Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Vulnerable Camaraderie

There is an unspoken anxiety while sitting in the mammogram suite waiting room. Obviously, it’s predominantly filled with women. Men do come in with their respective significant others but they somehow know to leave once she’s checked in. As we all wait to be called back to the changing area we do not overtly reveal to one another that we are all nervous on some level. Each time the door leading to the changing rooms opens, every woman flinches. I noticed today that some also flinch when their names are called others take in a deep breath.

We are sent to an ante room where there are individual dressing rooms which then opens up into another waiting area where we are all stripped of our clothing from the waist up wearing the exam gowns with the opening left in the front. Some of us have tied every strap available to remain modest. Others simply have the gown gathered like a bathrobe with our arms folded across our chests.

It is in this room where we engage one another. We make eye contact, we nod and smile. Here is where if you need reassurance, the rest of us are here to help. I took note that none of the women in the ante waiting room looked as though they were going through any type of treatment. Maybe it was a coincidence that all were there for screening only. We all were extremely grateful for that.

One by one a different tech calls us to the vice and when we are done, we return to the ante room. We are instructed not to get dressed until our tech returns to let us know that the preliminary pictures are satisfactory. Great, more angst but me and my comrades dressed in gowns will endure. We each tell the other that hopefully our results will be good enough to let us go back to our normal routine for that day. Once we are all cleared, we get dressed, wish each other good luck and carry on.

Ladies, get your mammograms. Yes, it is uncomfortable; sometimes downright painful. It certainly beats the alternative.

6 comments:

wallofdenial said...

so this is your excuse for being late to work? sheesh

Wicked H said...

Dave: Hey, you get squished in a vice 4 times and then we can talk!

Miss Britt said...

I sat with my MIL in the waiting room of a breast oncologist (or whatever they were called) once while she waited to have a "follow up".

The air in the room was so thick and heavy with fear, it was damn near suffocating.

Great Post!

Amy said...

Wow, what a wonderful post.

phillip said...

Very good advice.

Brilliantly written, I feel as though I know exactly how you were feeling during that time.

Wishing you good results!

Nutcracker Sweet 54 said...

I made an appointment for Nov. 15, wish me luck....