Several weeks ago, I wrote about the possibility I may not be able to have children. I received an incredible outpouring of support from you all, and then I abandoned the subject while I waited for doctors appointments, tests and test results. And it turns out, after tests and consultations, I am fine. My ovaries are fine. My endometrial layer is pitch-perfect. My uterus, like every other healthy uterus out there. I am lucky, I am blessed.
So, thanks to all of you who posted, emailed and called – those of you in my daily life, and those of you who only know me through this blog. Thank you.
All of this, of course, begs the question – why did my doctor freak me out so badly?
First, let me say this. I have switched to a different gynecologist since this event. My new gynecologist speaks softly, doesn’t rush to judgment. He looks like Bill Cosby, from the Cosby show – he even wears sweaters. I heart him, like, totally. Also, he is a Big Gun around here, extraordinarily well-known and well-respected. On paper he’s been my doctor all along.
During this ordeal, some of my loyal girlfriends have advocated for the possibility that I should change my physician, that I was not treated well or with respect, in my downtown Detroit doctor’s office. It is one thing, they agreed, to give the city of Detroit your money when it comes to dining, or the latest Darfur photography exhibit, and another one entirely to proffer up the care of your ovaries. Get thee to the suburbs, they chorused – to that new hospital, with the yoga classes and macrobiotics lectures.
But, for the record, I want to clear this thing up – it isn’t because I chose a Detroit physician that I received a wrong diagnosis – it’s because I chose a teaching hospital. Statistically, teaching hospitals offer the best opportunities for the best care, and for the most part I don’t mind having my eyes dialated and my tests explained by students because, I don’t know – I just feel it’s important, to support student doctors, you know? It’s important to support universities and research and I like being a cog in that particular machine, if you will. But in this particular case, my student doctor made a misdiagnosis and put me through enough tests and appointments while the whole affair was straightened out that I didn’t flinch when the physician she practiced under – the top doc – came into the room to explain what had happened and I requested could he please see me from now on, seeing as to how I was a bit gun shy is entrusting any more of my female parts to his student. He, of course, agreed.
So, to some up. Was diagnosed as probably infertile by student doc. Underwent tests, follow-up exams. Was properly diagnosed as everything working like gangbusters. Requested real doc for future.
October was so weird. I spent most of it creating different scenarios regarding my future. My friend K. asked if I ever grew angry with God over the situation and I can honestly say that I didn’t. I felt occasional moments of despair, of course, but mostly because I felt my choice was being taken away. I did let myself, when time allowed, to feel sad, to really experience whatever emotions I needed to. I went for a lot of long, solitary walks. I talked about it with girlfriends, I talked about it with S. I tried to imagine all my possible futures and at no point did any of them seem particularly lacking, save for the very natural (I think) curiousity about what a baby from me and S. would look like. I did come, during this time, to the following conclusions – I want children in my life. Whether I have my own, adopt, or find fulfillment as an aunt, I think having children in my life is important to me. If I can have my own children naturally then I prefer to do so, but if I can’t I am unwilling to put my body through extraodinary measures. I will be fine, just fine – if I can’t.
Mostly, what I want, and what I feared at the time was being taken away from me, was the chance to continue wondering about my future – the opportunity for a surprise. I feared being forced into immediate decision making and I KNEW I wasn’t ready for that. I want to believe that my future still holds wonderment, that it still holds surprise. I don’t want to be taking my temperature every morning and circling days on the calendar yet – nor do I want say I’ll never have children. I want to live in limbo a little bit longer – where things are vague and gray and blurry. I’ve written before that I don’t believe marriage should be considered one in a series of steps to a complete life – nor do I think having a child will automatically fufill and complete me. I think – if I’m lucky enough to someday have a baby with S. – raising his child will be an exceptional privilege. And probably, I will swear a lot during the whole time.
I am lucky. I would take a misdiagnosis over a final diagnosis any day of the week. And I’m pretty sure my student doctor learned a lesson about bedside manner and NOT sending your patient’s blood pressure sky high. And I learned that I can move through periods of uncertainty and actually not leap to worst-case scenario, dramatic monologues. I can care for myself – give myself what I need (long walks, sushi, a day to watch movies) and listen to my body. And you – well, all of you – probably learned more about the workings of my body than you ever cared too. As a warning, I surely will sometime blog about my propensity for rashes – I’ll give fair warning, when I do.
But in the mean time, I will return to everything everythinginbetween. Thank you all, again.