The Case of the Reappearing Reproductive Organ

Sherlock would surely hand this particular case over to his trusty Dr. Watson. A woman of a certain age (still ravishingly beautiful, of course), unable to walk, dials 9-1-1. The paramedics duly arrive; the Woman arrives in the ER of a local and well-known hospital. Though they want to just drug her up and send her home, the Woman insists they do a scan to confirm — or deny — a cancer she has been tending for years.

Against their better judgment (the Woman, though beautiful, has no health insurance), the doctors acquiesce, and a CT scan, with contrast, is effected.

Triumphant, the young doctor enters the Woman’s room, where the Woman’s son sits as well, waiting with bated breath for her pronouncement.

“Everything looks fine,” states the MD-to-be. All the organs, the colon, even the spine (really? 30 years of disc destruction and herniations, and it looked ‘fine’?), look normal. The bladder is distended badly (could it be because the woman had to drink a gallon of liquid in 50 minutes and hold it for half an hour or so? Hmm?), and covers up some of the organs, but (and this really needed a fanfare!!): THERE IS NO METASTASES. (Ed. Note: I’m afraid she did use the singular verb for a plural noun. For complete accuracy in this account, I have kept her mistake.)

Stunned, the Woman and her son can hardly believe their ears. But what great news! Excited, the Woman asks, in response to the MD-to-be’s rhetorical ‘Do you have any questions?’:

“Oh, yes. Did you happen to notice if there was a cervix in there? My naturopath wants me to have a PAP smear if I do. I’m pretty sure I don’t, but did you happen to see one? I just want to be sure.”

Confused, the MD-to-be paused a moment, then said, “Well, of course you have a cervix. And a uterus, too.”

Now, it was the Woman’s turn to be confused, for she knows for a fact that, thirteen years ago, her whole kit-and-kaboodle was removed. She has the scar to prove it.  Indeed, she saw it, and so did some of her friends: the doctors at Holles Street hospital let patients see what their doctor has just yanked out of them, and the Woman had taken them up on their offer. It sat in a jar next to her bed for nearly two days.

An intern, and then the attending ER physician entered, each with the same story, hoping to change the Woman’s mind. Perhaps they thought they could change her story by the sheer volume of their presence. After all, she was doped up on morphine, and she had no insurance. If they said there was a uterus, then there was one, the Woman’s scar notwithstanding.

The Woman was adamant, but also distraught. Since the White Coats had made a mistake about the Reappearing Reproductive Organ, perhaps it nullified all the other findings as well. She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, and chose laughter. She laughed at the utter insanity of the situation.

That’s when the Woman called upon the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. After he heard the facts, he examined the scar. He scrutinized the scan. He visited Holles Street himself, and it was then that he turned the case over to Dr. Watson.

“Here you go, my friend!” Holmes cried, snapping his fingers. “I believe it’s alimentary, dear Watson.”


Oh, you have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to use that pun. I thought of it years ago, and never found the right spot for it. Apologies to those of you who expected a different ending.

And, okay, so maybe I didn’t call in Sherlock Holmes, but everything before that actually happened. Is there cause for rejoicing? I’m afraid to hope. I have follow-up appointments with my naturopathic team — who, I might add, totally believe me about the hysterectomy, unlike the medicos at the hospital. And their blood tests, taken under better conditions, resulted in different values than those of the hospital. The NCNMers are still working on the puzzle.

They’re a team of whom Sherlock himself would have been very proud. I’m lucky to have them. I guess I should say, “Watch this space”? You never know what organ might decide to reproduce itself at my next scan.

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