The Seed of Hardship - Chapter 16
In the last installment
Kristel finally went to see her doctor and received news from her cardiologist that her lab tests revealed high hCG levels.
“What are you talking about, Dr. Mitchell?” Kristel loudly asked. She was sitting on an examination table, staring down at a slip of paper that had a note to the receptionist of Ob/Gyn written on it.
“When was your last menstrual cycle?” asked the doctor.
“Last month,” Kristel quickly responded. “I’m not pregnant!” she insisted.
“Well we need to confirm that. Because if that is the case – that you’re not pregnant – then there’s something wrong.”
Kristel stubbornly shook her head. “Then there must be something wrong.”
“And if you are pregnant, then there’s another problem because then we must have even greater concern for your blood pressure rising again. Alright? So it’s pertinent that you visit your Ob/Gyn.” Kristel bit her lower lip. “I’ve already spoken to him. He wants to see you right away. So if it turns out that you are not pregnant, then I’ll be seeing you again. If not, then congratulations.” He tucked the clipboard under his arm and stepped aside with a pleasant smile.
Kristel shook her head and stared down at her lap. “Thank you,” Tori said on Kristel’s behalf. The doctor nodded in acknowledgement. “Come on,” Tori added, gently tugging on Kristel’s sleeve. Kristel slid off the table and allowed Tori to lead her out of the examination room. She couldn’t think straight. Her mind was swarming with too many scenarios and possibilities, doubts and the likes.
“So, you haven’t had any symptoms at all?” Tori quietly asked when they were standing outside of the elevator, waiting for the doors to open.
“No. I’m not pregnant.” Kristel absentmindedly said.
Tori remained silent. When the elevator doors rolled open, they walked into the elevator and Kristel immediately leaned against the wall. As the elevator ascended, Kristel closed her eyes and gritted her teeth. The elevator came to a stop, causing a pressured feeling to build in Kristel’s head. She rubbed her forehead and squeezed her eyes shut even tighter.
“You alright?” Tori asked.
“I just feel lousy,” Kristel replied.
Tori put an arm around Kristel’s back and they walked out of the elevator. Tori took the paper from Kristel and walked right up to the receptionist desk. She handed the slip to the receptionist. After reading the slip, the receptionist looked up pleasantly at Kristel and Tori and said, “You can go right into room 215. It’s near the end of the hallway, to your left. Dr. Boas will be right with you.”
Kristel muttered her thanks and began walking away. “Do you need me to come with you?” Tori asked.
“It’s okay,” Kristel half-heartedly said.
“Alright,” said Tori. “I’ll be right here, okay?” Kristel nodded and walked away.
By the time Kristel arrived at the room one door away from the end of the hallway, she had a sick feeling in her stomach. She had a desire to turn and walked back down the hallway, back to the elevator and out of the hospital. A nurse with grey hair that was pinned up into a bun was rolling out a disposable covering onto the leather examination table. She looked back at the door and saw Kristel standing there, staring blankly.
“Hello,” she said in a sugary tone. “Are you Mrs. Reid?”
“Yeah,” said Kristel, the words coming out in a mere whisper. She cleared her throat and repeated her response a bit louder.
“Come on in,” said the nurse. “I’m Dinah. I will be helping Dr. Boas today.”
All Kristel could do was nod. She didn’t even attempt to smile although the nurse’s sweet personality was uplifting. Kristel walked farther into the room. “Here you are,” said Dinah, placing a disposable hospital gown into Kristel’s arms. Kristel quietly thanked her and followed her directions to get undressed behind the curtain.
As Kristel undressed herself, Dinah set up the sterile gynaecologic tools on a small steel table near the gurney. “Are you nervous?” she called to Kristel.
“No,” Kristel replied from behind the curtain. She folded her pants neatly and placed it on an empty bed behind the curtain. “I’m scared out of my wits,” she admitted. As she said that, she felt a stinging sensation in her eyes. Knowing she was on the verge of tears, she blinked quickly but her eyes still watered.
“Don’t be scared,” said the nurse.
Since she was unseen behind the curtain, Kristel allowed the tears to slip down her cheeks. She put the gown on and tried drying the tears from her face. When she felt that she was able to keep her tears back, she walked out from behind the curtain. Dinah patted the examination table, motioning for Kristel to sit.
Kristel slowly approached the examination table and climbed up onto it. She left her legs dangling off the side and crossed her ankles tightly. “Are you expecting?” Dinah asked her.
“No,” Kristel hastily said. “I can’t be.”
“Do you have any kids?”
“Three,” Kristel replied.
Dinah smiled. “Lay back and relax, honey,” she sweetly said. “Three kids, huh? Young ones?”
“I have an 11-year-old, 8-year-old and a 10-month-old.”
“Oh, a busy one, huh?”
Kristel scoffed. “Busy isn’t the word,” she said, lying back slowly. The disposable paper covering crunched loudly beneath her. Kristel kept her legs tightly crossed.
“Relax,” Dinah soothingly said. “Put your feet in the stirrups.” She began unfolding a white sheet. As Kristel put her feet in the stirrups, Dinah draped the sheet over her knees.
Kristel continued to converse with the nurse. The more they spoke, the less frightful and apprehensive she felt. She loosened up a bit. A man in his mid thirties entered the room. His thick, rust-blond hair curled against his forehead and ears, framing his youth-like face and bringing out his light green eyes. “How’s my favourite patient?” he asked. He had a slight European accent of some sort.
“I’m not pregnant,” Kristel firmly replied.
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-K. Alto, Psy.D