Friday, February 8, 2013

Hang Me, Dang Me

First stop was the phlebotomist's office to get my blood drawn. It's that time of year when the doctor wants to check all my levels. A SMAC, a CBC and a Lipid Profile, two tubes of blood covered what he wanted to check and I scooted out of his office and across the driveway to the next building for my next test; a scan really.
After registering at the desk and giving up my insurance card, I take a seat and wait for the tech to call me to the back. This happens much sooner then I want. She escorts me to a dressing room and instructs me to remove my bra and shirt and slip into the

 "nicely starched folded gown with the opening to the front please and wait in the little waiting room to your right...I'll be back to get you." 

 You can tell she has done this so many times it's robotic sounding; a pleasant robot to be sure.
Less then 5 minutes pass and true to her word she returns. We take a short walk to the exam room or as I like to think of it "the little chamber of horrors". It's mammo time.
This is where she places a breast between a machine that resembles a huge clamp. She urges you to step closer, the edges snug against your rib cage, your breast waiting on the little platform while she uses her toe to press a button on the floor which brings the clamp down. You get to watch your breast assume a shape that wasn't intended on any female.
It's at this time, right before she tells me to hold my breath, that my imagination starts to shudder. "What IF" and the mind goes skipping forward to a machine malfunction. The first part of this is to roll over all the "kinds" of malfunctions that can be imagined.  

     The clamp not stopping when she moves her foot off that little floor control?   

     How about the machine developing an electrical short and begins walking across the floor with my breast in it's vise clamp?  

     Or a power shortage where I'm left attached for hours until someone figures out how to get power back to it?

I feel my feet beginning to do a nervous shuffle, a small moan creeping up my throat. I'm struggling to shut down the mental pictures skittering around in my brain.
Yes ma' mind is cluttered up with all these thoughts as dimly I hear the tech instructing me to

 "hold your breath, drop that shoulder, keep you arm by your side, hold your chin up...CLICK...relax, now that wasn't so bad was it?"

She pulls the film from the machine and places it on the light box to view it to make sure she got a good picture. She smiles and nods and turns her attention once again to me. The bright smile back in place, she strides forward to reposition me once again.
As luck would have it, I have to do this again for the other side. I couldn't talk her in to just flipping that xray and using it for the other side. After all, they pretty much look identical.
"Same place, same time next year?"

 I can hardly wait.

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