It didn’t occur to me to freak out the day before when my legs were in stirrups in Dr. V’s Park Avenue office. He and Matt were discussing a New York Times article while my vagina was in front of his face. This was probably the closest I’d come to a threesome, I thought as Dr. V jammed the wand in and out trying to get a better look at the fibroids outside my uterus. He looked concerned. “It doesn’t have the round shape of normal fibroids.” He said.
“Oh my God, is it cancer?” I asked, as I squirmed almost pushing the wand out.
“No, no, it’s benign it just looks different, you need to have an MRI tomorrow so I can have the results before the surgery. They may need to come out.”
We flew all the way from Los Angeles to have a laparoscopy to see if I had endometriosis, I wasn’t expecting fibroids or an MRI.
I didn’t freak out about the MRI then, I’ve had plenty of them due to my low back issues and even a brain scan when I fainted a few years before and hit my head on the marble floor due to the stress of being in a shitty marriage with my first husband and my mother’s then recent cancer diagnosis.
I was a veteran of MRIs so I thought nothing of having one the day before the surgery until of course, I got there and saw that it was a closed MRI. What kind of uncivilized hospital was this? I started to panic when I saw the thin white tube I was going into. Maybe it would be OK, it was a pelvic scan, as long as my neck was out of the machine I’d be OK but this machine may as well have been from the middle ages or the 1980s. The technician kept sliding me in and when my chest was in the machine I started to freak out.
“OK when does it stop, it’s a pelvic exam, you don’t need to push me in all the way.”
“Yes I do” he said.
“Why’? I asked.
“Ma’am it’s just the way it is, you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to”. “Yes she does” Matt said with a force I’ve never heard in his speech before. “Lucy, you have to do this , Dr. Vidali needs to know what these fibroids are doing, you have to do this, for us.” Matt has never begged me for anything the way he did at that moment.
“Ok, Ok” I took a deep breath.
“Go ahead” I said to the technician.
When he wheeled me all the way in, my eyes and my forehead were the only things out of the machine.
“I can’t do this” I said.
He pulled me out five times and then he lost his temper.
“Ma’am, I have three MRIs scheduled in the next two hours”
“Can you give me a xanax or something?” I asked.
“No, you should have thought of that yesterday and asked your doctor for a prescription.”
“Can my husband stay with me?” I could hear the man’s impatience giving me the side eye.
“Fine” he sighed, his annoyance stunk up the room.
“Just so you know, once we start, if you make me stop, you will be billed for the whole thing. Do you understand?”
I nodded like a scolded school girl. I was going to go through with this MRI, for me, for Matt and for the stupid baby we want to have.
“Keep your arms on your side or over your chest, and don’t move” I barely fit in the machine and all I could think of was my mother’s funeral, her white casket, her white dress, her laying still with her arms over her chest.
In I went as Matt stood over me, I felt his breath and told him he was too close. I focused on his Sinatra blue eyes as his tender hands caressed my hair. Tears of terror, tears of mourning and tears of gratitude flowed freely as I tried to calm my breath. The noise cancelling ear plugs were not working. Matt’s sweet voice whispered words of encouragement as the loud beeps, clanks and bangs drowned him out. I read his lips “I Love You” “You’re doing great” “THANK YOU” it was a mantra he repeated over and over as my tears cascaded down my temple. I was glad he was there because without his nudging I was ready to give up, forget about the baby and buy a beach house in Ventura or a cabin in Big Bear.