Elsa’s Contraptions

The nurse’s name was Elsa. She directed me to a bed to lie down so that she could do a sonogram on my left breast. I obliged, remarking that the room was a bit cold. She agreed and went to get me a blanket. A few minutes later, she returned with a heated blanket and covered me with it. She started the procedure. It was so strange. I was so peaceful and calm.

I had gone in for a mammogram the previous Friday. Yesterday I received a call, telling me to go back for more image work, because they had seen something in my left breast. I went in at 9:30, when they did another mammogram, only this one was a lot rougher. Those of you who have had to endure one would know that the procedure entails squeezing each breast against this contraption, I guess trying to flatten it (!) for the X-rays to come out clearly. After that second mammogram, after which I was sure my left breast would stay completely flattened forever, they reviewed the results and told me that I now had to go through a sonogram. I knew better than to ask the nurse and the technician to tell me why they had to do the extra work on me. They would have told me to talk to the doctor, so I kept quiet. I was thinking of all the women who would go through the same thing everyday all over the world, waiting to be told some ominous news. I was thinking how strange that I didn’t feel any trepidation or anxiety.

I was lying on the bed under my warm blanket, looking at the monitor which showed a dark spot. Getting somewhat crafty in my curiosity, I asked Elsa: “Is it big?” She said: “It’s not big and it’s not small. It’s medium. And there are several others, too.” I shook my head and closed my eyes. The cool room and the warm blanket and the humming of the machine next to me were making me so sleepy. So I went to sleep. I woke up to Elsa’s voice. How long had I been sleeping? I asked groggily: “Is it over? I guess I wasn’t too worried about this!” Elsa said kindly: “The doctor says you’re fine. He says to tell you to come back again next year.” It was hard to get up and get dressed and go home. I rather liked all the fuss!

This blog was first posted on April 16, 2008 here: http://nazykaviani.blogspot.com/

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