Saturday, September 02, 2006

Annual: Follow-up

Fighting the urge to procrastinate any longer, the appointments were made.

The annual trek to be assaulted by the weapon of mass compression, otherwise known as the mammogram, fills me with dread. I have yet to have an experience that didn’t include copious amounts of insensitivity, incompetence and pain, in spades. Until now.

Angela made this visit damn near pleasant. It still hurt, how could it not? But, the technician, "...please call me Angie", spoke to me in a way that suggested she knew what she was doing, understood and commiserated with the discomfort and thanked me for my patience while waiting for the film to develop.

Angie even got all the necessary views in one take. Go Angie!

Moving on...the next phase of the day’s events included a modicum of trepidation and a very full bladder. Patricia steered me into the exam / procedure room, dark except for the light emitting from the viewing monitor that would be used during the test. She asked if I’d ever had a gynecologic ultrasonography procedure. Negative. She went on to explain the procedure carefully, quietly and in great detail. She was extremely calming. Man, did I have to pee.

Patricia proceeded to press the probe or transducer into my belly area-watching the screen-snapping photos. This part of the exam is not painful, but uncomfortable, with the full bladder and all, but Patricia did her best to make it bearable. After about 35 minutes of the probing motions, Patricia, finally announced the end of part one-I get to go pee now. Whew, just in time.

The full gynecologic ultrasonography includes an internal probe as well. I’ll presume you can picture this for yourselves. The exam was pretty uneventful, with one exception, Patricia had some trouble locating my right ovary. What? "Are you sure you haven’t had any surgeries in this region?" Uh, yeah, I’m pretty sure no one’s been rooting around in there. Patricia needed to call in Supervisor Yvletta. After about 10 minutes Supervisor Yvletta was able to coax the reticent organ out for her close-up. Yeah for Yvletta!

The friendliness of these practitioners caught me so guard it felt like being in an alternate universe. I thought, not for the first time, how accustomed one becomes to mediocrity and when faced with service delivered not only with a smile, but professionalism as well, it throws you for a loop.

These techs who had direct and intimate contact with my ta tas and hooha thought it important to introduce themselves to me. It seems so basic. Why doesn’t everyone do it?


  1. I so hate those mamos. yuc.

    It's always a gift to run in to pleasant professionals!!

  2. These 'necessary' medical interventions are violating enough without having to cope with badly-trained staff, or feeling as if you are being processed! It is heartening to know that there are women working in the health service who are supportive and willing to consider your experience of the procedures! Glad it is all behind you know. (Whew!) :)

  3. I'm sooo horrible about gyn exams, it's been YEARS since I've gone and now have to go later this month for probs. I know she's going to tell me it's time for my first mammo. too. Just ick. Hope all is okay with you.

  4. Kmae-pleasant professionals are quite the gift.

    LBP-Yes, until next time.

    Sassy-Ah, the first time. I remember it well. Doc & I will conference...
    Good Luck to You.

  5. You would think more female techs would be as reassuring as these were considering they have to undergo the same procedures at one time or another. Glad these techs were able to make this experience as 'pleasant' as possible.

    Internal probe?! *shudder*


Hi! Your visit is much appreciated.