Mammograms are a necessary evil for women “of a certain age”. If we look for the reason why, the answer “men” springs to mind. I admit I have no evidence to support this theory, though. I am sure that some of the reason lies in my genetics. Every time I go for this test, I get the same letter from my radiologist. Dear Your Name, we can’t see anything, BOO! You’ve been a lovely contestant, thank you for playing.
Over the years I’ve gotten used to these letters and parking my butt in the ‘special waiting area‘ after my tests to discuss the results. I was born with dense tissue which requires more expensive and more frequent testing, allegedly. The facility I go to is nice and clean and the staff is reasonably pleasant. I just wish they would figure out a way to keep the equipment warm. How can man find gold or ancient artifacts with cameras that can see hundreds of feet below ground or water but I still have to get my boobs flattened within an inch of their lives to see if there’s anything amiss? I’m pretty sure that if men had to put their junk in one of those things, the machines would be completely different.
Recently, on my last trip to this little slice of heaven, I hit a snag. When I visited my gynecologist for my usual plumbing inspection, I left with a prescription for the standard torture session. I honestly didn’t even look at the thing. I just called the radiology place and scheduled. I assumed that I’d be in and out of there and be able to put this whole experience in my rearview. I had no idea my day was about to be eaten.
I signed myself in, went through the normal paperwork and got ready to get squashed. The radiologist gave me that gown that was patterned after a four year old’s drawing of a shirt. I maneuvered myself into the cotton cutout, stuffed my things into my 142nd new free tote bag and waited. When I was finally called, I was informed that my technician couldn’t perform the test. ‘Your doctor wrote a regular order, you need a follow up diagnostic.’, they said. Suddenly, I was at the department of motor vehicles, but half naked.
‘You need to call your doctor’s office and ask for the follow up prescription, we’re not allowed to do that.’, the tech said. Thanks Obamacare. No one ever clutched their chest and yelled for an accountant and if these people have to tell me what I need are we sure we can trust me to get this right? ‘We have another opening in about two and a half hours, do you want that one?’ What I wanted was pretty much irrelevant because I was not fully clothed back in my own bed at home. Who knew it was a lucky thing to be unemployed?
I took the second appointment and tried to be grateful that I didn’t have a long drive. Since it appeared I was stuck, I called my doctor’s office. I fought my way through a keypad of choices and could not get a human. Luckily another patient mentioned that you have to pretend you need an appointment. I guess the prospect of another copay got their attention but once I finally got a human, at least I got a helpful one and got a revised order. This adventure left me just enough time to run home, eat something and go pick up my daughter from school.
I am now free for another six months. When push comes to shove, I know I‘m lucky to have health insurance regardless of how circus like, and also my health. If the process was this much fun when you’re healthy I can’t imagine how sick people manage. Just the thought can make you sick, but be careful, nausea’s probably not covered!