Is there anything more disturbing than the words pap and smear? Even alone they’re bothersome, but when put together they induce nausea… and fear.
I had been gearing up for mine for a week or so – mentally and physically. It takes me at least that long to accept the idea of those clampy things and to hack away the “forestry" that's usually kept under wraps.
So suffice it to say that by the time I’m sitting on the cold doctor’s table having my annual physical, I feel like I am ready for anything.
“You have an underactive thyroid. It's fairly common after having a baby.”
I stare at her blankly, trying to disguise my excitement.
“Does this mean that I’m going to lose weight accidentally?”
She tells me that it’s actually the opposite. Underactive thyroids make you gain wait. It's the overactive ones that make you skinny. (I should have known. I'd be more likely to lose my kidneys by accident.)
“You’ll have to take some medicine and make sure that you’re only drinking moderately. Alcohol can alter the drug’s effectiveness.”
My palms start to sweat. “Define moderate."
“One or two glasses here and there is fine,” she tells me. “It’s not a big deal. Just no binge drinking!” She chuckles.
I chuckle back.
I go home in a miserable mood.
“This is my punishment for having a baby!” I tell PJ when I come in the door.
He doesn’t ask me to elaborate, but I do anyway.
“I have a lazy f***ing thyroid,” I say, thoroughly pissed. “Which means I’m not allowed to drink!” (Boxes at least.)
“Well that’s probably a good thing. Think about how healthy you’ll be."
(Unbridled optimism is sure easy when it's in regards to other people.)
“I don’t think you get it. I gave up my body, my hobbies, my life – and now I have to give up my wine? It's my best friend! My one true love!”
PJ raises an eyebrow at me, the way he always does when he thinks I’m being overdramatic.
“And what did you have to give up to have a baby?” I shout.
“Lots of things… I had to…”
“NOTHING!” I interject, before storming off.
An hour later PJ finds me in the kitchen draining an old box of wine.