Preventive maintenance.

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.                 ~ Mark Twain

Yep!  Today is mammogram day.  As Mark Twain said above, I’d rather not.  Even though my chest doesn’t look like the woman in the cartoon, it feels as if it does.  Mammography gives new meaning to compression.

I don’t remember when my exams started to fall in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  I guess it’s a good thing, though, since I have many pink bows and public service announcements to remind me.

As it happens, my doctor’s office is in the same building as the imaging center, so I decided I should go upstairs and get my flu shot.  Back in September my doctor told me to just drop in, that I wouldn’t need an appointment.  I took her at her word.  Unfortunately, the staff didn’t get the message.  Or maybe the doctor didn’t understand all the steps one must go through before being inoculated.  More likely, some of the staff were anticipating the weekend and they put their brains away early.

I did my dactyloscopy check-in.  Then the young woman at the desk asked for my name.  I’m not sure why they have to ask for your name once they’ve checked your hand print identification.  It took about two more seconds to figure out that the poor child was clueless.  Long story short — I went from the front desk to the nurses’ station to the front desk to the nurses’ station.  At one point a woman in check-out asked me if I was checking out.  I said, “No, ma’am, I’m just going in circles.”  She said, “okay” and gave me a sweet smile.  As I was leaving twenty minutes later, I stopped to check out and she informed I didn’t need to check out.  Go figure.

So here I am, immunized and aching all over.  Flu shots always do that to me.  I have serious questions about whether they’re actually effective, but I keep going back year after year in the hope that they are.

Oh, and the nurse who gave me the injection apologized for the confusion and told me the woman who checked me in is soon to be moved to a department more suited to her skills.  I’m happy for her.  And for the patients.

Note:  My spell check suggested I might need cartography, not mammography.  Hmmmm.  Maybe I do.


15 thoughts on “Preventive maintenance.

  1. I read this post with increasing sympathy, and a whiff of irritation at the way patients are moved around places in bewildering circles. Is there some illness, you could ask them, resulting from exhaustion with bureaucracy


    • Thanks, Ducks. I felt like I was in a “comedy of errors.” Fortunately, this office is usually super efficient and has a competent, friendly staff. I can tell you this: I went around the bureaucratic circle enough times to get dizzy. That’s a component part of any number of diseases, I think. 🙂


  2. Glad you don’t have to worry about a flu shot for another week. And do keep up the mammograms even though they are not comfortable. My cancer was found that way – the lump was so small it couldn’t be felt.
    And a big hope that you are well out of the way of that gigantic storm about to hit the US. Stay safe Pat.


  3. This made me smile since one can truly relate to anything and everything medical. Rather than comfort it feels like the Department of Motor Vehicles but at least there they have signs to follow. Mammograms should include an open bar. That pancake thing they do to your breasts should be criminal. And yes, the soreness is another joy. I finally found a place that tells you right away so I didn’t have to go home and wring my hands till they called my doctor whose practice has been moved to a golf course.

    In any event, let’s hear it for women who take care of themselves. I don’t mind telling you but your self-esteem is showing.


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