Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I am a he-she.

Little known fact about me:  I have one less rib than most human beings.

This anomaly is due to a serious spine surgery I had when I was eleven years old.  My rib was used to replace the cartilage between my vertebrae, and then my spine was fused with a rod and several large screws.

But I digress.

As a teenager, I always thought that because I have 23 ribs instead of 24, I was practically a man.  After all, God took one of Adam's ribs in order to make Eve, right?  I had heard that, as a result of that divine act, all men have one fewer rib than women do.  Which would explain a lot about me: low voice, flat chest, total inability to craft.

Years later, I was quite disappointed to discover that men and women do in fact have the same number of ribs.

I guess I'm a woman after all.

Or so I thought.

One of the lovely revelations of my fertility tests is that I have an excessive amount of testosterone coursing through my body.


When I told my little sister the good news, she burst into raucous laughter and asked, "Why did they tell you that?  Did they just want to give you a complex for the rest of your life, or is there something they can do to fix it?"

I assured her that there is something they can do to fix it: prescribe me a steroid to take twenty days out of the month.  Now, not only am I a manly woman, I am a chubby manly woman.  Most women gain twenty pounds when they are pregnant; I've gained twenty pounds trying to get pregnant.

Double awesome!

Anyway, the other day I had to meet with my fertility doc to discuss different options for treatment.  My body is no longer responding to the medicines I've been taking, so we're changing to a different drug.

"Does this mean I get to stop taking the steriod?"  I asked hopefully.

He looked at my chart.  "No," he answered simply.  "With testosterone levels this high, you definitely need to keep taking it with the new drug."

With testosterone levels this high??!!  What is that supposed to mean?

I left the office with his disturbing words ringing in my ears and contacted my friend, Rachel Shaw, who is a whiz with hair.

I needed to feel like a woman.

Rachel curled every strand and poofed and bobbypinned and hairsprayed.  Then I went to the mall and entered Sephora for the first time ever (are you proud of me, Laura?) and bought some eyeshadow and blush.

Then Ryan and I went to a formal dinner/dance put on by the Alumni of the Dental School.  I got to hang out with a few of my fun girlfriends, Candice and Rozannah, while Ryan got to hang out with their husbands, Ezra and Chris.

Ryan and I got Shirley Temples, and the bartenders laughed at us.

It was a fun night, and wearing patterned nylons, heels, and a fancy hairdo, I almost forgot that I am a he-she.


  1. Rachel you are the farthest thing from a man. My mom is always commenting to me at church how you have the most beautiful..most envied legs a woman could ever want. Shes always commenting how beautiful you are inside and out. So obviously the testosterone is doing nothing to diminish your looks as an attractive woman so more he-she complex :-D.

  2. Rachel, I was laughing the whole time reading this. I love following your thought patterns as they seem a lot like mine. (and I would come to the same conclusions). Anyway, I always think that you are beautiful.

  3. Bahahaha! Oh man... you are a crack up! Honestly, your writing is the best. And I am with you on the no crafting thing. I feel like I've been molded into crafting... not my forte to begin with. You look gorgeous at the dance.... I love getting my hair curled.. it really does the trick. And I'm pretty sure that Ryan does not agree with this he-she thing. Trust me.. I've seen the way he looks at you. :)

  4. Confession: I don't own any makeup.
    I also have this secret fear of ever going into a coma for an extended period of time, because then I'm sure no one would pluck my chin hairs and I'd be absolutely grotesque.
    I'm glad I'm not the only one with terrifying man tendencies.

  5. he-she my *EYE*!!!
    you are so not like a man. . . at all!
    (and NOT chubby!) so there.

  6. HAHAHAHA! I'm sure every woman is reading this asking herself, so what is causing all of MY man-tendencies? :) Here's hoping and praying that the new treatments will work. What sort of steroids are you taking? My hubs has had to be on cortico-steroids A LOT for his medical condition and they are the worst. SO--sympathy from us headed your way. Love you, Rach.

  7. Oh Rachel how you make me smile! :) I'm so glad I was able to curl/style your hair to help you feel pretty. You look beautiful! And Shirley Temples are the best! I too always feel a little silly ordering them. I've been told it's the drink of choice for 12 year olds. :) Glad you had a good time.

  8. You looked beautiful at the dinner!! I kept telling myself after this dinner that I definitely need to invest in a fancy black dress and a clutch:)

  9. Hilarious! Laughed out loud, as usual. And your hair looks FABULOUS like that! I must say, the "total inability to craft" was my favorite of your reasons and my favorite line. Love you!!!

  10. By the way, you are looking thinner than last time I saw you!

  11. That was cracking me up. Thanks for making me sound like such a sensitive sister. :) Your hair really does look awesome, and I am proud of you for finally venturing into the mother ship. I think I will need a trip there over Thanksgiving, so maybe I can help you pick out some more stuff.

  12. You are hilarious Rachel! You left out all the awesome reasons to be a he-she.. don't need help to open jars in the kitchen, tough-as-nails attitude, wide variety of clothing options, and of course access to more bathrooms!


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