Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Yearly Reminder

Well, it's a new year and thus begins my annual pilgrimage to check ups and exams which we, women, have to do each year.  I'm still a year and a half removed from the colonoscopy and continue to pray fervently that the Lord will return before May of 2018.  Anyway, I decided to keep with tradition and start at the head, this year, and work my way down.  I'm nothing if not a stickler for check ups. Last week, I went to the eye doctor where I got new glasses as I learned that I have the beginning of a cataract which has changed my lens prescription.  Cataract.  I remember when my grandmother had those so that was a kick in the "I think I'm still young" pants.  Then, working my way down from the head, the next stop would be the thyroid check up but that's not due yet so I proceeded on to the mammogram.  As a public service reminder, I try to always write about my mammogram appointment in an effort to encourage you to get yours, too!   

So, I missed my mammogram appointment back when we all fell ill to the stomach virus.  I was too sick to even call much less go.  I mean, there are a lot of places one doesn't want to be when afflicted with the stomach virus and in a paper gown ensnared by a mammary vise would have to be pretty near the top of the list.  So, they mailed me this pink slip and said that, since I missed my appointment, I could drop by anytime with my pink piece of paper and they would work me right in.  I suppose they're trying to make it as easy as possible for women to get their yearly check ups which is a good thing.  Yay for them. 

So, for a couple of months, I moved the pink slip all around the house.  Putting it off with every move. It went from the table next to my chair to folded inside my planner to the top of my desk to the console in my car to the bottom of my purse and, finally, I decided I needed to quit putting it off, take my tattered pink paper, and just go.

I went right before lunch at 11:30, one day.  Right before lunch and right after lunch seem to be the best times to deal with medical appointments.  So, I walked into the empty waiting area and knew I'd made a good call.  I signed and initialed all the paperwork.  You know all the stuff about privacy, permission to treat, and such.  I guess I should start reading all that more closely before I initial and sign.  Could be something in there about their not being responsible for accidental amputation or failure to reinflate or something.  Stuff like that would be good to know beforehand.

So, before I was able to sit down good, a chirpy, little lady came to get me.  I don't know what her title was but she's the one who comes and gets you and takes you into that little room and enthusiastically explains the putting on of the robe, the pink deodorant removal wipes, the blue re-deodorant wipes, and the reminder to bring the little key to your locker with you when you're done.  She had the most jovial voice and I don't believe I've ever heard anyone speak of locker keys with such fervor.  She was adorable.  So, she left and I did everything she said because, well, you don't want the mammogram people mad at you.  They have a serious torture device at their disposal. 

I sat in the chair as instructed and waited for someone to come and get me and, to my delight, my sweet friend who works there rounded the corner.  It's nice to see a familiar face at such an awkward time.  I mean, you have a lot more to talk about with a friend than a stranger while you're being corralled into the dough press.  We discussed our children, parents, siblings with a "lean in closer" and a "hold still" thrown in every now and then and maybe a "turn you head that way" for good measure.  I stood there with my robe gaping open between takes as we discussed the weather like that was something I did a lot.  I was like Eve before the whole apple incident.....I didn't even care that my robe was ajar.  Before I knew it, she was all done and I took my little key and started to head back to the deodorant wipes and the comforting embrace of my clothing. 

But, then I was called back because they saw a little something that wasn't there the last time I went.  Well, that always makes you a bit nervous and I was taken into another room for an ultrasound.  They were asking me some family history questions and I started reading stuff into that. With something like this, you tend to pick up on any hint of concern they may have and kind of set your worry meter at whatever you decide their worry meter setting is.  I don't like to brag but I'm a pretty good people reader and I estimated their setting to be around 6 and so mine was fluctuating somewhere between 6 and 250. 

So, like I'd done a few times before, I stretched out on the table and waited on the sweet doctor to come in.  I wasn't in there long before she came but it felt like a long while.  Worry tends to make time sluggish.  For a brief moment, I went through all the possible scenarios of how the next few minutes could play out.  I thought about my friends who've had breast cancer.  Some who are fighting it now.  My cousins. One of them who didn't make it.  Whenever you're in a waiting period that comes with so many medical tests, you have time to think about the ifs of life.  How you'd react.  How your family would react.  How life would change.  How strong your faith really is.   

Well, the doctor came in and about 2 seconds after finding it with the ultrasound, she smiled and reported what it was and that everything was fine and that I had nothing to worry about.  That's what you always tell your friends it will turn out to be when they have to go back but when it's you, well, it gets a little more complicated. So, the ifs immediately left me and my mind returned to its relaxed state once again.

So, tonight, I sit here writing with my new glasses, a clean mammogram, and two punches on my check up card. 

But, I pray for all the women who were like me and got called back.  Except they stretched out on the table and didn't get the news they wanted to hear.  Their mind didn't get to return to its relaxed state and probably hasn't since.  Maybe not so much for themselves as for those they take care of and love with all of their hearts.  I pray for those women who are fighting.  I pray for strength, healing, and comfort for them. God, please, give them everything they need to face each day and may they feel You above them, below them, and beside them....completely surrounded by Your peace.     

Ladies, please, get your mammograms. 



Y'all have a good Wednesday!


   

 

         

         

8 comments:

  1. Love your blog. My daughter was one of the ones you spoke of in your last paragraph...having a single mastectomy this coming Monday. 39 years old! Thanks for your prayers for her.

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    1. Oh, Teresa, I hate to hear that news! So young. I know you have a lot on your mind and heart right now. I'll definitely be praying for your family.

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  2. Thank you for this! I wrote down your prayer at the end to send to a friend who could use it. It was worded perfectly!

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    1. I'm sorry you have a friend who's experiencing this, Karmen. I will continue to pray for her.

      I loved catching up with your blog last night. Love your writing, Karmen!

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  3. Failure to reinflate...OH MY WORD!!

    If they could only reinflate mine to match...and maybe add a little helium?

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    1. My goodness, you're a genius, Carla! Helium! YES!!! That's the answer!! hahahahaha

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  4. Thank you for the reminder and with love and concern Joni,
    Kathleen in Az

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    1. As much as we can, I want us all to keep the odds in our favor, Kathleen!

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