Yesterday I had a mammogram. It was one of those “We see something we’d like to keep an eye on so come back in six months” mammograms. Not as fun as the regular kind – if you call having your mammaries squished between two plastic shelves for five minutes at a time of “hold that position, please” fun. This was like the regular fun one but then they include an extra set of squishing between even smaller plastic shelves and weirder held positions on the “area of concern” that is just plain painful.
The mammogram was to be on Right breast in an area that was ‘probably benign.’ That, by the way, does not instill confidence in all things medical. Giving someone a form that has a checklist that includes the words ‘probably’ and ‘suspicious abnormality’ is not a lovely “You’re fine. Thanks and see you next time”
I always go into these things trying to be bright and chatty and ignore parts where the woman I just met seconds ago fondling my bits and maneuvering me into awkward possessions. Yesterday was particularly hard to chat. My doc had given the okay to take a second look at Left but hadn’t told Squishier. And “for insurance purposes” Squishier can’t squish without an okay from the doc – who was with patients but she said she could squish if I pointed out the lump. So now, “for insurance purposes,” I have to prove I have a lump worth squishing right now. Me, who hates confrontation. Me, who has ignored said lump for months, just sharing its discovery with Husband before he finally nagged me into calling doc and getting her to add Left to Right’s second look date. And now, I’m standing in the middle of a room that is not at all warm with hands that are frozen looking for a lump I found in the shower that is hiding because it knows exactly what comes next. No cheery chat for me.
Lump located and sticker attached, the squishing began. Squishier kept asking if I was okay but my brain panic was on overdrive and her hands were on my chesticles and she didn’t remember our last date six months ago when we covered all the topics I have for this type of situation so I just nodded yes and smiled my brittle smile and on we went. Left was flattened. Right was squashed. And then both were compacted again with the smaller plastic panels. And when Squishier was finished, she had me wait in the little dressing room in my dressing gown thing until the radiation tech gave the okay for me to leave.
I was told I needed an ultrasound on both Left and Right and they’d be right with me. Now I’m sitting in the tiny dressing room, trying to keep my brain from coming up with possible scenarios for what could happening in my bazoombas, wearing just a robe on my top half that keeps gaping open because the ties are never in the right place, my arms through my jacket to try and keep the girls warm as they settle back into the shape they came in as when the lady who was going to do the ultrasound pops her head around the door. AND IT WAS THE SAME ONE WHO ‘FOUND’ MY UTERUS last time I was in.
There was a moment of recognition in her eyes, which probably reflected the horror in mine. And then I followed her down the hallway to her room. She didn’t acknowledge that she knew me. I didn’t acknowledge that she had found a uterus where one no longer existed. It was a good time.
In the room that was the scene of the previous womb finding incident, I followed her instructions, got on the table, raised my arm above my head and off we went, goo applied to boob, ultrasound wand pushed into goo and pictures appearing on the screen that looked like a stills from old black and white alien movies. My second date with a woman who was so uncomfortable, she shook and couldn't manage even a modicum of small talk. Forty-five minutes and warm icky goo everywhere later, she went off to confirm with the radiation tech. And, probably because I’m red flagged in a file as the one with the extra uterus that wasn’t; he came back in with her for a second look. More goo and smashing and both Left and Right were cleared. Tech showed me the ‘areas of concern’ and pointed out I have “very, very dense breasts.” He led every sentence with that - again, probably because of the flag in my file – “You have very, very dense breasts tissue but I do not see anything warranting any further testing at this time”
And that was that. They left me to clean off goo and dress and then Ultrasound Tech walked me out with an awkward good-bye smile and a very polite platitude about the weather.
I have another date scheduled for Right in six months because “You have very, very dense breast tissue and we’d like to confirm that this area has not changed.”
I’m thinking of putting that on my resume, has very, very dense breast tissue. I think it will fit in right after flexible and organized and right next to bulky cervix. Might be the edge I need in this competitive job market.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me