As the title might indicate, this story is a bit gross (think body fluids) but I feel compelled to tell it nonetheless. If you have a weak stomach you may want to stop here or at least wait until you're done with lunch. By the way, why is "nonetheless" one word? But I digress...
Lately, Jason and I have been trying to conceive a second child (proper code for "we've been having a lot of goal-oriented sex.") So there we are in our bedroom one night after a few glasses of wine, trying to make baby number 2, and all of a sudden there's all this blood... and it smells really really bad. As you might imagine, this put a damper on our amorous mood. We cleaned up, talked about what it might be and came to the conclusion it may be just some old blood left over from my last period - disgusting but nothing to worry about.
That was a fine theory until it happened again several days later. This time, I cried, convinced that the gods of baby-making were trying to throw a wrench in the works. I still, however, did not want to go to the doctor. This does not surprise you if you know my family at all. We happily ignore all health issues until they go away or someone else browbeats us into seeing a professional. My dad once walked around on a broken ankle for a week before he got medical attention. At this point, Jason told me I needed to see a doctor. I made a very weak argument against it and finally settled on something even better - google it! The internet, however, lead me to the same conclusion Jason had: I might have some sort of infection, and I needed to see my ob/gyn. I sighed and resignedly wrote myself a note to call the doctor the next morning. Then, I sulked for the rest of the day, acted pissy and felt sorry for myself.
It took me two days to get in touch with a nurse at my doctor's office, because I couldn't bring myself to tell the problem to a receptionist. The nurse, of course, said I needed an appointment immediately. I got one, amazingly, for later that day, so at 3:00 I sat in the waiting room, playing Word Mole on my phone and waiting to find out whether I had a minor infection or cancer. It turned out, due to a scheduling snafu, my doctor was overbooked, so I ended up seeing the nurse practitioner instead. Later on, I considered this a godsend. 30 minutes past my appointment time, I followed the nurse back to the exam room. She weighed me - Why do they always have to do that? Then I sat in the room and waited for the NP. She came in the room, and I got the distinct sense she was in a hurry - not surprising since they dumped me on her at the last minute. I ran through my symptoms with her: smelly blood but no fever or pain. She said, " let's take a look." So I put my feet up in the stirrup thingies, and she started the exam. She was down there about 10 seconds before she said matter-of-factly, "You have a tampon up here way back behind your cervix."
My response: Are you serious??
Me: Oh my god, I'm an idiot.
Her: (still matter-of-fact) No you're not.
I was both relieved and embarrassed at that point. The nurse practitioner had either seen this before or has a really good poker face, because she was completely unfazed. She said everything should be fine and hustled out of the room. I was glad I hadn't seen my actual ob. He's a man and probably could not fathom how a person could insert something into herself and forget it was there. I called Jason from the car in the hospital parking lot to tell him the good/stupid news. He actually said in response, "How did that happen?" At which point I made some sarcastic remark about the aliens putting it up there. I felt like a total scatterbrain, but that feeling paled in comparison to my relief that it wasn't something more serious. I also wished I had asked the NP what size the tampon was. I have no idea why, but I wanted to know.
I heard a comedian say once that a woman loses twelve percent of her sanity for each child she has under the age of six. So I guess the percentage of my brain that keeps up with the comings and goings of tampons is what went out the window with the first one. This does not bode well for my mental stability with the two children. But now I know why my mom always forgot her underwear when we went on vacation. I realized just now that, though I was shy about telling my symptoms to a receptionist at the doctor's office, I have no problem posting it here, where anyone could look at it. Just chalk it up to my being only 88 percent sane - my new excuse for all my nonsensical behavior.