The first days of fall are upon us, marked by crisp morning air, schools brimming with reluctant students, and the annual recognition of pumpkin spice as our benevolent overlord.
All Hail The Sovereign Steamy Beverage.
This year fall has offered up from it’s generous cornucopia, a bonus endowment for me – the gift of my period being 22 days late.
From a series of exhaustive web searches, I deduced I was either pregnant, providing low-cost housing for a tape worm, or experiencing the start of the age appropriate changes to my body that I am told are to be expected in these, my pre-menopausal years. I’m closer to 50 than 45, so I fall somewhere on the curve of average age for this to potentially be happening. I stand a much smaller chance of pregnancy, as I had my spouse spayed or neutered to control the pet population (God bless you Bob Barker), and the possibility of tape worm is non-existent only because if I think about it too much I feel like throwing up, and I just ate some cake so what a waste that would be.
Not wanting to admit I was at the less-eggs end of the spectrum just yet, I decided to make a doctor’s appointment and take a pre-emptive pregnancy test. I can’t really explain why a pregnancy test was important for me to do. Its like the night my car was stolen from the parking pad at my house and I went out with a flashlight to look for it. The car didn’t shrink. It was stolen. I just wanted to make sure that in the .0001% chance that it DID shrink, that I found it. The good news on both fronts however is that they found my full sized car the next day and I am currently not pregnant.
So, bursting with confusion and a now slightly greater chance of a giant tape worm, I went to see my doctor the next day. My doctor is a lovely woman from Egypt who has soft eyes and a warm smile. She is also surprisingly puritan for a doctor, using phrases like “after having The Sex” and “your lower region” in our previous appointments. I was preparing to have her explain this to me as it being my “lady time” and suggest it was perhaps the right season for me to slip my wardrobe towards chunky knits and elastic waist pants. Her response was not at all what I had expected.
She listened to me jabber on about tape worms and pregnancy, then asked questions about how much raw meat I eat and if The Sex I was having was protected. I used the same Bob Barker joke to explain our situation, forgetting that she may have no idea who he was. I’m pretty sure I saw her write in my file that I eat raw meat while having The Sex with some guy named Bob.
Instead however, she smiled and said the loveliest thing.
“How wonderful! It sounds like your body is changing. Welcome!”
It was the welcome I did not know I was waiting for. It felt as if the weight of my anxiety had been removed, making room for this new phase. She was exactly what I needed. I left her office feeling like a new woman, or at the very least the same woman without tapeworms.
So now the fun stuff starts, or so I am told. For an undetermined length of time I might enjoy the uncertainty of arrival times, the surprise of unexpected appearances, and the anticipation of the unknown. This is starting to sound like the countdown to giving birth or the release of the next Star Wars movie. Only one of those comes with a commemorative cup at the concession stand though.
I have been told some of common accompanying signs I may experience could include hot flashes, moods, and hot flashes, but I am hopeful that I might experience some less common manifestations, like improved parallel parking skills and no longer falling for the ‘does this taste bad to you’ ruse. I am hopeful that my journey will be one of wisdom and appreciation, and that my experience might one day be of use to another woman who is as worried about tapeworms as I was.