Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I Want You To Be Sitting Up Like A Real Human Being

After chemo and radiation, I did five years of Tamoxifen, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat, cramped muscles and all, for the protection that it gave me from a reoccurrence of breast cancer. But that, combined w/ the fact that my maternal grandmother died (in the 1930s) of uterine cancer, worries the v. charming young woman who is my gynecologist. So she sent me yesterday for an ultrasound of my uterus.

Can I just say that I will never drink 44 oz. of H2O in an hour ever again unless I am truly convinced that I am dying? And, even then, I'm going to ask if 44 oz. of Stoli and tomato juice will distend my bladder just as well and the answer had better be, "Yes"? And that the next person who comes at me with a dildo that size had better be talking dirty and have already bought me dinner?

Strangely enough, that very night, at my circle's full moon ritual, one of our lovely members who is pregnant was discussing her sonogram which involved precisely the same need to consume copious amounts of water and the same experience of having a clinical stranger wield a rather large dilldo w/ absolutely no pleasurable intent. It was, for me, one of those amazing moments that happen in circle: a woman at the full bloom of her power, pregnant, young, full (literally) of life, and me, a crone, no longer able to give life, considering the loss of my womb. And then we did political magic. All of us, from nearly every age group, focused on one goal.

My point (and I do have one!) however, was that I had a wonderful nurse/technician/whatever you call the person who does your sonogram. She spoke with a German accent, her blonde head bobbing above the new machine/computer -- so new that the manufacturer's representative came into the room with us to help her. After she did her thing (and blessedly let me go to the bathroom), she said, "The radiologist is going to be coming in to finish up the exam. I'll make sure that he tells you what he's seeing." I was in the process of, once again, "assuming the position," on my back, feet in the stirrups, etc. And she said, "Here, give me your hand, I'm going to have you sit up." I must have looked confused, because she said, "I want you to be comfortable when you meet the doctor."

Wow. What an incredibly feminist thing to do. She did it so simply and so -- I don't know any other word for this -- humbly, that I was just blown away. So when the (male) doctor walked into the room, I was sitting up, rather than lying with my legs splayed. I shook his hand and we chatted for a minute before I (you knew this was coming) again "assumed the position" and allowed him to wield the dildo while pressing on my stomach in a mad search for my, apparently, quite shy left ovary. When he was through, my wonderful nurse said, "Here, just a minute, Dr. M. I'll help Ms. Demetersdatter to sit up," and she did, and then she said, "There, now, Mrs. Demetersdatter, what did you want to ask Dr. M.?"

Women like that are a gift from the Goddess. They are guerilla feminists. They are avatars of Diana, and Brighid, and Hygeia, and we are all richer and better and more empowered for the work that they do. I wish that I had been able to express to her how grateful I was, but she'd disappeared by the time I was through quizzing the doctor.

It's all real. It's all metaphor. There's always more.

Art found here.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Just wow.


Livia Indica said...

Great Goddess I had to chug that 44 ounces once too. Is that a special form of water torture or what? Here's hoping your insides are well.

Kitty Glendower said...

Hope all results come back well.

Yes, she sounds like an angel-crone. We can use more of them that is for sure, for our dignity, our humanity.

Angela-Eloise said...

It's a sad statement about our society and our medical system that a story like this brings tears to our eyes for the sheer profundity of it. Imagine if everyone in the health care system behaved with that kind of compassion. Imagine if everyone everywhere did.

With blessings to you for continued good health and to your lovely nurse for being who she is.

Crowsfoxes said...

Thanks for sharing this, Hecate. I just had my mammogram, took my 79 year young mother with me and the women there were just as kind and respectful, to both of us. We were leaving and the one who perfomed my mother's test reached out her hand to my mom and said, "And we will see you next year", with a big smile. Thank the Goddess for women like these.