Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sometimes fertility treatments are embarrassing

Warning: If you're easily embarrassed, you might want to skip this one. 

I embarrass myself a lot. Like when I drew a pornographic sketch for Jack on the steamed up shower glass and later realized it was still visible when the cleaning lady came that day. Or that time I was interviewing a Caps player and realized that a teammate’s sweaty jock hanging in an adjacent locker was dripping on my shoulder. Or every time I get caught in public fishing food crumbs out of my cleavage. But this beats them all.

One of the earliest fertility tests they perform is a saline test, where they fill your uterus and Fallopian tubes with a saline solution to make sure there are no blockages affecting ovulation. My doctor had performed a similar test previously with dye and an x-ray, that had turned up a possible blockage and the saline test was expected to be more conclusive. Unlike the dye test, the saline test isn’t physically painful, just awkward.

I went in for my saline test on a warm day in September. The test went well – no blockage this time – and I was feeling good until I realized that I had forgotten the rules of gravity. What goes up must come down, which means that I would slowly be leaking clear saline for the foreseeable future.

Fortunately, the nurse had me covered. Unfortunately, that coverage was in the form of a maxi pad that was most certainly “maxi.” Two inches thick and as wide as a saddle. I was wearing a floor length sundress and the underwear I had chosen that day wasn’t likely up for such a big task. But I had no choice, so I stuck the pad in there, said a prayer and waddled out of the doctor’s office.

I had made plans to meet a friend for lunch, so I went to the restaurant right from the doctor’s office. We had lunch, did some shopping and I left for home in the late afternoon, stopping at Target on the way. Walking into Target, I realized I had to pee so I headed to the bathroom and picked my stall (one stall buffer always, ladies). About five seconds into my pee I realized something was wrong, and a moment later I realized with horror what it was.

The pad was not there.

As the gravity of what was happening hit me, I began to run down the possibilities. Is it stuck to the inside of my dress? Please let it be stuck to the inside of my dress. But it wasn’t. 

Did it fall out in the car? Nope. 

With the two least embarrassing options ruled out, the rest were mortifying. Is it in the parking lot of my doctor’s office? Is it under the table in the restaurant? Did it fall out as I was crossing the street in the middle of shopping? Did someone see it fall? DID EVERYONE SEE IT FALL? 

The only thing that would make it worse is if I had been aware of it when it happened, and I am eternally grateful that I wasn’t. I called my lunch friend to see if she had noticed anything.

“HAHAHAHAHAHAHAOMGHAHAHAHAHA,” was all she could say when I told her what had happened. I started laughing too, because the whole thing was absolutely ridiculous.

To this day I have no idea where it went. But if you were walking around Old Town Alexandria on a warm day in September 2012 and came across an abandoned maxi pad, it’s mine.

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