Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Superstition


baseball superstitious


Years ago my Dad told me that baseball players were the most superstitious people on earth. I don't know if that is necessarily true, but it made me laugh.  Superstitions just seem so STUPID and so IRRATIONAL, but I think most of us engage in superstitious activity from time to time.
 
I have had about a zillion doctor appointments in the last year -- dealing with female trouble (a period that lasted for months, a biopsy, getting an IUD, worrying the IUD might PERFORATE MY UTERUS, replacing the IUD, ultrasound after ultrasound, etc.). Doctor appointments have always terrified me, mostly because of my family medical history. Every appointment makes me fret that the jig just might be up, and that I might get the worst news ever from the doctor. 

So anyway, last year I started a round of doctor appointments. I wore the same skirt and the same top to each appointment.  All of them. Things weren't great with each visit, but they weren't terrible.  My stupid brain wanted me to repeat patterns -- like wearing the same outfit, parking in the same area, requesting the same nurse, requesting the same examining room, etc. -- for each doctor visit. A small part of my small brain figured if I repeated my patterns the stars might align and I might keep getting ok/NOT BAD results from doctor visits.

Well, things went pretty well with all of those doctor visits.  But last month I tore the skirt I had been wearing to all of my doctor appointments, and it was pretty much ruined. It made me worry, particularly when I received the notice in the mail that I was due for my annual mammogram. WTF was I going to wear since my lucky skirt was RUINED!?!?!?!?!?!?  I tried not to fret, but when I called to make my appointment, the scheduling nurse said they couldn't see me for 5 weeks. That gave me pause, as normally (based on the last 8 or so mammograms) they can schedule you within a few days and you get the whole process done and over with fairly quickly.   But this delayed appointment felt like things were heading in the wrong direction right from the get-go.  

The day of my appointment finally arrived.  I was a bit of a basket case -- I hate going to get a mammogram.  This is a fear-based thing since my Mom had breast cancer at 42 (I am now 43), and I just worry like crazy that I will have the same fate.  I don't worry about this on a DAILY basis -- just when it is mammogram time. Dumb.

When I drove to the appointment, I spaced out and drove right past the parking entrance.  My brain balked at this and saw it as another bad sign.  When I pulled in to the parking area, level one was already full.  I always park on level one.  Another bad sign.  When I signed in for my appointment, the nurse told me there was no co-pay.  Although I was excited that I didn't have to pay any money, I was worried -- didn't they always make me pay????  Another bad sign.  When the nurse came in to the waiting room and called my name, she called me JUHMELLIE.  Another bad sign, as my name is NOT JUHMELLIE.  All these bad signs were adding up quickly.  But then I ended up getting the best technician (after you have had enough mammograms, you start figuring out which technicians you like best), so that put my mind at ease a tiny bit. I went through the mammogram process, got dressed, and headed back to the parking lot.  I got ready to pay my $2 parking fee and handed the cashier a $20.  He asked me if I had any smaller bills, but I didn't.  He gave me back my $20 and waived me through.  I was excited that I didn't have to pay, but what did it mean?  Was it a good sign?  A bad sign?  Pretty ridiculous to think that way, I know!

So after worrying for a week, I finally got a letter about my mammogram.  It was good news, or at least qualified good news.  At least that is how I choose to interpret it for now.  :]

I am going to give you some mammogram tips in case you have never had one....  

1) Schedule an early morning appointment.  You can't wear deodorant (or lotion, or jewelry) when you get a mammogram, so I think it is best to get the appointment done as quickly as possible in the morning.  Yes, I am freaky about hygiene -- I don't want to stink, EVER.
2) Bring deodorant with you (and lotion/jewelry if you'd like).  You can apply right after the mammogram is over.  No need to stink all day!
3) Wear a skirt and a top or pants and a top.  They only need to access your upper half, and it is easiest if you just have a shirt you can remove (instead of dealing with a dress).
4) The technician will ask you to confirm that you are NOT pregnant before they give you your mammogram.  I think it is best to take a pregnancy test before your mammogram appointment just so you can say with CERTAINTY that you are not pregnant. When you get to be my age or older, they ask you if you still get periods before they bother asking if you are pregnant or not.  UGH.
5) Mammograms don't feel good.  They are uncomfortable at best, but the process is usually over fairly quickly.  They don't hurt THAT badly.  I think is best to schedule a mammogram when your breasts are NOT tender.  I take a couple of advil or so about an hour before my appointment -- just to help out if my breasts are feeling a little sensitive/tender.
6) Try not to panic if you get a call or a letter telling you that they want to repeat your mammogram or perform an ultrasound on an area in question.  Sometimes this happens.  It can be scary.  But it doesn't necessarily mean you have a serious issue. 




A small part of my small brain thinks I probably just jinxed myself by writing this post.  @#$%!^@#!%



P.S. A friend is in a bit of a hurry to get married, and she and her betrothed recently went to the county clerk to set the date. The next two available dates for a ceremony: Wednesday, September 11 and Friday, September 13. Needless to say, they have decided to get married a little bit later -- on September 18.  Pretty sure I would have done the same!



10 comments:

Jen Vallette said...

I dunno if it's superstitious but I don't do certain bad things because of Karma. Truth be told, sometimes I get the urge to steal an expensive nail polish or lipstick. Always small and expensive things. And I'm pretty sure I could get away with it too but I never do it cuz I think I'll get bad Karma. Not because it's wrong or anything ;)

E said...

Uggh, this stuff is so scary. I can totally understand why one might get superstitious. I've been putting off getting a regular old physical for, uh, years and I need to do it but it kind of freaks me out. Glad to hear you're healthy though!

Elle Sees said...

i agree with Jen in that i "behave" because of karma. i don't mess with that stuff! i'm sure i'm superstitious about something, but since i just woke up, i cannot remember the first thing.

Kathy @ Vodka and Soda said...

i just saw on my twitter feed that THOUSANDS of mammogram results are being recalled because some idiot radiologist fucked up the results!!

i haven't had to do one but not sure if i could with my teeny tiny boobs; they could mammogram my nipples but not my boobs because there isn't enough of it!

-kathy
Vodka and Soda

Kristine said...

Phew! Glad you are okay! So stressful!I need to get regular mammograms because of my lumpy breasts and it is ridiculous because I have the tiniest boobies ever. I end up straddling that machine and clinging to it like a baby monkey while the poor technician tries to get enough material to lay down on that plexiglass plate. Yuck!

Stephanie said...

The day of your post my Dr. called and said I need to go get a mammogram. I am 50 and haven't had one yet. Thanks for the heads up on dressing and jewelry.

cerebral e said...

I'm lucky I'm not superstitious.

I'm working in oncology at the moment and seeing lots of women who have had breast cancer and see how nerve-wracking it is for them waiting for their annual mammogram results. I usually tell them the result first up, before I even ask how they're doing, and the relief is visible.

I'm not looking forward to getting them myself. Looks so uncomfortable.

Lorena said...

Well Yumelleh I think that wanting to wear the same clothes and doing things in a similar way were just ways you wanted to stay in a comfort zone and repeat the same results.
I am glad it all went well :)

nicole said...

sounds like you have a reason to feel superstitious with all the doc apts. recently! maybe look at the ruined skirt as a good sign?! i'm glad you're ok now...

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh! Not getting married on Friday the 13th was a mistake on your friends part! Hubby and I married 34 years ago on Friday the 13th in the month of September and have had a wonderful blessed marriage. Booking anyone or anything on the 13th was easy, no else did... Still a giddy bride all these years later, Jane