Friday 11th June 2010
Gestation: 37 weeks, 1 day
One year ago.
“Hello,” I say, answering the phone. I look across at my friend, Libby, her newborn daughter, Lana, in her arms.
“Hey, hon, it’s me.” The phone drops in and then out, reception hazy in the house. I point at the phone and Libby nods, understanding the black hole of reception that her home is.
“Just trying to get better reception,” I say, walking towards the front door. Even though I can only hear crackles, I get the mood.
Something’s not right.
I walk outside a look at the screen, until magically three bars of reception flash up.
“All right, I’ve got you,” I say.
“I’ve just had the ultrasound scan, and they reckon it’s torn.”
I close my eyes, tightly, in that way you do when you don’t know what else to do. So tight that it causes a headache.
“I think so.”
“Why what did they say?
“Nothing.” She takes a breath. “I mean, she was looking at it for forty-five minutes, and then another woman came in, and then the radiologist. And they were all murmuring and pointing at this one white bit.”
“So did they say that it was torn?”
“They didn’t say anything. They never say anything. But I think so.”
I close my eyes again.
* * * * *
I walk back into the lounge to Libby.
“So how’s Suse going?” she asks.
“She’s just had an ultrasound on the left shoulder.”
“Sounds like it might be torn. Just like the right one was.”
Lisa looks at me.
“Oh my God. When are things going to ease up for her?”
“I don’t know, Libby. I don’t know.” I look at Lana in her arms. “A torn supraspinatus muscle means more surgery, more rehab. Last time it was three months before she could mobilise properly. What this means about getting pregnant, I just don’t know.”
“I thought you’d cleansed the house?” she says.
“We did. But the shoulder pain has been there for weeks. From before burning the candle.”
Lisa continues to rock Lana, who sleeps peacefully in her arms.
* * * * *
“Hello, I was hoping to follow up some results on Susan Brock,” I say. “Just putting you through.”
I wait, looking at Suse, as she sits at her desk. Her face is flat. I pick up a post-it note, expectantly.
“Results?” announces the girl on the end of the phone.
“Hi there, I was hoping that a report may be through on a patient.”
“She’s your patient?”
I look across at Suse. “Yes, I ordered the ultrasound.
“How do you spell it?”
“B. R. O. C. K.”
“And it was done today?”
I hear typing at the other end. “The result is through. Would you like me to fax it?”
“That would be great,” I say. Suse hands me a business card, and I read out the number. “Can you read the result to me, before you go?”
“Sure,” she says with hesitation.
The girl on the other end trips over terms like she’s drunk, mispronouncing every word that is bigger than five letters long. But in amongst it all, I hear her say ‘tendinopathy’, and there is no mention of a tear.
“Great,” I say, looking at Suse. Her face is ashen. But with this, she raises her eyebrows. I hang up the phone. “No tear, honey. Just inflammation.” She just stares, unable to say anything.
The fax machine burps into action. We both stand and walk to it. I take the sheet, and read. Suse looks over my shoulder. “ ‘No evidence of supraspinatus tear’ ”, I paraphrase, pointing as I read, “ ‘similar findings to last study.’ ”
I look across at Suse. Her expression has changed to anger.
“Well why couldn’t they tell me that when I was in there? Why did they have to put me through all of that?”
“Because they’re the radiographers…”
“But the radiologist came in at the end. And she was looking very concerned.”
I look at the fax. “A little Asian lady?’
“Well, Dr Sally Yim reported it, and she’s happy that it’s just tendinopathy. Whatever they were pointing at, it wasn’t at a tear. No surgery, hon.”
Suse sits back down. Her shoulders drop.
“It’s great news, honey,” I say. “It’s not going to stop us from getting pregnant.”
She nods plastering a smile on her face.
Yet she still looks defeated.
To be continued…
* * * * *