Adventures in medicine

Please bear with this one, it really is a point of humor to me, while it may not seem so at first.

Like every adult woman I submit to the invasive and embarrassing visit to the "Hoo Hoo" doctor, as the spouse puts it, once a year. Yes we know the correct term, this just seems so much more juvenile and fits in with his 15 year old maturity level.

Three years ago I went in to have some pain checked to find out I had something known as a fibroid tumor. These are very common and the usual prognosis for one this size is to have the whole kit and caboodle removed because the buggers come back. I opted to have the tumor removed for two very selfish reasons. I wasn't ready to give up on the chance of pregnancy yet and I didn't want to jump into the hot-flash pan immediately post surgery. My doctor was kind enough to come up with a medical plan to accommodate me, only to get into my surgery to learn that I had one of the most severe cases of endometriosis he has ever seen. Detaching internal items that had been "glued" together took him a little longer than anticipated, and the results..... Well not so stellar. Without medical intervention we wouldn't be having chilren. I can live with this since it is better than a dire prognosis of illness.

Let us jump forward in three years. It is time again for the checking of the parts and pieces. Apparently the endometriosis returned with a vengeance and I get to repeat my surgery.

Let me at this moment state that my first words upon waking up post surgery one, to my sister who had three c-sections, were, "HOW THE HELL DID YOU DO THIS THREE TIMES?"

Needless to say the whole "we get to cut you open again" theme, not so digging it. Especially since the ovaries are fully involved and need to go. I don't mind not having them. I do mind that the hormonal change could cause the restraint I am actually able to use where the 'Rent is concerned to slip considerably. Once finished up with this ball of joy news, I leave there I got to go do the BOOB PANCAKE game.

We all know what this is ladies. you get nekkid from the waist up and then a total stranger helps you place you boob on a COLD platform, making adjustments as necessary, and then clamps it as flat as humanly possible so they can make sure you are not hiding any wee meanies in there. (I fully support this health care necessity. I just don't like it as I am sure there really aren't any women who do). My favorite part of the whole thing is where you are told, "Don't move, don't breathe." The answer to both of those requests, I CAN'T. I can't breathe because the pain sucked my breath away, and I can't move because you have my boob locked down in a vice and it would be damaging to my physical well being to do so. Once we have completed the lock and load on the girls I go about my merry way.

Three days later I get a call back. Every woman's fear comes out. "We need you to come back in for more pictures." I tried very hard to keep my brain in the place that says this is bad, but if it is, it has been found and we can address it and we can't MAKE it not be a problem, so calm the hell down.

I go into get smashed some more only to find a little tiny piece of plastic ABOVE the platform that they use for what is called a SPOT mammogram. This is a new (and while infinitely more accurate than the WHOLE boob pancake method, it is... Well I don't even know how to compare it). Kind of like jabbing yourself with an arrow rather than being smacked with a shield? AND there is a great deal more fondling involved. Now we have the lift, the place, the measure with our fingers to locate the exact spot, while holding your breast in place while they CLAMP DOWN with the smaller plate.

I want to ask why the whole holding thing is necessary. It isn't like I am up there shaking my money maker, and the boobs don't have little feet that mean you have to make them SIT. STAY. So through looking at images and then feeling me up she was able to place my breast in the appropriate location, and then pulled the little plate down into place. I was good (well not good but OK) until she said, we have to make this a little tighter. I thought to myself, if there was something inside it is gonna come shooting out of my nipple any second! After 4 such moments we were done.

I am vastly relieved to say that this was all about dense tissue and not something else. I am a very lucky person. Many women are not. So while I poke because humor is my way of seeing life, it is serious and every woman should get checked. That being said. BEWARE THE SPOT MAMMOGRAM. They are not a good experience.


  1. Ahem. BOYS have hoo-hoo-dillies and girls have cha-chas! (You can thank the creators of South Park for that!)

    By and large my experience with mammos leaves me 100% of the time totally, flat out surprised that firey lightning bolts did not shoot out of my nipples. Surely there's got to be a better way to screen for breast cancer.


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