I've always said, if you're going to have a diverticulum, make sure you have the biggest diverticulum anyone's ever seen.
It took me a moment to recognize my urologist without her surgical gown and mask. Without the hair net and coat, she became a woman in a wrap around dress and a good pair of shoes. This time she'd accessorized with jewelry rather than surgical gloves. For the first few moments she looked and sounded more like a person than a surgeon. And then she looked at my MRI.
"Oh WOW, well, yes, you've certainly got yourself a diverticulum."
In a move similar to I-love-my-new-painting-so-much-I-can't-wait-to-show-it-to-my-friends, my diverticulum became my surgeon's new artwork.
"This is quite something. Would you mind if I showed my colleague?"
And then she was on the phone to the surgeon in the next room.
"Come and have a look at this diverticulum"
I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. That would be my diverticulum you're talking about.
In a matter of moments her colleague joined us, shook my hand, and made a beeline for my MRI pictures. She gasped in delight "Is that the biggest one you've ever seen?".
"Yep, that's the biggest one I've ever seen".
I aim to please.
Until a few weeks ago, I'd never heard of a diverticulum. I'd made the surgeon say it twice at the hospital. By the time I'd made it to the car park I'd forgotten it again. I sat in my car googling "urinary problems that begin with D".
I've stumbled while trying to pronounce it to family, I've called it a diveculum, diviculus and diverters. I say it now with ease.
I know all about it now. I know that its both anterior and posterior, that its huge. I know that I hate it more today than I did yesterday. I mean that. I hate it.
After the excitement wore off the urologist got down to logistics. This operation is going to take longer than normal. "I'll need to do it on a Saturday, I'll need to clear an entire surgical list. My colleague will work with me. You'll have those catheters in for six weeks at least".
My heart sank. I realized she didn't understand what that meant for me.
"I'm not sure how we're going to manage this, six weeks? At least?" I'm not sure I can do that?
She looked mildly annoyed.
"I don't think you understand". "We need to fix this!" She explained the hours of surgical work involved, how micro the surgery was, the bits she would take from here and put there. I'll have to go in vaginally."
I winced and tried to lighten to mood.
"You'll be the first woman who's been inside my vagina"
I'm not sure who was more shocked, her or me. Did I really just say that? Out loud?
And then it got worse.
"Oh no, no you're not". I remembered that two of my obstetricians were women, as is my GP, and several other women who have performed my annual pap smear.
"No, forget that, there's been quite a few women in my vagina"
And then finally, thankfully, she laughed. We made jokes about sex, about her working with a torch strapped to her forehead while she performs microsurgery in women's vaginas. I called her a miner of vaginas. We laughed about trying to pick up men in bars when you're wearing two catheters. And then I remembered why I was there and became quiet again.
I hate my diverticulum. Hate it.
"Go and talk to your husband and work out a convenient time for surgery, and then talk to the girls at the front desk about booking it in. It needs to happen sooner rather than later."
And that's when it really became clear that there is no convenient time to get rid of your diverticulum.
We counted back from Christmas. As I flicked past the dates on my calendar I saw "Fred - guitar lessons." I thought about school concerts, basketball trials, soccer practice and school camps. And then the dates didn't work, we had to go a week earlier. G's birthday flicked by.
"I'll miss your birthday". G shrugged his shoulders as if it were nothing.
The receptionist began scheduling theatre time.
"I'll miss Halloween". I thought about their costumes, the planning required, the face painting. Henry wants to be a Robber, Lizzie a policewoman. She was going to try and catch him while they did their trick or treating.
I hate my diverticulum.