Life seems to think it’s entertaining to throw us through some hoops here and there. Myself in particular can vouch for that first hand. I’ve had a pretty hoop-y life, and I’ve been through my fair share of hoops. The time I called my doctor a liar was, in fact, a particularly hoop-y time in my life. I had just recently been medically separated from the US Air Force, gotten engaged and moved in with my handsome new fiancé. But in order for me to tell the name calling story, I have to give you a little backstory, if not for your own understanding of the situation, then for me to justify calling this nice lady a liar to her face.
In the year 2011, I was a 15-year-old high school sophomore riding the bus home from school. Just like any other day, I was cracking jokes and laughing and carrying on with the other kids when I got a sudden sharp pain in my lower abdomen. It felt like I had been punched. When I got off at my bus stop I could hardly walk, but with no car, no cell phone, and a quarter mile between me and my house, I had no choice. So, I walked home and thankfully my mom was off work that day. I went inside and told her what happened, where it hurt, how bad it hurt, and showed her my swollen belly. And off to the Urgent Care Center we went. When I walked in, the receptionist asked me how far along I was, they thought I was going into preterm labor, I informed her that I was not pregnant, nor was it slightly possible for me to be. I was rushed in to see the doctor who said the only place for me was the ER. So off we went. To wrap this particular hoop story up, after a night spent in the hospital, lots of icky needles, a terrible experience with a particularly intrusive type of ultrasound, and one flirty male nurse it was determined that the pain I felt was the rupture of an ovarian cyst the size of a grapefruit on my right ovary. I was told that I had PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and that I was to begin a birth control regimen to, hopefully, help fix the situation.
The next relevant hoop that life tossed at me from left field happened in the year 2014, I was a 17-year-old high school senior with my first car, first real job, and first serious (yet also awful) relationship. I had been living with these cysts on my ovaries for just over two years by now, so I was pretty accustomed to the routine: feel the pain, take a pill, wait it out. So, one day at work I felt the familiar stab in my abdomen, I took a pill and waited for the pain to ease. The next day I started to bleed very lightly, I later found out that it wasn’t my cycle like I’d thought. For a week I bled and thought for sure it would end soon because the pain was unlike any other monthly gift I’d gotten. Then one Sunday night after work, I was laying in the bathtub trying to prepare myself for Monday morning, when I felt a wave come over my body that I could only describe as a sudden draining, I was about to pass out. I kicked the plug from the drain and the next thing I knew, I was waking up in a dry, empty bathtub. Well that wasn’t good. I got up and grabbed my towel, I knew I needed to tell my mom. The next second I was waking up on the floor of the bathroom, towel splayed across my body, leaning up against the door frame. I made it down the hall to my room and laid on the bed under the fan a while, got dressed and practically crawled down the hall to my parents’ room where my dad was in the shower, but my mom was in bed watching tv. I told her of what happened, and it was decided that I shouldn’t be driving in that condition, so my brother would take the bus and I would stay home… I wound up going to school the next day because it was exam week and I couldn’t miss my final exams of the year. I made it into my first class of the day, Spanish 2. My teacher took one look at me and sent me home. I had a friend drive me and again, by the grace of God, my mom was off work and at home. We went, again, to the ER and immediately I was being worked up. I was given my first blood transfusion and moved into a room. Many tests and scans were done to find out why, but all that was known was that I was bleeding into my abdomen from and unknown source. An emergency surgery was scheduled for that next morning. The final account is that I was bleeding from a ruptured fallopian tube. The reason the doctor gave me for this was that after years of giant cysts bursting on my ovary (and apparently my fallopian tube as well), there was some irreparable damage done and that the ovary and fallopian tube on my right side were no longer productive members of my internal society, so he cut them out. So, there I was, 17 years old, and I had just half of my reproductive system. And the other half wasn’t in much better shape. Great.
Fast forward one year. It’s 2015, I’m an 18-year-old college student working as many hours as I can to try and put myself through classes with not much success. I worked at a retail store and on one day, I got sick. Not just a cold sick or my tummy hurt sick, but I was ripping the collar of my shirt because I felt like I was being choked sick, and sweating while shivering because I had the cold sweats sick. What? So, I called my mom to come get me, told my manager I needed to go, and I clocked out. The diagnosis this time was Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. That just means that I had a thyroid disease caused by the stress my body had gone through the year before when I went through my semi- pre- menopause. So now, I have one ovary that hardly works, cysts that attack said ovary, a negative blood type which makes pregnancy difficult, and a potentially detrimental disease in the case of pregnancy. Cool.
Jumping ahead to June 2016. Here’s where I can pick back up with my name-calling story. I had recently come home from the military, started a great new job, and moved in with my new fiancé. Life was a little hoop-y but I was doing the best I could and making it work. I was happy and had lots of good plans for a wedding in the fall of the next year. One day I got this strange… shifting feeling in my gut. There’s no other way for me to explain it but it was as if I could feel my insides shifting. It wasn’t painful at first, but it did eventually start to hurt. About a week later, it was around midnight when I woke up in so much pain that I couldn’t breathe. So that handsome man in the bed next to me told me to get some pants on, we’re going to the ER. I wasn’t gonna argue. We were there for what seemed like forever. I had answered all the same questions a million times, told them all about my history, gave a urine sample and a blood sample, got an IV port started (yuck), but I had been given nothing for the pain. What was up? Around 4 o’clock, the doctor came back, she asked me a few more questions for the 5th time, then she hit me with a new one. Was it possible that I could be pregnant? I felt like being miss sassy pants and hitting her with a real good smart allec remark, but instead I just told her that, however unlikely, it was in fact possible. Let me tell you what she said. This girl looked me dead in my face and just says, “Oh, cool, cause you are.” Uhhhhhh, excuse me? That was a bit of a strange way to go about breaking the news to someone… but I guess she did her best? My fiancé and I looked at her, stunned for a few minutes, then, in sync, we both said, ” No I’m/she’s not.” “There’s no way!” I said, but she assured me that, yes, I was in fact pregnant with a little nugget all my own.
After she left, my fiancé and I sat in shocked silence. “What are we gonna do?” we kept asking. I just called my doctor a liar, almost hoping she was joking. I know that’s a terrible thing to say, but I was terrified. We were in no place to be raising a baby! We could just comfortably support ourselves on our two incomes. But, that was that. The longer the information marinated in our minds, the more we started to smile and laugh and enjoy the knowledge that in the near future, we were gonna be a real-life family. The wedding was moved to the fall of 2016 instead of the next fall, so we were married on the 1st of October, 2016, we had plans to move into an actual home of our own instead of our apartment at the end of November, and my whole life felt like, no matter what hoops life threw at me, I could jump.