Go ahead. “Google Mastitis + Nonlactating” and freak out at the possibilities like I did. Except when you get 942 results for Non-Lactating Mastitis in Bovines. Apparently those poor cows are hurting just like me.
So I walked into Conglomerate Medical’s Imaging Center for my diagnostic mammogram appointment. “Diagnostic” meaning it’s not a routine screening because I’ve been in inexplicable pain for the past 5 weeks and my surgeon is still scratching his salt and pepper head in total loss as what to do with me. The perky chick at the counter-the one trained in patient privacy practices-bellowed, “YOUR NAME???”
“AND YOU’RE HERE FOR WHAT????” I handed her the doctor’s orders. “A MAMMOGRAM? You need to go to the BREAST HEALTH CENTER down that hall through those doors on the right.” So much for privacy. And yes, they moved the mammogram location from last year.
I knew I’d arrived at the “Breast Health Center” when I was visually assaulted with a Pepto-Bismol pink explosion of wall color. Original, no? And all the lovely Stock Photo pictures of smiling “We’ve never fought a day in our lives” Mother-Daughter photos pasted in the midst of the pink sea.
The BHC receptionist, who also drank from the Fountain of Perky, greeted me soundly, “Hello! How are YOU today???”
“Just peachy.” I offered, with the least amount of scorn a rather modest woman in rather intense pain could muster. At least this lady, who obviously paid attention during her Patient Privacy training, lapsed into her Empathetic Privacy Voice, as she handed me the obligatory clipboard and buzzer to alert me when to meet the nurse, who, graciously, didn’t ask my name in front of God, men and janitors, before she ushered me into the Great Beyond of Boobdom.
Which didn’t happen until I endured ten minutes of waiting room purgatory. As in a fountain. Yes ladies and gentlemen, some genius decorator, obviously under the age of 25 and of the male persuasion, deemed it necessary to have a four by five foot tall wall fountain in a waiting room for Women. Women whose median age is about 55. Thank God I didn’t stop for an iced latte on the way there.
Once ensconced in my dressing room, I donned a soft wrap around top emblazoned with little pink ribbons. In case I already forgot where I was or the possible results my tests might give. At least it was fabric and had ties, as opposed to my surgeon’s office, which only supplies white paper sheets barely big enough to cover my miniature dachshund.
I tried to stay positive; I really did, but my Cranky Italian Female Gene was dominating the day. All I could think of, as I waited for my contortion class, a.k.a. mammogram, while I flipped through a nine- month old magazine, was, Where’s the Prostate Health Clinic? And what color would it be?