Here we go, the first one I can cross off of The Single Girl’s Checklist! This one is actually something I accomplished five years ago, at the ripe age of 18.
#9 – Go to a scary doctor’s appointment by yourself.
This particular scary doctor’s appointment was perhaps the scariest of all for females: the first trip to the gynecologist. It was August in the summer after I graduated high school. I was beginning college later that month. Of course I was nervous enough to begin with, but then she mentioned she wanted me to go for a sonogram. Ummm, OK… she didn’t seem to think anything was wrong, but wanted me to get a sonogram just to check something out.
Anxiety sets in…
I called my mom on my way and began chugging the requisite 13 gallons of water before getting to the radiology place. I sat there tapping my foot in the waiting room, having to pee like nobody’s business and not really knowing why I was there. Finally, my name was called and I shuffled back to the room. For those who haven’t had a sonogram, it’s seriously one of the most uncomfortable things ever.
Your bladder is completely full and then you have someone pushing on it try to get a clear picture of your insides. Great. I can conjure up the discomfort in my mind on command. Anyway, so as with any tests or x-rays, the people administering them are like a lockbox. They don’t tell you anything. This person made no sounds, faces, anything. So I had no clue what was going on. I kind of went home and didn’t really think anything of it.
Waiting for the results…
A few days later, I was at home when I got a call from my gynecologist. She cut straight to the chase and informed me that I had a very large cyst on my ovary and that I had to have surgery as soon as possible. Ummm…WHAT?! Literally, that’s how she said it. Very rushed, saying, “This is very serious.” Ummm, not how you handle an 18-year-old girl! I called my mom immediately and started sobbing thinking I had cancer or something. It was definitely one of the scariest moments I can recall.
I ended up having to have surgery to remove the cyst 11 days before I was due to move to North Carolina for college. They weren’t sure at that time whether they would be able to keep the ovary or not – the cyst was literally the size of a softball – so I was freaking out. It turns out that they were able to just remove the cyst, so no worries there.
Hoping to not be a repeat offender…
But every year since then, I have to go for another sonogram, just to be sure that I don’t have another cyst. I will probably have to do this every year for the rest of my life. I’ve gone to each one of these by myself, always fearful that they’re going to find something again, but knowing that I need to find out.
The point of this item on the checklist is that it helps to build confidence. If I hadn’t had this experience at such a young age, I don’t know that I’d feel comfortable going to a big appointment by myself now. Yes, I took my mom and dad when it was time to deal with the surgery arrangements and all of that, but that initial step of going to that sonogram alone was a big deal. And I’m thankful I did it back then. Because now, when I’m sitting in that waiting room each year with a full bladder or having them press on my stomach with far more pressure than I want, I know I can handle whatever the result is this time.