Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You give me a reason to live


I spent the day trying out my medical benefits. I'm pleased to report they work. In fact, everyone should have it this good. No really. I mean it.

First there was the flu shot. Then the nice nurse came in and gave me a paper gown and a sheet and asked me if I knew what to do with them. I looked up from the novel I'm reading and nodded but refrained from something like I've been in more stirrups than John Wayne. She's a new nurse. Best she gets me in small doses.

I hummed You Can Leave Your Hat On and stripped down to my socks.The perennial question - leave them on or not? The room was chilly, but I'd gone to the trouble of painting my toenails to match my fingernails. Some decisions are so difficult.

I hummed You Can Leave Your Socks On while I tried to tug the paper gown into some semblance of a garment that didn't show more skin than was medically necessary. I sat on the table and went back to reading the Agatha Christie novel I'm desperate to finish because I cannot figure out who did it.

I didn't get very far because I become fascinated with the size of the paper gown's shoulders. I looked like a Shogun Warrior. I was in the middle of taking a photo of myself  when cute Doctor Jayson knocked on the door. I tossed my phone into my purse and tried to act cool.

We chatted, as per usual, before getting down to business. Right before feeling me up, he noted how pretty my fingernails looked. Damn it. I'd kept my socks on so he'd miss the joy of seeing my sexy toes.

I told him about being published (he's been very encouraging of my writing endeavors over the years) and, unlike my mother who responded to news of the publication with "well, (pause) how's the weather down there, he congratulated me. He asked if I was still working on my novel and I groused that it's moldering on a hard drive. As it should be. It's crap.

Tell me again what it's about?

I did and that led to our discussion of WWII while he did what he had to do and I stared at the ceiling. I've had some interesting interactions in my time, but that is the first time I've talked of snipers and Omaha Beach while someone is looking at my cervix.


Once that bit of fun was over, I was shot full of tetanus and sent on my way with a prescription for happy pills and an appetite suppressant. After a stop in to submit to the phlebotomists aka non-sparkly vampires, I strolled across the hall where I was instructed to strip to the waist, rid myself of any trace of deodorant and powder and don a cape.

From Shogun Warrior to braless super hero. Who cared if I ever finished reading that Poirot?

I waited in a little room with another caped crusader and fiddled with my phone. It's a little cold in here isn't it? she had a lovely southern drawl. Her name was called and I was alone again with Hercule. A few pages later, I was invited into the room housing the breast press. The very patient technician helped me to pose, contorting myself so that my knockers could be mashed with the utmost efficiency.

Okay, hold your breath......don't move.

I returned home with my nipple shields still in place. You never know when those things might come in handy.

Another year, another chance to prevent health problems. And if I have any sense at all, I'll be aware that I'm lucky to have the medical insurance coverage to do this. Not everyone is so fortunate.

22 comments:

  1. wehw...well you survived it right...and good on you getting checked out...very important...i feel a bit left out never having nipple shields...but...smiles.

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    1. I always swipe extra nipple shields, Brian. I use them on my keyboard. Let me know if you need some. ;-)

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  2. All at once? You're a braver woman than I, Gunga Din!

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    1. I figured it was best to use my day off to get everything done. I must admit I wasn't counting on the flu or tetanus shot. Even so, it wasn't as bad as the few seconds of anticipation. I can be such a baby about needles.

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  3. I just ordered my copy of 50 Shades---your 50 Shades, because I refuse to buy the other one on principle. I'm SO in the mood for a giggle.

    So proud of you. First the book, now literary discussions while you're in the stirrups. Ride 'em, cowgirl!

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    1. Me, too, Averil. I'm in the mood for some laughs. I can't wait until mine arrives on my doorstep. Maybe today!

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  4. Congrats on getting all the girl bits checked. I'm surprised that you are allowed to keep your socks on. I was told they should be off. No, I don't know why.

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    1. Secretly, they want to check and see if your toes are painted to match your fingers.

      They keep track. Theres an office pool. They compare notes.

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  5. I keep the socks on for modesty's sake.

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  6. Medical benefits, just like a first world country!?!

    I remember those...
    ~

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  7. It's the most wonderful time of the year! (imagine me singing that to you) Ahhhh, the annual appointments. The trying to act as if it's no big deal to have your feet in stirrups with the bright lights on and casual chatter. The smashing of your girls with "don't move, hold your breath."

