Monday, May 04, 2009

Rack 'em up

NewFNP is back from her conference and - you know - nothing says 'welcome home' like a diagnostic mammogram!  As she prepared for her appointment and dutifully neglected to deoderize and moisturize, she reminded herself not to worry until there was something to worry about.  She arrived at her fancy-pants medical center, registered, donned the wristband and was called back to get changed.

She changed into her seersucker gown in the mammography center dressing room and glanced at herself in the full-length on her way out.  The mammo-gown was actually flattering.  They must have had DVF design the fucking thing.

Having never had a screening mammogram, newFNP is not quite certain as to the extent of its torture but she will say this: the diagnostic mammo is no way to get initiated into the world of breast imaging.  Eight views - none pleasant.  

NewFNP didn't realize that, in addition to the breast tissue, the mammography technician would need to manipulate her xiphoid process into the images.  

When her sweet as could be technician finally got newFNP's breast flattened so as to resemble a fucking crepe, she - in all seriousness - told newFNP not to move.

"Honey, I wouldn't dream of it," newFNP responded.  After all, newFNP rather likes having two generally symmetrical breasts and felt quite certain that any attempt at escape would be a) futile and b) mutilating.  

Although newFNP made light of her situation with her technician, she couldn't help but to feel a twinge of worry.  Her face must have betrayed her worry and a kind lady in the waiting room commented on what a horrible waiting room we were in. 

NewFNP agreed.  The woman told her that she had her first mammography at 37 and that her mother had died at a young age from breast cancer.  She went on to say that she had had "a thing" removed a few years ago.  It was benign.

"I have a thing," newFNP told her.  Although newFNP knows it is benign, it felt oddly good to unburden herself to this lovely and kind stranger.

"You do not worry until there is something to worry about," the woman told newFNP, echoing her very own thought.  "That is not denial," she said as we stood together to schedule our next appointments - hers in one year, newFNP's in two days for ultrasound.

(NewFNP made the follow-up appointment, but could not help but to think that she is caught in the middle of a CYA-medicine spiral.  Is the fine needle biopsy next?)

NewFNP and this woman finished their boob and metal sandwiches at the same time and walked down to the valet together.  As the valet drove her car around, newFNP commented that we have the exact same car.

"It was meant to be," she said and gave newFNP a caring smile that made her believe it was true.  


BostonFNP said...

So glad it's done and over. Wish it could have been easier and less painful! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you!

OrthodoxNP said...

I am continually delighted and amazed at your ability to be genuinely funny and spot-on serious at the same time.

I'm a man, so I don't have any empathetic experience to share with you, but your "CYA medical spiral" sure hits home, only it pertains to the prostate in my body.

I've have one PSA, it was OK, but I've decided to do no more (unless sxs warrant, and so far the longer hover time at the urinal is well within normal limits for my age, 51). I, like you, am an insider and have a healthy skepticism for wide-cast screening protocols. Recent changes in the screening guidelines for Prostate 'health' have confirmed my suspicions.

I just don't trust the Big Medical Machine.

Anonymous said...

You made me laugh - outloud! Thanks and good luck. "just a nurse"