In 2006 I had an outburst.

So the day at PRESTIGIOUS TEACHING HOSPITAL IN BALTIMORE was long. Or perhaps, it felt so because I arrived so early in the morning and slept and woke up many times. Let me tell you about the gospel of Morphine:

It’s not so much that you don’t feel the pain. No, Morphine isn’t about letting you off of the hook in that regard. It’s that you don’t care about the pain. Also, you get sleepy, and you have that good sleep. The kind of sleep that is not unlike, what a lover of mine used to call a “nut nap.” Not quite as time/space loss inducing as a sugar coma, but close. Then, it wears off and you wake up screaming again. Or you wake to a new shift of residents asking you the same questions. They start to be both funny and unfunny at the same time. Are you sexually active? You mean between now and the last time you asked me? I dunno… I was unconscious. You tell me. Could you be pregnant? Yes. My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior for he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden.

Okay, I didn’t say these things, but I thought them. Plus, I still had some of my sense. I needed the pain to stop, or I needed to die in peace and they seemed to be the intermediaries regarding this.

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t snap. I think it was around 9 or 10pm. I was wheeled down for my appointment with radiology.  Pelvic exams with the radiologist are kind of awkward. You put this very expensive magical dildo in your vagina (at least my tech asked me to do it myself, I appreciate that.) Then she moves it around looking at a screen. In the meantime… there a perfectly proportioned stick in your vagina. I’m just saying.

The technician immediately saw the problem. She said, “Your ovary is twisted, and there is no bloodflow.” Then she said that this would have to be verified but she was pretty sure. Between her taking tons of photos I had to go to the bathroom. A full bladder makes the visuals very difficult, but my mobility was diminishing.

I went back up to my little bed in ICU and went right on back to morphinesleep. Not long after I was awakened by my new doctor. She had some residents flanking her. One white woman and a man of apparent API decent. They want another pelvic exam, the technician says this, but she’s just a technician and they need to check for themselves. This was at least my third, but perhaps fourth pelvic exam of the day. They don’t warm up and lube well and I don’t like them at this point. I said, Fine, gynecology was built on the backs of Black women anyway. There is a long silence. The male resident kind of giggles, I want to think that the giggle is in solidarity, but he could be laughing at this angry black woman. The doctor says something like, Have we done or said something to offend you today? My grandmother chimed in before I was about to dress them down about all of the structural bs, the battery of redundant questions tied to their obsession over the apparent gaps in my sexual history. I think what she’s saying is that she’s in a lot of pain and it seems to be taking a long time to figure out the problem. She’s so much smarter than me. I mean, these folks just might be cutting me open in a few minutes.

For the first time during this visit, I had a Black RN to administer my pelvic exam. She had a short fro and we talked about natural hair care and transitioning.