On Monday morning, I went to the Gynecologist for my yearly checkup. Everything is fine. I walked away with a scrip for a mammogram for the first time. (The fun of turning forty, I guess!)
That evening, my husband commented, "You're in a remarkably good mood today, considering what doctor you had to go see today." He was right- I was downright chipper for the rest of the day. I thought it over, and I think I figured out why.
You see, for the average person, going to the doctor really isn't a big thing. They go, get a scrip for whatever, and then they don't go again for months. or, they go for a yearly checkup, and leave with the words, "Okay, everything looks fine; see you in a year" ringing in their ears.
This never happens to me. I seldom go for a yearly checkup, because I am at the doctor all the damn time, anyway, so if some kind of test is needed, the doctor tells me while I am there for a sinus infection or bronchitis or whatever. I certainly never leave the doctor feeling footloose and fancy free, knowing that I am healthy and do not need to darken the doorstep of that doctor for quite a long time again.
However, the one system in my body that has always worked like it's supposed to is my reproductive system. I've never had any major problems with it, and never even had problems conceiving precisely when I wanted to and then carrying my son. (I think I've written before how lousy I felt during the pregnancy, but that had nothing to do with how my reproductive system was working.)
I've always felt a bit odd about that. I know plenty of women who couldn't conceive for various reasons, or who miscarried repeatedly, or who came thisclose to death during their pregnancies (See my friend Molly's excellent blog Knocked Up Knocked Over at http://knockedupknockedover.wordpress.com/ for a description of the effects of Hyperemesis Gravidarum.).
I'm used to being the sick one. I hate it, but I'm used to it. As I discovered this spring, when my five-year-old son suddenly came down with a raging case of pneumonia that neccessitated a trip via ambulance to the ER at 1am, I am FAR more comfortable with ME being the patient.
I feel badly for these women I know. I'm the sick one. I should be the one who has problems. I'm used to it. For the most part, these are otherwise healthy women who were completely shocked by reproductive issues they had. I, however, assumed from the get-go that I would have problems, because I am used to being the sick one. I'm sure my husband thought I was a tiny bit crazed when, at the time, I explained to him precisely how many months we'd go with nothing happening before I would demand to see an infertility specialist, because, "...I don't want to waste time just waiting to see if anything happens, when, since it's me, nothing will happen on its own."
Thankfully, my son surprised me by becoming a presence easily and quickly, and each month of pregnancy passed in textbook fashion. Once he was born, aside from him having Sensory Processing Disorder and a couple of allergies (and the aforementioned pneumonia), his health has been almost boringly normal, for which I am also thankful. He seems to have inherited my husband's freakishly strong immune system, rather than mine.
But, looking at him, I am still surprised by all this. I mean, I am the sick one. I always have problems.
Except for this one area, and I will be forever grateful for that.