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Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Doctor Visit

My annual mammogram experience includes sitting in a ladies-only waiting room with my upper body wrapped in the top half of a hospital gown and awkward small talk with other ladies to fill in the time.  My last visit was especially tense.  Karen, the lady sitting to my right, shared with me her worries.

After her mammogram, she was asked to return to the waiting area while the doctor examined her films.  This is a standard routine that allows doctors to do extra checking (ultrasound, biopsy) if something suspicious is found all before the patient goes home.  Although practical, the routine creates an eerie atmosphere in the waiting area.

Karen's results had taken longer than usual and, to her or anyone in her situation, it meant something was wrong.  I prayed hard for her that day but, it didn't help the minutes go by any faster.  I feared that it would be my turn to go to the examining room before I learned of her fate. I didn't know her but, we shared a common, burdening worry that created a temporary bond and I didn't want her to be alone if she got bad news. Finally, after an eternity of 15 minutes, a nurse peaked her head into the room.  Karen was so fixated on her fear that her body literally jumped when she heard her name.  "Everything looks fine," were the three most important words of Karen's day.

They were my favorite words of the day, too!  I had a great visit with my doctor.  Dr. Hunt informed me that the changes I'm making in my life will have a bigger positive impact on my health than a bilateral mastectomy.  What a powerful statement!  She also told me to keep focusing on and writing goals based on fitness and nutrition instead of a certain number of pounds.  This leads to sustainable habits, she said.  For once in my life, a doctor is proud of me!  Here is the proud doctor posing with me in front of the beautiful quilt she made!  

Thank you for reading and please encourage those around you to schedule life-saving screenings!

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