I should be used to this by now, because ever since I started going to my primary physician (we'll call him Dr. W,) no matter what ailment I seemed to present with, his initial diagnosis was always the same:
"Courtney, are you pregnant?"
My first visit was at age 16, and while the "Teen Mom" sensation is very much alive, no, I was not pregnant then. Not unless immaculate conception was on the table.
I wasn't pregnant when I came in with that sinus infection.
Or when I had my gallbladder removed.
Or when I had really bad back pain.
Still not pregnant now.
But no matter how many times I tell Dr. W that my eggo isn't preggo, he just doesn't seem to want to accept it.
How many times should I do this?!
My most recent visit was no different. I hadn't seen Dr. W in awhile, and my most recent job entailed working long hours in an unfavorable location. Basically, it was not a neighborhood where one would want to get out of their car by themselves to walk around in search of a nice, healthy salad. I also didn't have much time to eat, so I'd pack a healthy lunch, eat it, and then quickly high-tail it up to the drive-thru window, and shove one of these bad boys in my pie-hole at around 7 or 8 (or 9) pm
every evening on occasion:
Wendy's homestyle chicken filet sandwich. Fast, easy, and chock-full of saturated fat.
In addition to this new fast-food habit, I had unknowingly become the office garbage disposal. I only discovered this fun fact when my co-worker didn't want the rest of her doughnut, and someone else casually said, "Just give it to Courtney, she'll eat anything." I laughed and took this with a grain of salt (no pun intended), until the one day where I bent over to pick up a stack of files and BOOM!
Right up the butt crack.
I tried to convince myself that clearly, it was a testament to my size that I was still able to fit into my high-school pants. (Denial can be funny.) I soon realized this actually just meant I had severely stretched my pants to their breaking point. After all the seams in my pants decided to throw in the towel, I accepted the fact that I had indeed, gained 5 pounds.
I had successfully avoided a scale until my visit with Dr. W. So when he asked if I had any "present concerns," I told him I was concerned that I had turned into the human equivalent of Mrs. Pac Man, nom nom nomming my way through my latest pair of pants. Dr. W seemed to miss the part where I described my previous diet of fried chicken, french fries, frosties (really anything that starts with any given letter of the alphabet), and immediately told me to lay back on the examining table.
With a determined look on his face, he started aggressively grabbing and poking my arms, hands, and wrists. Surely he must have had some brief delusion that he was falling and grabbed me with such vigor in order not to fall; the only reason he dug into my pudgy shoulder was to avoid the impending vertigo he was clearly experiencing. Unfortunately, I was not that lucky and that was not the case.
After what felt like he had been trying to mold cookie dough into some artistic masterpiece, he grabbed both of my ankles like he was choking two small children. He furrowed his brow, and in some weird combination of honest inquiry and clear conviction he asked:
"ARE THESE SWOLLEN!?"
Wow. Which one of us is the doctor here? Which one of us is HOLDING my ankles in a karate death grip? He had now moved from a look of conviction, to a crazed Dr. Jekyll and Hyde look in his eye, as if the many years of my preggers denial had just come back to bitch-slap me in the face and now MUAAAHAHA! SHE HAS CANKLES! SHE MUST BE WITH CHILD! I KNEW IT!
The situation was so ridiculous I almost wanted to say "yes, yes they are most definitely swollen. It was definitely not the 4 fried chicken sandwiches I had last week that have my joints ballooning to the size of cantelopes, it's clearly because of the baby that we have already concluded is not in my stomach." Instead, I composed myself and simply said "Well, you're the doctor, you're holding them, do YOU think they're swollen?" Captain Obvious decided not to respond to this question, and quietly retreated from my now (more) swollen ankles.
Dr. W then left the room, and I took off the fashionable paper gown and got dressed. He came back in and continued to ask about birth control, (since we hadn't cleared this hurdle yet, obviously,) but then simultaneously stared at my other, ahem, swollen extremities:
"Do you think you have you gained weight anywhere else?"
I smiled politely and just said "probably." After what felt like 10 minutes of my doctor's eyes playing ping pong between my face and my possible other "swelling," he concluded that I am not, in fact, pregnant, and that he would run my blood tests and call me in a few days to give me an update.
And the icing on this cake of mortification was yet to come. As he left the room he smiled and said, "You should probably still make an appointment with your OBGYN."
"I don't care how many times I have to grab your ankles; I still think you're pregnant. Now I just need a second opinion."