Strange and Unusual Tests: A Photo Essay

“Your test results were a little… unusual.”

Awesome.  Because that’s exactly the first thing you want to hear your doctor say when he walks into the room.

“Unusual?”

“Yes, well, there’s some things that are… strange.”

Strange and unusual.  Again – awesome.

My doctor quickly assured me that there a bunch of really bad things that he knew I did not have.  He didn’t elaborate on what these potentially very bad things were – but I assumed that cancer would fall under the umbrella of “really bad” and therefore breathed a little internal sigh of relief.

“Your hormone levels are a little high.”

“OK.”

“Probably have a slight case of PCOS disease.”

“Aren’t you supposed to call it a syndrome?”

“Same thing.”

“OK.”

“But the really strange-”

“Again with the strange.”

“-thing is your HGH.  You have an unusually high level of human growth hormone.”

*blink*

“I’m sorry, what?”

“Human growth hormone.  Everyone has it, but you have a lot of it.  Way, way more than.. uh.. more than I would expect for you.”

He looked at me and I could tell he was trying not to comment on the same thing I was thinking.

“But,” I stood up, “look at me!  I’m not even 5’2″!”

“Yes, well, um, like I said.  It’s a little strange.”

So apparently somewhere in this barely over five feet body of mine, I am storing a crap load of human growth hormone.  My doctor ordered more blood tests and instructed me to load up on carbs an hour before this new round of testing.

“Juice, bread, maybe some cereal – ”

“Yeah, I know what a carb is.”  I looked at my already swelling legs and thought about the last four years I’d spent trying to avoid carbohydrates – along with the last 4 lbs I’d gained by hoovering them.

I scheduled my blood tests for this past Tuesday and made plans for my carb infested lunch.

muffin

juice

more-carbs

By the end of the meal, my stomach was screaming for relief.  I was so full I actually wondered if I might have bloated to the point that I would be permanently wedged into the booth.  I contemplated unbuttoning my pants, and then remembered that I was wearing a skirt with an elastic waistband.

I considered, for a moment, the ramifications of removing said skirt.

fries

And then I wept.

I went back to the office and eased myself onto a couch, where I spent the next 30 minutes moaning and groaning and making my boss rub my belly.  I insisted that I was in much too much pain to work and promptly fell asleep, vowing to never eat another carbohydrate so long as I live, so help me God.

Twenty minutes later, Adam woke me up and forced me into his car so that he could drive me to get my blood drawn.  I was still moaning and groaning and demanding to know why he had let me eat so damn much food.  I cursed my doctor for giving me medical clearance to gorge myself.  I tried to call my husband so that he, too, could share my misery, but had to settle for whining into his voicemail.

We arrived at the lab and I was quickly ushered into a tiny room with a padded chair and phlebotomist.

I counted as she pulled out six tubes and slapped plastic labels onto each of them.

arm

“You’re taking pictures?” the woman in the white coast paused, needle in midair, and looked at me as if I might be strange and unusual.

“What?  This?” I waved my camera at her.  “Oh, um, no.  No, I was.. uh.. I have this… umm..”

She stared blankly back at me.

“Right.”  I put my camera down and turned my head away from the needle.

And there’s nothing strange about that, at all.

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