Tuesday, November 02, 2010

It was maybe two years ago i was first invited to breast screening, and it really panicked me.

It was one of those things I felt I really should do something about, but couldn't quite bring myself to do it.

I felt embarrassed at the thought of phoning up with my masculine voice and asking for an appointment... but when a new appointment arrived in the post the other week i felt I simply had to take it.

How crazy to turn down a screening and possibly put your life at risk out of simple embarrassment.

But I still felt nervous about it, and wanted to get there on time, especially didn't want to be late... but out of nerves, i guess, I started out later than I intended and then took a different bus from the one I meant to, figuring out it went in roughly the same direction.

In fact it went somewhere else altogether and I ended up in a strange part of town, and utterly unable to figure out how to get to where I needed to go to...

So I did end up phoning (in my masculine voice) and there were no problems about it at all.

They had designed the waiting areas to minimise everyone's embarrassment, as I was waiting, with my bra off but my top on, as instructed, I was trying to think back as to what had originally scared me.

That i would stik out, that I would be exposed, that i would be made to look ridiculous...

None of which, of course, actually happened. The X ray operator was efficient and pleasant and manoevred my breasts into the right spot to be squeezed by the bizarre machine. I was trying to imagine the task of designing it, of responding to the brief, and the utter surreal contrast between the plastic and metal squeezing and measuring thing and the soft, gentle, yielding and tender material being squeezed...

And I came away from the process feeling pleased as you do when an embarrassment or fear has been overcome.

What lurks, however, is the dark possibility that they may fin something...

But that, for the moment, is firmly placed at the back of my mind.

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