Thursday, October 2, 2008

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: I Got Squished Part 2

Continued from Part 1

I got to the Breast Care Center early, as I usually do for everything, and ended up waiting anxiously for an hour before I was called.  I followed the nurse back and through the door.  She told me to remove my clothes from the waist up and put a gown on tying it front.  

She told me to have a seat and they would come for me soon.

I sat for another 20 minutes before I was taken back for the mammogram.  By that point, the fear had washed away as I removed myself from my body.  I was present, but as an outsider.  I wasn’t really participating.

I followed the orders and stood where I was told to stand and put my arm where I was told to put it.  I held my breath when I was told to hold it.

I had 2 images of each breast taken and then 2 close ups of the one that the doctor was concerned about. 

I think I have a higher tolerance for pain than a lot of people (I didn’t think my tattoo hurt).  The mammogram was not painful.  It was not fun, but it did not really hurt, it was more pressure than anything. 

The two close-up images did hurt.  It was a smaller area they were viewing and it pinched.  It wasn’t the kind of pain where you tear up or think you might hit someone.  It was more of the stubbing your toe kind of pain where you curse under your breath.

After that was done, I was taken back to the same room to sit and wait for the ultrasound.  Another 20 minutes and I was finally taken in a room for that.  I wasn’t worried about that because I knew what that would be like.  It did hurt though, more than the mammogram actually.  By that point, my breast was tender from being squished so much.  So, when she pushed down on it to get a good image, it was painful.  Again, not the kind of pain that causes you to tear up or hit someone, but still, unpleasant.

When that was finished, I was taken to a different room and was told to wait there for someone to go over the results.  This was a room devoid of any reading material or anything to distract me from what might happen, what I might hear.  I sat there for another 20 minutes.

I was then taken to a normal exam room and was told to have a seat.  I waited about 15 minutes before a nurse came in for a history.  She asked why I was there and about my personal medical history and my family’s medical history.

I answered all of her questions and tried to remain in good humor.  At this point, I was hungry and really tired of waiting around.  The nurse left and I waited some more.  I was getting antsy and was very tempted to just get up and leave.  I have a lot of patience with a lot of things, but being kept waiting is not one of them.

I will keep you waiting just one more day and I will finish this story tomorrow.

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