Posted by: chlost | February 16, 2015

Worry, the Best Medicine Doctors Can Provide

Presidents’ Day. A holiday that virtually no one else has off from work. In a way, I suppose it is a preview of retirement. Everyone else is working, and except for the post office, all other services are available.

It was the perfect day for a doctor appointment.

With the help of modern medicine, I am relatively healthy.

If I did not have access to modern medical miracles, I would be a blind, seizure-ridden, arthritic cripple with a huge goiter-assuming I were even alive at this point. I may have succumbed at an early age to heart disease. I definitely would not be able to enjoy my grandchildren, may not even be able to see them. Yes, if I were living in the 19th century, my life would be quite different.

You would think that I would happily trot off to the doctor regularly in order to ensure my continued good health.

You’d be wrong.

It is not as bad as the dentist, but I have had my fill of doctor offices. It feels as though I have used up my allotment of doctor visits, and prefer to just avoid them all together. It isn’t fair for me to take up the appointment slots when there are so many truly ill people. Plus, I really don’t like to push my luck. At some point, I may become one of those legitimately ill patients, and I know I will find out about that by a doctor, in their office, while I am visiting there. Best to just stay away, right?

I know that’s not right, but my procrastinating nature buys the logic.

Thankfully, up until now, I haven’t had to deal with any life-threatening illness. I am not a good patient. I know my faults.

Today’s visit was for the ol’  twist and squish torture of the female parts. The tech told me it has been five years since the last one. That surprised me-I knew I was overdue for it, but didn’t think it had been that long. Apparently time flies when you are procrastinating.

In any event, now that I’m home, it is time to worry. I always worry about the results. I’ve had issues two or three times in the past, and each time it turned out okay. But I worry each time. It seems prudent.

And really, in this day and age, why aren’t there faster ways to receive the results of the scan? You mean to tell me that no one has figured out a way to use a computer to read and interpret these things for instant feedback? What are we wasting our research and development funds on if not for this?

As I stood there, attached by the you-know-what to a machine which must have been designed by the spurned male lover of a woman who didn’t let him get to second base, I wondered out loud whether or not there is a comparable machine for men. You know there isn’t. Men would never allow their nethers to be squashed between plates of cold glass, even in the name of cancer prevention.

The technologist was very kind and helpful. Who has this job? Who decides to become a professional torturer of female anatomy? What kind of day do those folks have, anyway? I can’t imagine maneuvering dozens of mounds of flesh onto a flat surface each day. then slowly but surely lowering the boom until the flesh resembles pie crust dough ready for baking. Then they have to make the subject turn to repeat for the other side.

And we allow them to do so willingly.

We pay them to do this.

And we feel guilty when it has been five years since the last time.

And worry each time about the results.

The marvels and the curse of modern medicine all squished together.



  1. I think you’ve summed up modern medicine quite accurately. While it’s not always fun being a man I am glad I am not a woman.

  2. Actually we get an ultrasound the size of a baseball bat shoved up our rear to see if we have prostate cancer. There ain’t no easy run

    • Oh, no offense, but we have the comparable every year from age 13-PLUS the boob smash. So, I still maintain in the category of necessary but awful medical screening tests, women “win”. Guess it could be worse-we could just all die of the disease.

  3. I go every year for a mammogram–not being self-righteous here; rather, it’s testament to how good they are at sending reminder letters–and I’m always surprised at how much I don’t mind the whole process. Unlike many women, I must have tough boobs.

    • Ha! Tough boobs….I guess I never thought of that possibility. I am just a great procrastinator, even if I get the notice.

  4. I go every year, but mostly because my mother had breast cancer twice. I don’t enjoy it, but I go.

    • That would be quite a motivation to get in every year.

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