Monday, March 22, 2010

Some tips on finding a cervix

Today we learned the word "fundus."  I consider it a sign of my full immersion into the baby-making vocabulary (no, not the dirty kind) that a word sounding like "fungus" flies right past my ears, filled as they have been with terms like "mucus" and "vagina" and "mucus" and ...  I don't think I'll notice anything after "mucus."

The fundus came up (this is a pun, but you might not get it till later in the paragraph and I don't think you should feel bad about that) during our visit today with Nurse Nina.  As Heather grimaced first in pain and next in horror when Nina prodded her gentlest parts and used a word that sounded like "fungus," I sympathized but inside I relished how difficult it was because it meant I hadn't been the problem.
To be fair, I didn't relish how hard it was for Heather, but how hard it was for Nina.  She'd said it would be quick work to find a cervix, yet there she was searching out a third speculum because the first two didn't pop Heather open enough.  I was right!  I was right!  I was right!  Or not wrong, anyhow.

The show-and-tell with Nina lasted 35 minutes-- about 30 more than what she'd expected.  Those 30 minutes included: Heather on a table as an intern, Nina, and I floated around her crotch; Nina's kind disapproval of the plastic speculum we've been using; a comparison of speculum length, width, and material; pink gloves; Nina's wondering whether upward pressure was so painful to Heather because her bladder was full; Heather hopefully but minimally peeing; my feeling Nina's arm to gauge how much downward pressure she had to use to find the cervix; and somewhere in there the word "fundus."

The fundus is the part of the uterus past the cervix.  The oven for the bun.  The fundus can be tilted forward or back, and it takes the cervix with it, so, because Heather's fundus is tilted forward quite a ways, her cervix is directed down.  Nina said it pointed nearly straight down, not face-forward to the vaginal entrance like mine.
Then again, Heather has always been a challenge and it's been worth it so far, so I guess it's time to get a new metal speculum and dig back in.  Down.

(I hippity-hopped into the bedroom while writing to escape the wild-animal drama that Heather is watching in the living room-- no, I do not want to be educated about hippos getting trapped in the mud and subsequently devoured by lions-- and found a roll of masking tape at the foot of the bed.  I realized that it was there because Ms. Heather had been using it to tape up the torn hems of her pants, and I fell in love with her anew.  Then I wondered if I could use tape to keep her legs apart during cervical explorations.)

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