H and I were texting about a week ago. Something I mentioned caused her to ask an I don’t know that story, tell me comment. Telling her that story led to connections to others. While the story I’m about to tell you isn’t the one I told her it still shows how things are connected. I recommend you settle in with a cup of coffee or tea or better yet a big glass of wine. You’re going to need it.
A couple rules before we begin. I will not be using anyone’s names. If you know what state I live in and search the clues you’ll easily find the two most important names and those will lead you to the rest. I make no judgements on guilt, innocence or victim of circumstance. The story is my view from my prospective. I lived my parts.
Our story must start with a couple of facts about me. I am a horrible patient. I inherited this from my parents. I am very difficult to get blood from. My father was poked 13 times to get the blood needed for his marriage license blood test, a requirement in my state. Commonly I’m sporting bandages on my hands after I have blood drawn. It’s the only place they can find a vein. I also have a pretty serious case of white-coat-itis as my doctor calls it. She always throws away the blood pressure readings taken by the nurse before my visit because the ones she takes at the end of the visit are 10-20 points lower. My mother was the same and we both saw the same doctor. I still do. H does too.
Now the story. When I was pregnant with H I saw a no nonsense OBGYN. She followed the book on all things late 1980’s pregnancy. I was a challenging patient. First I had late day morning sickness that lasted 9 months. It sucked. Second my veins seemed to sink deeper into my body so getting the blood required at every visit was a difficult task for whoever was unlucky enough to pick the short straw. I’ll never forget the day the doctor yelled from her desk down the hall that if you (meaning the nurse and by extension me) can’t get blood out of the arm I’ll come and get it out of the feet. Yikes! I’m glad to report the threat was enough. Finally nearly two weeks late H was born via c- section after 20+ hours of induced labor. I saw the doctor one more time after that for my follow up. A couple years later my SIL had her when she was pregnant with my niece.
A few years later when I happened to be visiting my parents a story came on the news about the body of a doctor being found in her car at the local hospital. Goodness, it was my doctor. There were stories on the news about her relationship with another doctor. How they were supposed to go away but she canceled. He went anyway. Time passed with no real answers but lots of innuendo.
A few years after that I had something going on with my thyroid so my primary care doctor at the time hooked me up with an endocrinologist to look into what was going on. It was surreal walking into the appointment with my late OBGYN’s ex (who was rumored to be her strangler). He examined my neck (what a creepy feeling) and sat at his desk to order tests. I mentioned a photo of a cute little girl asking if it was his daughter. He reached into a drawer and pulled out a stack of photos for me to see. She was about 18 months old. The photos were typical of what a proud Dad would show. She was riding a little bike, swinging at a park or toddling in the living room.
I saw him again at the hospital. My tests had returned wonky and there was something on my thyroid. He wanted to do a biopsy. If The Husband hadn’t been by my side the entire time I might have wondered if I imagined what happened. There were 5 of us in the room: the doctor, a nurse, a lab technician who handled the slides, The Husband and I. I was instructed to lay on the table, fully dressed. The Husband at my side and the nurse at my head. The lab technician worked at a table along the wall and the doctor moved back and forth between me and the lab technician. I was repeated stabbed in the neck with needles while he attempted to collect samples. Then he took a large bore needle and jabbed it into my neck after cutting a hole in my skin. All this was done with nothing for the pain and it hurt like hell. Once he was done the nurse, looking nervous and obviously rushing put a gauze pad and a bandage on my neck and showed me out of the room. The entire event felt off but I didn’t realize how off until later.
I got a call a week or so later that I should come into the office. At that time he said it could be cancer but the biopsy was inconclusive. He recommended I contact a surgeon on the list he handed me.
A few weeks later I had surgery and half my thyroid was removed but still the biopsy was inconclusive. I ended up at a big hospital with a thyroid specialist who was like “yup, cancer.” He decided that the other half of my thyroid should be biopsied and boy did I not want to do that again. But of course I had no choice. This time the room at the big hospital was two doctors (neither my thyroid specialist), me and an ultrasound machine. They were using ultrasound to be sure they got the areas they were most interested in. They spent half an hour just using the ultrasound on my neck.
Of course I was a nervous wreck and when I’m nervous I tend to talk, a lot. I told the story of my OBGYN, the first endocrinologist and that hellish biopsy. Both doctors were wide eyed and shocked. They immediately said that that isn’t how the biopsy should be done. They had shots to numb my neck so I would feel nothing (not quite true but mostly true). I did have a second surgery to remove the other half of my thyroid and a large dose of radioactive iodine to kill anything that remained. I’ve been followed since then.
At some point the two men who gave an alibi to the endocrinologist recanted. They had lied in exchange for prescriptions. The endocrinologist went to prison. I didn’t follow this super closely. I was just glad to see him behind bars. A few years later he died of pancreatic cancer while still in prison.
I really didn’t think too much about him again. Well that is until I saw a news report that a college student had been stabbed to death at the library a town over from us. It was just a crazy story that would never make it as a movie. It’s too unbelievable. It seems this guy who wasn’t quite right stabbed this girl while she was at the library studying. The girl looked a lot different than when I’d seen her photo at 18 months.
This entire story seems unbelievable. Had it been a movie I’d have called it contrived and overthought. But I lived it and it happened. I still can’t wrap my brain around it all. Truth is stranger than fiction. I still wonder, is karma a thing? Is evil an entity? How could this be real? And yet it actually happened.