On Many Malignant Conditions

Last night, this is what I dreamed:

A tortuous session of should-i-call-him-yes-no-wait-yes-nonononono-wait-yes. And so I call him and a woman with an American accent and an upper-middle class, well-educated lilt to her voice picks up his cell phone and says, “Hello?” I don’t know why, but in my dream I know what she looks like. She is pretty, in a white woman sort of way, like a bird you might see in a New England forest and might want to hold in the palms of your hands. I ask for him but I don’t remember if I got to talk to him. I do remember what the feeling in my stomach was like: like pulling a hot nail through a leather belt in order to make another notch. Pushing, pulling, reheating the nail so it can pierce the ungiving material more efficiently. If this skin were still alive, it would scream.

A tsunami. Waves taller than skyscrapers. Waves you can see for miles. Giant walls of aquamarine and everyone running as if they could possibly escape. I too run. Until I realize the impossibility of it all. I can’t outrun this. That is when I stop and wait for the wave to push me off my feet and into a decision: hold your breath and swim or give up and die.

Then I woke up.

Now I am in the gynecologist’s office waiting for the doctor to explain to me why cells are multiplying abnormally in my cervix. “Don’t worry,” he says over the phone as he tells me to come in for more tests, “this does not necessarily mean cancer.” Not necessarily, i.e. not an inevitability, not a reason for me to jump off a building.

What it does mean:
He must perform a colposcopy. Which means he sticks a microscope into my vagina to see my cervix better. He swabs my cervix with ascetic acid. I don’t know what ascetic acid is. Areas that turn white are the fucked up ones that must be tested further.

Many areas came up white. He draws me a map of my cervix and explains where the troublesome spots are. I wish I could have seen inside of me to see what my hurting cervix looked like. I want to reach into myself, cut out the abnormalities with an X-acto blade, sop up the blood with paper towels printed with sunflowers and smiley faces, put those abnormalities in jars, and place them on my bookshelf. These pieces of me that I acknowledge but don’t want inside of me. Like so many memories…

I’m scared as fuck and I’ve always hated male gynecologists. Especially the way this one pushes my legs open to get a better look. Perhaps if he was a woman and we were not in a country dominated by machismo, he would have asked me if I could please open my legs a little more. When I would do it, he would say, “that’s it. That’s much better.” But since we are here and he is a man, he feels entitled to my body and he does not do or say such things.

I will need a biopsy. It will hurt and I should bring a friend with me just in case I’m in too much pain to leave on my own afterward. I think, who the fuck would I ever ask to go with me? This is not something I do, this letting people know I am vulnerable and might sometimes need their help. Shit.

I leave with an appointment for a biopsy in a week. He assures me that “we are not worried.” Yet. There are tears in my eyes. This is what I will do: I will buy a bottle of wine, drink it, and fall asleep. I will dream that this never happened, that there are no male gynecologists with gold chains to make me feel uncomfortable, that I will have a healthy baby, that my insides will never break ever again, and I will be okay.

There will be no tsunamis in my dreams. No high-class women picking up the phone of the man I thought would be there for me.


Barney said...

Your words paint powerful pictures. I have to turn my eyes away. I turn then them back, again and again. You write what other women only think. Thank you for being.

Post a Comment


Blog Template by YummyLolly.com