Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mammogram memories

This morning I accompanied my sister as she went for her yearly mammogram. There's just a few things I want to say.

First, why do they do these exams in the lowest, basement level of the hospital? You're already dreading what lies ahead, and it feels like they are sending you to the dungeon. Not only that, but the elevators you have to use squeak and clang - I feel like I'm plunging to my death BEFORE we even arrive in the examination room.

Then, the elevator doors open, thankfully, and what else are we faced with? The morgue! We walk past empty stetchers used for transporting the deceased. It's a lovely feeling.

We finally make it to the mammogram department, and take our seats in the waiting room. When we arrived we were the only ones in the reception area, but in just a few short moments all the chairs are filled. Why? Because EVERYONE has brought a buddy, confirming that having a mammogram requires extra support.

My sister gets called in quite quickly, so those of us remaining begin the usual small talk. All conversation seems to be inspired by the anticipation of what lies ahead for those whose names are waiting to be called. Ladies are looking nervous. I seem to be the only one relaxed and smiling, but hey, my name won't be least not today.

Suddenly, the door opens, and in walks a husband and wife. OK...a guy has entered our private world. Does conversation change? NO! Talk continues as before. Ladies are comparing procedures, results, describing new methods and technology. It's at this moment that this one guy decides to interject his two cents worth. He begins to describe how HE thinks mammograms should be done. As he begins to describe the method he has in mind, trying to demonstrate visually a process that sounds worse than what we already endure, and one that he really knows nothing about, I think he begins to feel the tension that is rising in the room. He could feel the love. As quickly as he began to offer his advice, he wisely decides he's outnumbered with this audience and mumbles something about thinking he should withdrawn himself from this conversation.

My sister reappears in minutes and now she's smiling too. Her exam is over for another year. We grab our coats and leave. We escape through the stairs this time, not wanting to endure another trip through the labyrinth. question....why can't these mammography rooms be on the main floor - painted pink - with a free "Tim's" coffee as a reward for enduring the unimaginable?


Catherine said...

Can't believe where they make you go? *ugh!!* Haven't had to endure one of these yet but know my time is coming quickly. I keep hoping all the new fancy 'fast' equipment they're talking about comes sooner than later or better yet that they figure out a better method all together.

Good choice to take the stairs back up! Hopefully a Timmy's was awaiting you at the top of the stairs as a reward. Great idea! Can you put in a suggestion?

PS - If I need a partner in crime when it's my turn I know who to turn to.

Sue said...

Hi Joy! A subject I do know something about! I have been enduring the mammogram process for about 15 years now. I go to a nice clinic here in Whitby, and the equipment is in the basement or as I like to think of it as the ground floor. I DO not enjoy the process but realize the importance of the procedure. I actually park in a CoffeeTime parking lot! I know it's not Tim's but it's coffee.

Enjoy today!