“Are you sure you’re not pregnant?”

This past month, administering to my health has been my full-time job, with 15 cancer-related appointments over 22 days. I’m glad the month is almost over. Next month is slower on the cancer front, so far. Don’t want to jinx anything. Is radiation tiring me out? It’s either radiation or all these darn medical appointments.

Because you’ve been such loyal followers and you too must be getting fatigued, you’ve certainly earned a commercial break from our regular cancer programming. Oh, don’t worry, I’ll be talking about my health, kind of. I am more than my leukemia, I keep telling myself.

In my spare time, between my cancerous medical appointments, I decided to address one more minor problem I’d been having, the kind of problem older people get. A joint problem. The specifics aren’t important. On a non-cancer day, I trotted off for x-rays and an ultrasound of this joint.

I checked in at the clinic desk, and was promptly advised I had to sign a waiver that I was not pregnant. Well, that’s kind of funny, isn’t it? You can understand why I laughed aloud, can’t you? The woman behind the tall reception desk that hid my protruding belly found my laughter odd, I’m sure. I must contain myself a bit better in public sometimes.

I am so NOT pregnant. Trust me on this one. If I were, it might be time for a C-section, not radiation. Let’s set aside the whole “I’m too old” factor. In fact, I’ve never been pregnant, and, as a lesbian, getting pregnant would take a concerted effort. Perhaps the involvement of a fertility clinic, hormone treatments, in-vitro fertilization, or, if I couldn’t afford all that on my meagre disability pension, a male buddy’s donated sperm and a turkey baster. Furthermore, were I to get pregnant, with all the medications coursing through my body, I’d most certainly pickle my fetus. (Thanks to my dear friend, D., for the imagery.) I love children, but kids weren’t in the cards for J. and me. I admire my gay cohorts who pursue life with children, whether through birth, surrogacy, or adoption, but I am not one of them, for many reasons, including my health.

Still, many times over the course of my life, I’ve undergone medical procedures where I’ve first been asked whether I was pregnant. Saying no is generally not enough; I’ve often been asked to provide a reason, as I was on Wednesday.

How am I barren? Let me count the ways.

So I looked at the waiver form, with its extensive list of reasons why I might not be pregnant, and found they’d left one out (I hope this isn’t a surprise to you, dear reader): my rampant high-on-the-Kinsey-scale yes-I was-born-that-way homosexuality. So in the space for “other”–thank goodness there’s always a space for “other”–I recorded, in all caps for emphasis and just to make sure I was clear: “I AM GAY!” I trust they got the message, but I’m not sure they’ll be revising their form anytime soon. Still, I’ll bet they believed me, despite my spleen’s masquerading as a baby.

Older woman sitting at desk and signing form while smiling

Are you really asking me that question?


4 thoughts on ““Are you sure you’re not pregnant?”

  1. Annie, when had an MRI of my knee, I had to sign a waiver that included the question “do you have any bullets in you”, so asking if you are pregnant sounds flattering to me. They thought you looked young and fertile. They thought I looked like a member of the Hell’s Angels. Pat xxx


    • Dear Pat: It’s time I acknowledge I also have found you quite threatening over the years, in that cuddly teddy bear sort of way. I can thus understand the bullet question. You probably get stopped regularly when you cross the border too, don’t you? I’m jealous. XO Annie


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