Friday, February 10, 2012

The Big Squeeze: A Public Service Announcement

When I flipped the calendar page last week from January to February, I realized – in addition to all the other things I have planned for this month – that it was time for my annual mammography.

Yes, that’s right – the big squeeze.

So off I headed to the doc, got my referral – and then, since I happened to be in the area later that day, I stopped in personally at the Hala Clinic to make the appointment. Luckily for me, there was a vacant slot the very next day!

Although I got there on time, I had to wait before being seen; the clinic is very busy. But I didn’t mind. There was good reading material in the waiting room, so I picked up a book and got comfortable. Also, I had fair warning – the woman who made my appointment told me that it might take as long as three hours from start to finish.

When my turn came, the technician escorted me to the examining room. There I was... umm... examined. Squeezed between two plastic trays with curved ends, one of which moved. Squished, squashed, temporarily turned into a pancake – however you want to describe it. But even as I tried to obey the technician’s instructions to relax, turn my head this way, hold my arm that way, breathe, and defy gravity while standing on my head and whistling “Dixie,” I focused on how grateful I was to live in a time and place where there’s access to early detection and treatment.

Then I returned to the waiting room to be summoned for the physical exam and ultrasound. A few minutes on the exam table and it was done. (They even warmed the ultrasound jelly! Pardon the expression, but how cool is that?!)

The best part – besides the clean bill of health (tfu, tfu, tfu) – was that I was in and out of the clinic in just over an hour!

So where’s the public service announcement in all this? Here it is: Ladies, go get checked! Yes, it takes time from your busy schedules. True, it’s not the most fun thing in the world. But it’s really, truly, very important. So pick up the phone and make an appointment for your Big Squeeze today!

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