So I finally called my HMO this morning, and set up an appointment with a gynecological nurse practitioner for Monday.
I am ridiculously anxious about this, for a number of ridiculous reasons:
- I only got scheduled to work four days next week, and Monday is not one of them. And I want/need to work on Monday, because that’s usually the day I write my order (and I also have Sunday off, and Saturday, so forget writing it early), and because I need the money. And not working enough makes me anxious.
- But when the nice lady on the phone said there was an available appointment on Monday, I took it without even bothering to ask what she had later in the week. So if I do end up working Monday, I’ll need to make another phone call to move my appointment to another day. And making phone calls makes me anxious.
- Of the options, I chose the office location that’s closest to where I live and work. But it’s attached to a huge hospital. So it’s not like I’m just going to walk into the right building and look on the little map for the OBGYN Suite and find it right away. I will probably get lost in the maze of large buildings and parking structures, and end up being late. And the possibility of getting lost and being late makes me anxious.
- I told the nice lady on the phone that I didn’t care whether I saw a doctor or a nurse practitioner – actually, I usually like NPs better. But as soon as I hung up, I thought, maybe a doctor would be better qualified or have a larger scope of experience and insight as to what my best plan of attack here is. Hadn’t I originally planned to ask for someone who specializes in fertility, so that I could establish a relationship with them, as I’ll need them in a few years once I actually start trying to conceive? Hadn’t I wanted to use this appointment to prepare for my obstetric/gynecological future? And not being prepared for the future makes me anxious.
- What if I go in and ask to have my Mirena taken out, and I get the same lecture about how hormonal birth control is best for “preserving the fertility” of PCOS patients? What had once seemed so comforting, now seems scary, especially since I’ve affirmed once again that I do not want hormonal birth control. There are so many conflicting opinions and studies on all this, I almost don’t know what to think anymore, and at this point, I just want to trust my instincts and my body. And the possibility of being told that I don’t know what’s best for my own body makes me anxious.
- And about PCOS: I asked to be tested for it again, and for that, as far as I understand, I’ll need an ultrasound of my ovaries. But maybe that ultrasound will have to take place separately, and I’ll wind up having to schedule another appointment, miss out on another work day, and pay another co-pay. And knowing I might have to do this all over again makes me anxious.
- And, if I remember right, an ovarian ultrasound is one that will require me to have a full bladder, so they can see better. Which means I’m going to be required to drink a bunch of water before my appointment and then not go pee. I’ll be sitting in the waiting room practically crying from the pain and the pressure, and there will be nothing I can do about it but wait. And the thought of having to pee that badly makes me anxious.
- Speaking of the waiting room… Did I really just make an appointment that will take place in the OBGYN Suite?! That place is going to be chock full of pregnant women. And rooms that are full of pregnant women – do I even need to say it? Rooms that are full of pregnant women make me want to stab my eyes out.
After I made the appointment, I took a shower. And as I was washing my face and body, I felt all the breakouts I’ve got as a result of the artificial hormones coursing through my bloodstream. I looked down and saw my bloated stomach – a stomach that’s been hurting so badly lately, I occasionally have to stop what I’m doing and just focus on taking deep breaths until the pain goes away. I considered my naked body, and thought of how disconnected I am from it, sexually: in keeping with The Resolution (or its possibility), Doug and I have had sex five days in a row now, but on not-a-one of those days have I been turned on going into it. “I’m too tired for foreplay,” I tell him. “Just lube it up and stick it in so we can go to sleep.” (The act itself is enjoyable enough, but I can’t help but think how much better it would be if I actually wanted to do it in the first place.)
So, aforementioned anxiety or not, the plastic intruder in my uterus has to go. And I’ll just play it all by ear: if I can pick up a shift on Monday, I’ll call and reschedule. And then maybe I’ll reschedule at a different location, with an actual doctor, and I’ll ask more specifically for a same-day ultrasound, and I’ll verify the part about the full bladder, and as for the inevitable pregnant women?
I’ll bring a pointy stick, just in case.