Teri awaits the doctor, sitting on the tissue-paper covered examining table. Doctor K enters.
Dr K: How are you feeling?
Teri: Pretty good.
Dr K: Well, we’ve received the results from your CT. [pauses] Did you know you only have one kidney?
[Teri blinks a few times.] Teri: One?
Dr K: Yes, there is no kidney or gland on your left side. Other than that, everything on the scan came back fine. We looked at the intestines, spleen, appendix, stomach, ovaries, liver–they all look fine. All the blood work came back fine too, and we tested the blood for kidney function and that’s fine.
Teri: So what does this mean? Don’t you typically need two kidneys?
Dr K: There’s no reason for it to affect your health. We just need to keep an eye on it. We’d want to do a blood test to measure your kidney function once a year. I’m also going to double check with the radiologist on this. Either the scan isn’t complete and they couldn’t see the left kidney, in which case I’ll order an MRI to make sure, or the xray is good and there really is no kidney there. I’ll contact you after I talk to him.
Teri: Um… okay. So I’m fine?
Dr K: You’re perfectly healthy. I was hoping you knew about the kidney though, I’ve never had to break that kind of news.
Teri: I’d imagine not.
I’m tired of trying to get this random abdominal pain (unrelated to the one kidney thing) taken care of. First, I find out I have an extra uterus. Second, I find out I’m missing a kidney. If I pursue this, I can only imagine that they’ll discover I have 3 hearts or 27 appendices. There are some things I just don’t need to know, thank you.
And I suppose it’s okay that my extra uterus makes me unable to have children, because I very much doubt my lone kidney would be able to handle the extra life support anyway. Though I must admit I like that I’m slowly answering the question, “What the hell is wrong with you?” ‘Cause now I can shrug and say, “I don’t know but the doctor said it’s congenital.”