Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

I might have a uterus – insert dramatic music here…

I found out today that I have a uterus. Maybe. It’s something I’ve gotten used to, this not really having any definitive answers about my this body of mine. One of my earliest memories if being in the hospital when I had my first surgery. It’s just a flash of a memory, but I remember being in a room and having a little cart for me to be pushed around in. The memory is from after the surgery. To catch anyone up who doesn’t know, the surgery was ostensibly to remove an undescended testicle, though once the surgery was completed the doctors only told my mother that they removed a mass and that they didn’t know exactly what it was.

As I’ve written about, I’ve wondered for quite a while about what, exactly, that mass might have been. Was it a malformed testicle? Was it a lump of undefined flesh? Was it an ovary?

The truth is that I’ll never know. And I guess that’s okay.

But it means that part of my history will always be sort of vague.

Today I got the results from a pelvic CT scan that I had a few weeks ago. The scan was for an unrelated test, and I was actually a bit surprised that I even had a CT scan. I had a physical today. I wasn’t as anxious as I’ve been for some of doctor visits lately, because I feel good and figured it was just going to be an “all is well” kind of thing. I was expecting to have an appointment be normal for a change. As we were going over the results of the scan, though, it became apparent that this was going to be another stressful doctor visit. My eyes quickly locked on the statement:

The bladder, rectum, and uterus are within normal limits.”

…uterus…within normal limits.”

~What!?~

I have to be honest; my first reaction was that the person who read it just saw that I’m a woman and assumed that I have a uterus. But my doctor said that shouldn’t be the case and ~would not~ be okay. We both sort of sat there for a minute, not completely sure what to make of this incredibly heavy piece of information. She decided that she should speak directly with the person who read the scan, and that she should do that right away, so she went to put in a call to the person who had read the scan originally.

As I waited for my doctor to make that call I sat in the examination room in my johnny and I was alone with my thoughts. What does it mean if I have a uterus? What does it mean if I don’t? Wishing, for some reason I can’t fully understand, that I do have a uterus, and yet simultaneously hoping that the surprises my body has thrown at me are finally over. What could it mean about my early surgery if I have a uterus? What complications might I have in the future if there’s a uterus hiding inside of me? Could this finally be the answer? All that filled my brain in those long minutes were questions. What the true state of my body could be. Not too long ago I actually started wondering that I might have a uterus, but now, presented with the actual possibility all I could think was, “No way.” I’m still processing the initial emotions even as I write this. I think the word is “shock.” I think it will take a while for the news to sink in. As I sat there I felt myself invoke one of my most tried-and-true defense mechanisms: my emotions shut down and I withdrew. I guess I really am used to this kind of question and pain, because as much I withdrew, I didn’t go near-catatonic as I can sometimes do. I’m writing about it and talking about it. And I was able to stay present in the moment, which helped me deal with what came next.

After about fifteen minutes, my doctor came back, having left a message to be paged when word came from the other doctor. We talked, and she told me that she finally got a glimpse of what it must be like to have so many questions about my body and my history. We talked about the “whys” of things, and I told her that I’m basically at peace with the “whys” of my life, though I do still have that conversation with God ever now and again. But I am concerned with the realities of my body and my history.

During this point she did my yearly exam down south, and said that my surgeon had done an excellent job and everything looked great. So, at least that’s good news (of course, I knew that already, but it’s nice to have confirmation).

After several minutes, the beeper went off, and my doctor returned the call. She made the call from the examination room with me sitting next to her. The same physician that had originally read my results was reading the scan again. The conversation went on for several minutes. It was one of those awkward conversations where I was the subject but also had to just eavesdrop on one side. I heard my doctor ask how the scan looked compared to a male, and ask a couple other questions, but most of the information was contained on the other end of the phone line.

When she got off the phone my doctor explained about the soft tissue in the pelvis. She told me that the person reading the scan had gotten out a magnifying glass and had someone else give them a second opinion. They said that it didn’t look like a normal uterus, but that it also did not look like a prostate. There seemed a general sense of “we don’t know.” I find it interesting that when it was initially read, whatever is there looked enough like a uterus to generate the comment that the “…uterus…[is] within normal limits.” It didn’t stand out enough to generate a “whoa, something’s amiss here.” And now they don’t know.

So now, here I am, more questions floating in my mind than have been there in quite some time, needing to sort out yet another part of my story. And it’s all right. I’m used to “we don’t knows” when it comes to my body.

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7 Comments»

  Nora-Adrienne Deret wrote @

Have you ever taken a big q-tip, run it around your mouth and had testing done for x’s and y’s?

  pickypenelope wrote @

I ~finally~ had a karyotype test done. I have a follow-up appointment when I’ll get the results on September 29th. I was referred to an endocrinologist when I was younger, but my mom never took me. My recent visit was my first ever to an endo.

  Corrvin wrote @

Whoa. That’s some big news there.

I don’t know how I’d cope without some tantrum-throwing and some “you give me answers NOW NOW NOW.” But you’re good people, and patient.

  pickypenelope wrote @

I think it’s incredibly sweet that you’d think I’m patient. 😉 not

  Judy wrote @

Oh,my!!! I’m not sure what to say! I wish they could all get their acts together and give you some sort of definative news! My heart goes out to you that you keep having to be almost taunted….. I love you muchly! But a uterus, WOW! Can i say PISSAH? You can always call and chat/vent if you need/want too. :o)

  pickypenelope wrote @

I’m still sort of processing it all. I think the word is “shock.” It would sure answer a ton of questions. Given everything I’m actually pretty calm about it.

Thanks, and I love you too. ❤

[…] I might have a uterus – insert dramatic music here… « Penny's Story […]


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