poured out before bed
“We’ve been trying for 3 years now. It’s so frustrating. Sometimes I think maybe it’s just that we’re too stressed about it, you know?”
I rest my hand on the young woman’s arm a moment.
“I’m sorry – that is frustrating. How long have you been married?”
She giggles a little. “Three years. We started trying on our honeymoon. We knew what we wanted when we said ‘I do’ – and it involved the pitter patter of little feet ASAP. But what’s possible just doesn’t seem soon enough… Do you have children?”
“No, not yet, but someday we hope to – when life slows down a bit for Mr. Whine and I. I think once I’ve done a good chunk of residency we’ll start thinking about it more seriously.”
“Oh, you should do it now – because you never know, you know?”
“This is true. And everyone always says there’s never really ‘a right time.’ “
Suddenly a powerful look falls over her pretty face, a look at once pinched and ashen.
“I’m afraid it’s me,” she says quietly.
“What do you mean, Mrs. Jones?”
“I mean, I’m afraid it’s me that’s stopping us from getting pregnant. I was a little loose in college, you know? I had several infections and I know that can cause scarring of the ovarian tubes…If it’s me I don’t think-“
Just then, Dr. Obgyn knocks and in short order all is ready for the hysterosalpingogram. Dr. McFluoro makes an appearance to run the fluoroscopy equipment, bringing the machine over Mrs. Jones’ pelvis as Dr. Obgyn slowly pushes the contrast. The outline of a normally placed and developed uterus appears on the fluoroscopy screen. I stand at the head of the bed, biting my lip, hoping to see contrast media spill from both fallopian tubes into the peritoneal cavity.
There is no spill.
A great tear runs down Mrs. Jones cheek.
Dr. Obgyn sits at her side and begins to speak in low tones. Dr. McFluoro steps back, handing me the order for the patient in the next room. I squeeze Mrs. Jones’ limp shoulder before I follow McFluoro out to the anteroom.