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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Exam (09/12/13)

TITLE: Diagnosis
By Christina Banks


Natalie placed the urine sample on the counter and returned to the examination room. She hated visiting the doctor, but after Sam’s battle with the flu last week, what choice did she have? She’d already spent too much time with her head buried in the toilet. Instead of showing improvement after forty-eight hours, like Sam had, her symptoms persisted. She had to find some relief from this bug before Cameron’s graduation next week.

As she paced the small room, she checked through her mental to-do list. So much work to accomplish in such a little time. Everything needed to be perfect for Cam and his high-school friends. Why did Sam always have to get her sick before something important?

Natalie paused midstride and braced her hands on the examination table. The dizziness was back. She sank into a chair and cradled her head in her hands. She massaged her temples, willing away the building migraine. What terrible timing.

“Good Morning, Natalie.” Dr. Sanchez walked into the room, examining a chart. “What seems to be the trouble?” She adjusted her white lab coat as she sat in the chair across from Natalie.

“My husband gave me the flu, but it’s just hanging on and on.”

“What are your symptoms?” The doctor scribbled something on the page.

“Aches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue. Typical flu stuff.”

Dr. Sanchez nodded and wrote on the chart again. “And how long has this been going on?”

“It started about five days ago. I knew I should have made Sam sleep on the couch when he wasn’t feeling well. I just don’t understand why things are hanging on so long for me. I’m usually the healthy one.”

A nurse knocked on the door and handed a clip board to Dr. Sanchez. The doctor flipped through the pages. A look of surprise crossed her face and then she smiled at Natalie. “I don’t believe you have the flu.”


Dr. Sanchez nodded her head.

If it wasn’t the flu, what was wrong with her? Natalie tried to understand. Maybe she was sick with a different kind of virus. “Am I contagious? My son’s graduating next week and he can’t be sick.”

“You’re not contagious.”

“Then what’s wrong with me?”

Dr. Sanchez’s smile widened. “You’re pregnant.”

Natalie sat back in her chair and stared at the doctor. “Did you say pregnant?”

The doctor nodded.

“You’ve got to be kidding.”

Dr. Sanchez shook her head.

“But that’s impossible. I’m forty-two. I can’t be pregnant.” Suddenly the aches and nausea made sense. It had been fourteen years, but she remembered the early days of her last pregnancy. It was the same – aches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue. “I’m going to have a baby.” What was Sam going to say? What about the kids?

“Congratulations.” Dr. Sanchez placed a hand on her shoulder. “I’d like to schedule an ultrasound in a few weeks just to check things out and see if we can catch a heartbeat. Between now and then, I want you to take things easy.”

Natalie thought of all the things she needed to do for Cameron’s party. Would she be able to delegate the responsibilities? Did it really matter if the streamers and balloons matched?

Not really.

She followed Dr. Sanchez out of the room and made a follow up appointment. She smiled as she started to plan how she would tell Sam. Wouldn’t he be surprised?

A baby.

Not the diagnosis she was expecting.

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This article has been read 240 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Goergen09/19/13
I really enjoyed this, though I did begin to suspect early on that she might be pregnant. But my suspicions took nothing from the story, for I was delighted that her exam pointed to new life, instead of something dreadful. I loved how her concern swiftly changed from dwelling on party details to the joy only a new baby can bring! I love stories with happy endings and this one certainly had that! Great job!
Philippa Geaney 09/21/13
That was fun. Well written. I too suspected pregnancy but enjoyed waiting to find out her response.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/02/13
I loved this. I admit I knew the diagnosis right away, but I used to be a maternity nurse. You did a wonderful job of building the character and making me feel like I was right there in the room. Nicely done. Congratulations on ranking 12 overall!