Guten morgen my stinky little bratwursts!
Around the time that you east coasters wander away from your desk for your second cup of joe and your morning visit to the throne, my ta-tas will be flattened in a cold, metal vice. It’s mammogram day! Woo hoo!
I’ll meet The Mc for a cup of over priced coffee before we roll north to see the good doc and her squadron of medically trained torture specialsts. When I arrive I’ll do the usual pre-visit check in bits, making sure my insurance information is up to date and the like. They’ll call me into the back and I’ll leave my companion with a stack of well worn waiting room magazines – because despite my encouragement he won’t have brought a book. I’ll be escorted to the other waiting room, which will be inhabited by ten or so women in varying stages of discovery and treatment. I’ll step into a stall and change into a navy blue cloth gown that ties at the waist and then I’ll join my sisters in tumorville for some idle chit chat…not unlike your single serving plane buddy.
After a short wait, I’ll be called back to the mammography room, where I’ll position myself and reposition myself with the help of a nurse and cold latex gloves 8 different ways so they can get good, clean pictures of my breast tissue. It will hurt a bit, but the pain is temporary and well worth the minimal discomfort given the alternative.
I’ll go back to the waiting room. I’ll fiddle with my BlackBerry and try to read and ignore the others. Twenty minutes will pass and feel like an eternity as they develop my films and call me to the ultrasound room.
It’s dark there, and I’ll lay on an exam table with my arms taking turns being positioned over my head, and I’ll roll on my side for the technician so she can see my lymph nodes.
You know there’s this great new invention that warms the jelly they use for ultrasounds? It’s still cool and sticky and when she’s found what she’s looking for she’ll hand me a towel so I can clean up the mess she created.
I’ll go back to the waiting room and wait again, then move on to what will be the last stop of the day. I’ll sit on a table in a much smaller and much more brightly lit room before Dr. Amerson comes in. She’ll throw my films on the wall, and point out the residue from tumors gone by. Then she’ll point out any abnormalities.
If we see a cyst, I’ll have the option of allowing her to aspirate just to make sure – which will also flatten it like draining a blister. I’ll take it. If we see “a bad guy” (her words) we’ll make an appointment for me to come back in a week or so.
If it’s a “bad guy” and he’s still small, we’ll remove and biopsy…which is really kinda neat to watch. We go into the ultrasound room and she shoots my boob full of lidocaine so I can’t feel it. Then she makes an incision of about a quarter of an inch, which is the perfect size for the drinking straw like device she needs to insert. All the while, the ultrasound gal is doing her thing, locating the lump we’re targeting. So the straw is inserted and I can watch it as it wiggles its way toward the tumor, and when it hits gold, this little probe type metal hand thing comes out and just starts pulling – gobbling the thing up. At least, that’s how it is for me, because we [usually] find mine early when they’re small and consumable.
She’ll tape up the incision with nifty disposable sutures and show me what she took out. It’s floating in a vile of clear liquid and doesn’t look unlike…worms. Or maybe – well – have you ever jammed a straw into Jell-O or ice cream and pushed it back out? It’s perfectly cylindrical and a consistency you used to recognize but don’t anymore. That’s what it looks like.
So that’s my morning. Then maybe I’ll go see The DaVinci Code, and drop the Jeep for service and take a nap and have some sushi.
Because I’m alive, and I can.