The Situation Is Agonizingly Fluid

, , , | Healthy | November 5, 2017

I had some issues with ovarian cysts when I was in high school, so I had to go in for a pelvic ultrasound. In the instructions we received prior the appointment I was told I needed to drink 32 oz of water before coming in so that my bladder would be full, which helps them to get better images. Now, I was 15 and very skinny. I had just gone through a growth spurt and at 5’5″ I weighed in around 100 pounds. I drank the water and immediately had to pee; I looked down, my pelvic area was bulging already. This was 10 minutes after I drank the water, right as we were leaving, and it was a 30 minute drive to the office.

Needless to say, that drive, through a bumpy, uneven construction site, was miserable. I was in such physical pain by the time we got to the doctor that I was in tears sitting in the waiting room. When I finally got called back to the ultrasound room and I lay down on the table, the ultrasound tech gave my visibly full bladder, by this point halfway to a pregnant belly, a bit of a side eye, but continued with her explanation of the procedure. I heard none of this, as all of my energy and focus were tied up in not urinating all over that table.

She begins the ultrasound, poking at the watery skin ball that is my pelvis, until after a few moments she stops. She can’t see anything. There’s too much liquid.

I ask her what to do and she tells me that I need to go to the bathroom (which was luckily adjacent to the exam room) and “pee a little, then stop” so that there would be a good amount of liquid for her. By this point, I have been in intense physical pain because of this full bladder for roughly an hour, so these instructions felt more than a little impossible. But, being a determined kid, I went in there and against all odds, I did it. So the rest of the ultrasound goes off without a hitch, and afterward I am finally able to fully relax my bladder for the first time that day.

As I was getting ready to leave, the technician asked me how much water I had been instructed to drink, and was appalled when I told her 32 oz. She went off about how they should’ve looked at my chart to see my height and weight because they would’ve been able to tell just from that that the amount should’ve been lower, and it was lucky that I was able to control my bladder so well; otherwise, the whole appointment would’ve been a waste.

A few days later my mom gets a call from the doctor’s office and guess what? Turns out the whole appointment was, in fact, a waste, since the notes were wrong in my file and the ultrasound tech performed an abdominal ultrasound instead of a pelvic one. I was less than pleased.

At least I knew not to drink so much water for the next one.

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