    It's the most wonderful time of the year ..... but I will say that, now that I'm a woman-of-a-certain-age I hate it less and less because I'm so fucking relieved when they don't find anything wrong and I'm cleared for another year. Here's to your good health, Lisa. And to health insurance!!!

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  8. You need some nipple swords to go with your nipple shields.

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  9. But where's the photo of you in the paper gown? I guess you never got to take it? I would have loved to see that!! lolz

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  10. When we lived in RI and both worked at the same HMO, Bill the maintenance guy told my husband he was terrified of being called to OB/GYN during business hours because he might 'see something'. He shouldn't have said that. A few weeks later when everyone in the department was in a meeting my husband and a friend occupied one of the exam rooms. He put on a lab coat and mask while she rolled up her pants legs, covered herself with the requisite sheet, and climbed into the stirrups. Disguising his voice, he called Maintenance for an urgent replacement light for the room. A few minutes later Bill knocked then opened the door to find Jer engaged with both hands under the sheet saying, 'Come over here. I need an extra hand with something weird I just found'.


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    1. Susan, I kind of love your husband.

      In a friendly, "that's BRILLIANT!", non-stalker kind of way.

      That made my day.

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  11. You are now tempting me to spend the entire week responding to every big/important piece of news with: "Well, (pause) how's the weather down there?" Will especially work well on those who live in the same city as me but happen to be shorter than me. This is going to be great.

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  12. I need to get all the lady stuff done, too. At least that is covered by insurance - flu shot is not anymore. And never had the nipple guards - is it a Southern thing?

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  13. Congratulations, Lisa! You teaming with Sherry seems like the most logical thing in the world. You both have very similar sensibilities. I wouldn't be surprised if this was the beginning of many more collaborations. Yay, you!!!

    I would love to have one stop medical care. Imagine, one office where you could get it all done. Throw in a manicure/pedicure, a fine dining establishment, and a hotel suite and the day would be complete.

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  14. Brava! But in Italy we don't get nipple shields. What's the deal??

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  15. I got a flu shot (covered) & a combo whooping/tetanus & what else? Diptheria, Yellow fever?? Can't remember, just did the whooping cough shot because I was going to see the grandbaby. It took 2 months & a few calls-- paperwork? What paperwork for reimbursement???
    I had to go several layers in to find a fax #, but sent another set of copies. Oh so tempting to hit send 50 times & blame it on technology! Did ya get the paperwork NOW?
    I learned when I quit my job on the 31st (halloween no less).... my insurance would end that day. Yet the final paycheck included a deduction for health ins for the month of Nov. I so wanted to pull back my letter of resignation & say No Wait! I resign tomorrow! So I am stuck in that no man;s land of health insurance now. But for $570 a month I could have COBRA coverage. Ummm no. So I am jumping the fiery hoops of ridiculous amounts of documentation to get on the husbands ins till mine kicks in in Feb w the new job.
    No stirrups for me for now ! New ins says I must be signed up effective the very next day... so they will charge me for November coverage-- but will take 10 to 15 days to get me set up with ins. Sounds like I just got ripped off for a month & 1/2 of insurance I could not use.... but something is better than nothing. Scary to be suddenly out of insurance coverage as fast as you can turn in a resignation notice.
    My mammo office has a sign posted: "We compress because we care." & launched a campaign-- "Make a date with "the girls"-- meaning schedule a mammogram. Of course some found it offensive....
    but the majority appreciated the humor & the campaign goes on.
    No nipple shields for me ever.... what's up w that? Reminds me of Star Trek-- Hostile Aliens approaching--Shields Up!

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  16. I need to make the medical rounds myself. I'm always paranoid during the girly bits review. Did I do everything correctly? Did I miss anything? Do I need a magnifying mirror? (God NO, on the last one, by the way...)

    Every time I go for a mammo, I'm greeted by the tiny tattooed chick who cheerfully yells, "I remember YOU! YOU need the BIG PLATES!" Every. Frigging. Year. She's like Abbey on NCIS, but with more tattoos - and inexplicably happier.

    I have never been given a nipple shield. I know they're used (my coworker told me about them), but I've never been given any. Maybe it's something to look forward to THIS time?!

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  17. Lisa, congratulations on your medical benefits. I'm intrigued by your comment about getting published. Did I miss something? I'll try to catch up.

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And then you say....

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