It’s odd the way the brain works .
I get my mammogram religiously every year. I had my very first one when I wasn’t working and went to a mobile van parked at Pathmark. This year I have been running late on everything. I saw the gynecologist in June. I usually have mammo midMarch. Due to my unemployment, I can no longer go to the lab I have been going to for about 20 years. I have been delaying, thinking I’ll get a job and different insurance . I had a kick in the butt because I have to go off this medical plan and go to another for two months. Okay, I am going to name names. When I was in high school, my grandmother had to go to Zwanger for radiation. At that time, it was Dr. Zwanger and not the megalith it evolved into. My grandmother hated him which was an unusual state for her. As a result, I have carried a bias against Zwanger. I have had MRIs and xrays there because there was no other option. It’s been alright. Now, as I said, I have been going to Nassau Radiologic for about 20 years. At one time, they were just about the only game in town. You literally had to schedule 4- 6 months in advance.
After you checked in at the main window, you waited to be called in. Then someone came took you back and you went into a pretty bare changing room. It had louvred doors that were not full, a wood bench and mirror, a collection of plastic bags and two trash receptacles, one for the used gowns. Let’s use the word gown lightly. It was a cape/poncho. I am personally comfortable with my body and have annoyed my acupuncturist and the odd gynecologist by not really using the gown. Naked is naked, right? Well, in this poncho/cape thing which you always had to take off anyway, I felt the “girls” were always hanging out anyway. It used to be like a scene from a demented refugee movie. There were all these half-dressed, frightened women (and don’t say you are not) sitting around with plastic bags waiting to be called in. The actual technicians were always, always great. Until three years ago, you also had to put the thing back on, carry your plastic bag out and wait to be told if you needed additional shots. I have dense “girls”. I picture them flopping around and going “D’uhh?!” Usually, I had to have additional but still…
They changed three years or so back. Instead of going to the main window, there was a little desk next to the elevator and this woman would bark at you. Look, if you’ve been doing the same thing annually at minimum ( many of us have had more frequent visits) your feet just do the walking. “Stop! Didn’t I tell you to come here!” What also changed was waiting after the first pictures. You could leave the refugee area and wait at home for the all clear or have to go back in and repeat.
Yesterday at Zwanger, a real changing room and a real full length robe with a tie, one of those new reusable shopping bags and a real hamper! The whole experience was nicer if you can describe a mammo as nice. No waiting and I received a notification today that the “dense” girls are OK but still dense.
So here we go. This place is less than 3 miles from my house. Nassau is nearly 30! I could have been going here for a decade. I let old perceptions and expectations limit me. My perceptions and expectations have also changed. I need to think and see what else can and should.
And get that mammo!