Tuesday, September 27, 2011

that time of year again (lyn)

Guys don’t appreciate how lucky they are not to have to go for annual mammograms.  It’s not that the procedure itself is so bad, it’s the waiting that is…the wait before the procedure and the wait for the results after.  A lot can go through one’s head in a little bit of time.

Today I’m having my annual mammogram, sonogram, and bone density test.  I am pretty nervous all morning just thinking about the afternoon appointment.

I arrive early and wait with a few other women in a pin-drop quiet room.  We are all dressed in navy hospital gowns.  My phone rings and breaks the silence.  It’s my favorite caller, Alexander.

Mom, hi.
Sweetie, I can’t talk right now; I’m in a doctor’s office.
Ok, just a quick question.  Can I wear a brown belt with black shoes?
You can, but a black belt would be better.
But I don’t have a black belt.
OK, so wear the brown belt and when you come home next week, you’ll buy a black belt. 
But you just said that a brown belt doesn’t look great with black shoes.

I’m getting a look from one of the women whose eyes say, “C'mon, is that call really that important?”  I tell Alexander I’ll have to call him back.

A technician calls my name.  She is all business as she squishes my boobs into unnatural positions and snaps some x-rays.  I wait and am told that Dr. R will see me.  I always see doctor S and have even requested Dr. S, so this break in routine alarms me. I needn’t have been.  All is fine with the mammogram.

Next stop is the sonogram.  The technician who performs the test looks at the age on my chart and says, “Wow.  You don’t look 60 at all.  I would have thought you were about 30.”  But then she adds, “You look great for your age.”  Ugh, I hate the qualifier.  Dr. S comes in to read the results and again, all is good.  

And finally, the third test: bone density.  This painless procedure used to take 20 minutes, but new technology has shortened it to 30 seconds, literally.  The male tech (my age, he tells me) looks at my chart from my last visit for this test and comments, “Last time you were here, In August 2009, you weighed 155.  What do you weigh now?”  I proudly answer, “121 or 122, somewhere around there.”  I’m waiting for some recognition of this accomplishment.  Nothing.  So I ask, “Don’t you notice a difference?”  “Not really,” he says.  “You were a little chubette then, but you were still pretty and had a nice smile.”  Sweet.

I go to pay and am told there’s no need.  My insurance requires no co-pay.

An all around perfect appointment.  And the next one is a distant twelve-months away.

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