Friday, December 17, 2004

Female Trouble

So for those of you that have been following this and who even care, I saw my OB-GYN today. Dr. A is the ideal doctor for me. She is always calm, she asks lots of questions and listens carefully to the answers, I never feel she is rushing me, and she has a great sense of humor. I love going to see her.

She is very supportive of my resistance to surgery. While there is little she can do about my fibroids, she has suggested that I try a lower-estrogen birth control pill and use Ibuprofen for the pain (evidently, I can take up to three Advil at a sitting, if need be – see what handy knowledge she dispenses?). The lower estrogen will probably not shrink the fibroids but may stop them from growing larger. She also suggested acupuncture, saying that it has helped some of her patients. She wants to see me in three months to see how things go with this course of treatment.

This is all well and good, but the beauty of our whole encounter is that when doctors measure your fibroids, they like to describe them as the size of food. My largest fibroid measures 5 cm across. “That’s about the size of a large plum,” Dr. A said, showing me with a tape measure.

“How’s your fruit salad?” my friend M likes to say. He knows I have several fibroids of various sizes.

Now, have you ever seen the book “Once Upon a Potty”? It is a modern classic, of which there are two versions: one for boys and one for girls. I can’t speak to the boy version, but in the one we own, cute little girl Prudence receives a potty from her grandmother. At first she doesn’t know what it is, so there is this sequence:

“Was it a hat? No, it wasn’t a hat.” (next page)

“Was it a milk bowl for the cat? No, it wasn’t a milk bowl for the cat.” (next page)

“Was it a flowerpot? No, it wasn’t a flowerpot.” (next page)

“Was it a birdbath? No, it wasn’t a birdbath.” (next page)

Finally: “It was a potty, for making poo-poo and pee-pee into, instead of a diaper.”

You see the sorts of excruciating experiences you have to live through, over and over again, when you become a parent? Anyway, since that is my current frame of reference, I find myself thinking of different kinds of fruit, like so:

“Was it a plum? No, it wasn’t a plum.” (next page)

“Was it a tangerine? No, it wasn’t a tangerine.” (next page)

“Was it a kiwi fruit? No, it wasn’t a kiwi fruit.” (next page)

Finally: “It was a fibroid, for poking your tummy out and making sex really uncomfortable in certain positions.”

Whee, thanks, I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waiter.

(By the way, the fibroids have nothing to do with the blood in my urine, just as I suspected.)

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