Monday, October 18, 2010

Part 2: Puzzles

“What do you mean I puzzle you?” the woman asked, cold and uncomfortable on the exam table. She was six weeks along and had been bleeding slightly over the last three days. The prior five minutes of poking and prodding amidst silence was bad enough, but “You puzzle me” being the first statement out of the ultrasound technician’s mouth did not offer any reassurance.

The technician responded, “I’m not seeing anything that resembles a fetal sac. This does not look normal,” and she left the room to get a second opinion from a doctor.

Humming from the ultrasound equipment resonated through the room while disbelief resonated in the hearts of the woman and her husband. Anticipation for a more detailed explanation rose within her. The additional five minutes of waiting felt like an eternity.

She turned to her husband, “This cannot be good.”

Finally, the doctor entered the room. Through his British accent, he matter-of-factly explained how the woman was either dealing with an ectopic pregnancy or a normal miscarriage. He wanted to get some blood tests in order to track her hormone levels to determine which one of the two was the culprit. He requested that she return in a week for a follow-up ultrasound.

The woman left the clinic devastated. Anger, disappointment, sadness, anxiety, and fear wrestled with each other to get their fair share of attention. Unable to bridle them all, she sat in the passenger side front seat and wept as her husband drove her back to work.

Why is this happening? It wasn’t supposed to be this way!” she cried, pleading to God through her tears for some divine explanation.

There was nothing more she could do for the next week but wait and wonder. Either there was an embryo attached somewhere it shouldn’t be, which could threaten the woman’s very life, or the little life that had been there never made it very far and was gearing up for miscarriage.

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