I called to schedule a mammogram today. Not the funnest thing I get to do. I have had two in my life already, and each time I am the youngest in the waiting room.
We don't know much about when my Mom got sick. The story I remember being told was pieced together from my Dad, since he really didn't know either. She hid it from EVERYBODY. As far as I can gather around my 5th birthday when Mom was 35 - something went down at her OB appointment. Since no one else was in that room but the Doc and my Mom, Dad didn't know what was discovered how.
But we do know that 4 years later the cancer had spread throughout her entire body and started eating away a disc in her back. I had my 10th birthday with church friends while my mom recovered from surgery and under went chemo and radiation in a hospital 2 towns away.
She got better and was in remission for a while... a year or so. But the cancer came back and she died when I was 12.
When I was in college and my OB heard the story he immediately sent me for a mammogram. Because we really have no real information to help us determine how at risk I am. I had another mammogram when I was 27 before I got pregnant with Braden.
With each move and each doctor I retell the story...and each time I get sad and emotional. It is a hard story to tell for many reasons. I get blank stares when I try to explain the whole story and that she had refused medical treatment for so long choosing instead to rely on prayer. Everyone thinks Christian Science is Scientology....
So today (with doctors order in hand) I called the radiology department to schedule an appointment - I knew what was coming. When they finally got around to asking my birth date I took a deep breath. "what is the reason for this mammogram?" were the next words I heard. I played dumb " I don't know what you mean?" 'Is there a diagnosis?" "No, just screening." I said. "Well, I don't understand, there needs to be a reason, I mean you are so young. There has to be a reason."
I felt like screaming. Yes, there is is huge reason - duh! Obviously! Who gets a mammogram this young without a reason? But I explained "I really don't want to go into my whole medical history with someone who is not my doctor." Then the person on the phone gets snippy "Well, I will schedule you, but I will just warn you the techs may send you away because you are too young. I mean without an official reason besides 'screening' they may just send you home." We finished our business and I hung up.
This is where my sadness turns to anger, frustration and impatience. Don't most people like to keep their medical issues private and to themselves? I know I am not the only one who doesn't want EVERYONE knowing what is going on with their boobs. I know that it really isn't the fault of the medical staff. It is all the rules and regulation that come with health care now that forces nurses and techs etc to distance themselves from the patient. They are forced to ignore what they feel is right in order to fulfill protocol. And even though I know this I still have no patience. I demand better.