Smash & Grab
Earlier this week, the hospital called to confirm an appointment. We missed the call, so Dave listened to the voicemail while I watched the captioning scroll by on the phone. They were confirming my Friday morning screening mammogram (the one I get every year at this time), and at one point in the captioning I read, “Please be here at 8 am for chicken.”
The captioning on our phones is usually good for a laugh, and this was an especially good one. I even joked about it on Facebook, envisioning a mouthwatering meal of chicken awaiting me when I arrived for check-in (what I assume they really meant).
Alas, there was no chicken … just your standard boob-smashing. This is my ninth mammogram, and before I got my first one I was a bit anxious. As a woman, you lose a certain amount of modesty once you reach the childbearing years; if you aren’t getting an annual breast exam and pap smear, then you’re submitting to frequent pelvic exams (and then some) when you have a baby. There’s just no way to go through these things and be shy about exposing your body a bit.
As a kid, I was horribly modest. I wouldn’t wear halter tops and felt self-conscious in a bikini. If a dressing room had no doors, I refused to use it. This last one drove my mom crazy because we used to frequent a few stores that had this setup. There was just no way I was taking my clothes off in a room full of strangers, with no privacy. Sometimes she could get me to change clothes if she hung up all my stuff in such a way that it gave me a de facto curtain, but more often than not I dug in my heels and refused.
If you’d told me then that someday I’d let someone manhandle me for about 15 minutes during a mammogram and I wouldn’t even blush, I would never have believed you. (I also would have sworn, at that tender age, to never have a mammogram, the same way I swore to never have babies because it meant I had to have blood drawn.)
Mammograms don’t bother me at all, really. They don’t hurt; the technicians are always really nice and laid-back, and have a way of putting you at ease in what could be an uncomfortable situation. The hospital I go to has a really cushy center for mammograms that I kind of enjoy visiting, so it’s all good.
The waiting room is fairly huge (with a kitchen and snacks and all kinds of goodies) and I never know what direction the technician might be coming from to call me back. Usually when I’m in a waiting room, I’m on high alert. I might hold a magazine and glance down every now and then, but I always make sure to position myself where I can see as they come in to call people. I look up at any sign of movement and read lips to see if they’re calling my name. This time, though, I sat back with a magazine and became engrossed in an article. I did get a little nervous because technicians were coming from both directions, usually where I couldn’t see them at all, and oftentimes I couldn’t really understand what name they were saying. Someone else always jumped up, though, so I knew they weren’t calling me. Just when I was in the middle of a really interesting article, I heard my name. The tech was around the corner where I couldn’t even see her, and I still caught my name with no problem at all. That was a first for me!
Afterwards, we went home and Dave started coffee. I had just turned on my computer when I heard him talking. Turns out our bald squirrel friend was on the deck, eating sunflower seeds, and Dave was having a one-sided conversation with him. This broke my heart because it was so cold that morning, right around seven degrees F. I was glad he’d made it through the night, but I knew we had a bitterly cold weekend coming up.
Dave set a cat carrier outside, put some peanuts and pecans way at the back of the interior, and left the carrier door open. He left our patio door open a crack, and waited for the squirrel to take the bait. He was holding a long wooden stick that he planned to use to slam the door shut once the squirrel was fully inside. The whole time, he talked to the squirrel and encouraged him.
I couldn’t watch, but I hovered in the periphery. After about ten minutes, just as the water for our vacuum pot coffee maker was beginning to boil, I heard the cage door slam. Dave held it shut with the stick, stepped out onto the deck and latched the carrier all the way. The squirrel was strangely calm, which surprised us both; no chattering or foot stamping, just hanging out on the piece of berber carpet in the carrier.
It was about ten minutes after 9 am and Willowbrook Wildlife Center had opened at 9:00. After we high-fived, we carried him out to the car, buckled the carrier in, and drove him over. About 20 minutes later, he was in triage and we were giving our information to the admittance clerk. She came back to let us know they were thinking he had mange, which is treatable. After we talked for a while, we gave them a donation (not required, but we wanted to) and headed home, a little stunned that it had all happened so quickly.
It was a pretty great way to end the week.
Posted on December 8, 2013, in Cochlear Implants & Hearing Loss, Humor, Medical Visits and tagged Cochlear Implants & Hearing Loss, hearing loss, hearing your name called in a doctor's office, mammogram, modesty, squirrel with mange. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.