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OPINION: All situations have some level of amusement, even mammograms

One call can change everything. In this week's Everything King, Wendy looks for the funny in the frightening
2021-11-16 Mammogram crop
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Have you ever had a potentially negative situation that ends up being both meaningful and hilarious?

I must tell you about mine.

So, as anyone who has never gotten that phone call can tell you, it stops you in your tracks.

Your doctor has called and said: “Something showed up in your mammogram and we need to do a breast biopsy.”

At that moment, he tells you a lot of information, but in your head you are only hearing Charlie Brown’s teacher  mwah mwah mwah.

I guess it's human nature to start preparing for something bad.

I found myself running through my bucket list — places I still wanted to go, locations I needed to return to, and people I needed to see a lot more.

A day or so later, with the call still echoing in my brain, I got inspired.

As my dad used to say as he got older: “I am cramming for the finals.”

It was a little like that.

I got busy decluttering (which is ongoing), I decorated for Christmas, and I finished some jobs I’d been putting off. I actually stopped procrastinating. Just a few weeks ago, I was complaining about being in a slump with no motivation. Amazing what a little wake-up call will do to get you moving forward.

Now, comes the ridiculously awkward part.

If you have had a breast biopsy, you may be able to relate. It is scary, but less so if you look for the funny.

I find myself in the hospital imaging department and I see this really high bed.

As someone who is so short, I literally have to make a running leap onto most high hotel beds; this was concerning. The whole time the technician is talking I am worrying about how I am going to get onto that bed. Then I see the step ladder. So, I climb up to the bed and then need to flip over to my stomach and shimmy into position. It was not pretty. Less so for the technician.

But, wait, why is there a giant hole in the bed? That would be where you are to place your boob.

Picture the mechanic working on your car from underneath while it's up on a hoist. That is exactly what is about to happen.

There is a lot of fancy machinery and cameras the radiologist will be using from underneath you.

The thought of the visual made me both horrified and delighted in equal measure.

The best part is that you can’t see what’s going on.

Let me assure anyone facing the procedure, it doesn’t hurt whatsoever. 

I swear my summer wasp sting was worse.

Just be prepared for the sound of a staple gun. That’s not what it is, of course, but as they take various samples you will hear this loud click.

The job of the patient is to remain still and not to flinch.

It's so weird not to be able to see the doctor working on you. 

When he came to the side to chat, I was pleasantly surprised to see he looked like a short Michael Douglas. Of course, I was on my stomach with my face turned toward the side with no glasses on. He probably didn’t, but then again I am no Catherine Zeta-Jones, either.

In any case, it made me feel comforted.

Suffice to say, the procedure  while awkward  was absolutely no big deal.

There’s been no pain after — not even a bruise.

Having said all that, I don’t have the results yet.

I’m in the midst of that endless five- to seven-day wait for the follow-up call.

Thousands upon thousands of people know exactly what I am talking about. When the phone rings, you brace.

Still, I have found the whole experience to be really enlightening.

Sometimes we need a little shake-up to remind us how good we’ve really got it.

It was a reminder that life can change  for better or worse  with the next phone call, letter or email.

And, I now know how my car feels getting its wheels rotated.

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About the Author: Wendy King

Wendy King writes about all kinds of things from nutrition to the job search from cats to clowns — anything and everything — from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch for Wendy's column weekly.
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