So yeah. I’m still processing the fact that I had a mammogram. Lest you think me a whiner, this goes way beyond a recommended health screening. I mean, I’m getting old.
How can I be old enough to need a mammogram? Those are for middle-aged and elderly ladies. Just yesterday it was 3:00 AM and I was tearing down the interstate in my old Mazda Protégé, chain smoking, with the Sisters of Mercy blaring from a mix tape. I think it was a Saturday night/Sunday morning, and you had to cross state lines to buy beer because of the blue laws. I was a size 2. Maybe. And damn, that Medieval Art History class was a bitch. “Take an art class with me, it’ll be fun,” said my art major roommate. Memorizing churches across several centuries and European countries based on the ribbing in church ceilings? Total suck. At least she was in hell, too. I can honestly say physics was better.
Suddenly I wake up with 2 kids, a husband, a mortgage, a real job, and I’m having a bloody mammogram. I’m not even going to get into how awful I felt waiting to see my OB-GYN. I saw all the girls with their paper bags containing their urine samples, obviously pregnant and excited. Just recently I was one of them. No more and never again. That kicked me in the teeth. It was very unexpected, those feelings. I realized that for the first time I was more like the older ladies with the tacky eyeglasses doing Sudoku puzzles on their phones who would no doubt be following up their exams with bone density tests than these hopeful ladies with their paper bags. No more bags of pee for me- only mammograms and calcium supplements. And hearing those fetal heartbeats through the wall was hard. I talked to my doctor about it. She said this was all normal; she’s actually my same age and she said “sometimes all I can do is take it one day at a time, and some nights all I want is a glass of wine.” So it’s not just me. I managed not to cry until I got to the car.
It’s surreal. It’s like an out-of-body experience. Maybe this is my mid-life crisis.
The last time I talked to my “kid” brother (in his 30’s with several successful businesses/boutiques in Ohio along with a wife and kid and mortgage of his own) we discussed our shared aging parents and having things cut off at the dermatologist. That’s old talk. It just is.
I still feel absolutely clueless out here in the world. The way I see it, there ought to be some kind of answer key you’re given when you’re old enough to do something like have a mammogram. It’s just not right.
At least I have a year before I have to face this particular age demon again. I can’t be that old. I still have a kid in diapers, dammit. But next year I may just drive to my appointment listening to the Sisters of Mercy and smoking cigarettes….just for that one day.