore both. The day did not start off well. Murphy's Law seemed to be in full effect and we endured a plethora of small disappointments, including the 1pm phone call from the place where I was to have my Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) at 2pm. Evidently their machine broke down and they didn't know if they'd have it fixed before tomorrow. This would mean having to reschedule my appointment after my next period, leaving me with another month to worry about the damn thing. Fortunately, fate shined upon us, and I received a phone call around 3pm saying that they'd fixed the problem and I could come right in.

So we made the venture into Manhattan and climbed the stairs into fish-dom. Negotiating the hordes of pedestrians in Chinatown is no simple feat. Aside from the sheer quantity of humans and sidewalk markets, there is the Chinese equivalent of the Midwestern Cadillac Weave. The Cadillac Weave occurs when a small, older person is hunched behind the wheel of a very large car and driving very slowly, often weaving in and out of their lane, generally with the perpetual blinker on, not to negotiate any sort of lane change, but merely because they turned it on three miles ago and can't hear that the damn thing is still blinking away. In Chinatown, this phenomenon occurs in the guise of a small elderly woman in comfortable pants, flip-flops and a blouse resembling those worn by dental hygienists. These women move slower than the rest of the sidewalk traffic and are also prone to sudden stops to eye some knick-knack or exotic vegetable of a local shopkeep. Negotiating around them makes for a surreal sort of real-life video game.

So we make it to the front door of the imaging facility that will do the dirty work. But the place is certainly not dirty. It is spotless. Meticulously kept. And bustling with clientel there for all manner of x-ray type imaging procedures. 99% of the patients and 100% of the staff are Chinese. It is what I imagine life in China to be like. Incredibly crowded, but very efficiently managed. It is a veritable assembly line of human production and quite impressive. I imagine myself to be the equivalent of a cheap ceramic bowl or other such Walmart stocked item stamped "Made in China." After all of the paperwork and such is complete, I am escorted to small changing room to remove all clothing from my bottom half and don a blue, hermetically sealed hospital gown. Then the nurse leads me into the room for the procedure, explaining everything along the way, in very quick, choppy English. Every sentence ends with "okay?" To which one can only answer: "okay."

"You put legs up like this when I tell you, okay? Then move down to here, okay? I go get doctor, okay?"


The doctor is a calming influence as soon as he walks in the room. He asks a few questions and explains the procedure. His manner is gentle, and very reassuring. He has obviously done this many times before. I am lying on a long table with a large x-ray plate above my abdomen. He has me scooch my booty down to the end of the table and assume The Position. Oh, that lovely position every woman knows well. Legs akimbo, speculum spreading your loins far and wide, snatch fully exposed, a position that feels especially vulnerable in such a clinical setting. Delightful.

The doc is explaining everything as he's going along, that he will insert a catheter through the cervical opening and I may feel some cramping. Indeed, there is cramping and it is uncomfortable, but not too bad apart from the occasional twing as he keeps attempting to enter my most private place. "I'll have to try a different tube. Your opening is somewhat irregular." Hooray for me! I'm different. After several more attempts he finally snakes the damn thing through telling me, "The chances of failure were slim. I've done this for over 20 years and have only failed once. You weren't going to be my second failure." I make a quip about always knowing I was unique and both he and the nurse laugh. Always the comedian when in compromising postions.

The rest of the test goes according to plan. They shoot me full of dye and take x-rays of my abdomen, while I move from side to side, giving him different angles to shoot. Playboy eat your heart out. Check out those fallopian tubes and ooh, that sexy little uterus. Alll-right. Hot mamacita, bring it on!

There is good news and bad news. Good news is that my tubes are "wide open", so nothing going on there to impede the circle of life. However, he suspects I may have some fibroids and recommends an ultrasound. Something I believe my feritily specialist already has in the works. Yeehaw. More pictures of my girlie parts. Get Hef on the phone, I want to make sure my reservations at the Mansion are in the works.

We celebrated with a sojourn to one of my husband's favorite Chinese restaurants, an authentic sort of place, with several small-mammal carcasses hanging in the window. Good cheap eats. A feast for two that cost less than 10 bucks. Then to the "best ice cream in Chinatown" for a comfort food dessert. Bellies full. Anxieties passed. Time for a trip back to Brooklyn for more pre-move apartment painting. Another day in life's grand journey topped off with a glorious welcome home as we rolled into our Queens (soon to be former) apartment around 10pm and opened the mailbox to find... a notice for jury duty.

Will the adventure never cease?!


Blogger Billychic said...

I'm glad that you at least have a good shot at it, sweetheart. Right on.

You're braver than I...I have had that procedure done and it was too painful for me. I had to stop them one time and when I had my surgery the first time they went in there blind because I screamed and hollared and they had to remove the catheter thingie.

Three years later, when I had to have it done again (last May), I was smart: I popped a big old Percoset and a Valium and told them to bring it on.

I'm a woosey like that.

I wish you all the luck in the world with this. I am so happy that you have found your man and married him; and that you are on your way to becoming a mother. I'm sure it will work out for you.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Maritza said...

Is "scooch" in the dictionary? It really should be. All women hear schooch and instantly put their feet into stirrups and jerk their butts lower on the table.

Great post! One day I will write about my adventures in Uterusland and the Evil Dysplasia (oh and throw in a goiter that made my hormones think I was pregnant!) Good times...

10:08 PM  

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