A Little Bit Pregnant?To appreciate the punchline that is me finding out I was pregnant when I went to the ER with a pain in my side, you have to understand what a freaking hypochondriac I used to be.
I didn't get a headache, I had a brain tumor. I wasn't having muscle aches, I was having a heart attack. I didn't have a back ache, I was in kidney failure. (Those of you who knew me in the first thirty years are simply nodding along right now saying, "Yup. Uh, huh. I remember!")
One classic example of this craziness was when my husband -- then boyfriend -- was visiting me in NJ. We were all sitting around the table having dinner and I was quietly doubled over holding my side. Everyone else was eating. Deech was looking around trying to figure out what he was supposed to do when my father, noticing his angst said, quite frankly, "If she's upright, she's alright."
Or, you might have heard about the time where I needed to go to the hospital because I was sure one of my kidneys was dying. That might not be so awful if I didn't also make Deech swing by the mall to pick up a framed print that I had ordered. (It was only going to take 10 minutes!) Four hours later, and it turns out I just had muscle strain. Oops!
Fast forward through all the other stories, and now you can picture my beloved's sheer exhaustion at the claim that I HAD to go to the hospital on that very late Friday night/very early Saturday morning. In my defense, my father, my mother and my sister all had rotten appendixes. Rotten to the core. Bad enough that when my sister had her emergency surgery, the doctor asked my mom if she had any other kids. And warned her that he wouldn't be surprised if mine also went bad at some point, without much warning. (Foreshadowing!)
What I didn't expect, and couldn't anticipate, was that morning in May when I finally made it into a little bay in the ER. We'd been in the waiting room for HOURS because, as I later learned, even when you are the very first person sitting in the waiting room, you are not in an empty space. The endless stream of patients was actually coming in through the ambulance bay, as it was a regular Friday night in Boston.
I left my (ready to strangle me) husband in the waiting area, donned a fancy johnny and prepared to give bodily fluids to validate my brilliant self diagnosis. There were people in cubicles all around me, waiting for their verdicts, or possibly, a good fix. In walks my team of nurses. He and she. They were looking at me like I was one of those poor lost souls on reality show. [Not like the fake reality shows that are on Bravo now, but the stuff that I grew up on - Richard Bay, Jerry Springer, Geraldo Rivera. That kind of reality.]
I remember the words:
"Is there any chance you could be pregnant? Because, it looks like you might be a little bit pregnant."And when I burst into tears:
"Is that not a good thing?"To which I replied:
"No, it's not that. It's just that's not what I came in here for!"Who saw that coming? Absolutely, positively, not me. But he's here and he's 10 now. And I love my surprise to pieces!
Due to my "little predicament", it took an extra eight hours to figure out that I did, in fact, have appendicitis. I was validated -- in my own sick little way. Because as we Paduchs like to say, "Nothing's ever easy."