I kicked off the beginning of my MS Awareness Week by rubbing elbows (or...er...other appendages) with none other than the BREAST CANCER AWARENESS folks! That's right...today was my brief brush with medical compliance by having my every-few-years-or-so mammogram...the pink crush...the pancake test.
My primary care practitioner knows better than to suggest I do ANYTHING via a strict schedule...and it has been a couple of years since I had the boob X-ray, so I complied with her request to "git 'er done" and I went today before work.
Now, for you few men who read CHEESE, this topic may not interest you all that much...unless, of course, you could imagine having your testicles wedged tightly between two 100 pound rocks and told to "stand very still". LOL But, I bring this topic up because it DOES have something to do with MS Awareness Week...sort of.
I will spare you the details of the mammogram test...if you're a woman past age 40, you've probably already experienced this and it's just best left unspoken...it CAN cause PTSD for some! But today, the beginning of MS Awareness Week, I took special notice of the differences between my neurologists office and these all-too-happy-and-bubbly Breast Testers.
First of all, the mammogram "lounge" (and they DO call it that) has all of the most recent and updated magazines in it...my neurologists office is lucky to have anything dated after 2004. All of the staff amongst the Breast Testers smile...it's rather eerie...kind of like being dropped onto Fantasy Island and a bit surreal. They're all extremely polite, offering beverages, while peaceful musack flows in the background. My neurologist is usually flitting around her office like a gnat in a wind tunnel and on occasion, there can be heard groans of discomfort from exam rooms. The Breast Testers cringe at the slightest thought of causing you discomfort (while they are pulling and stretching your chest appendages and having you contort in unnatural positions)...my neurologist smirks in disgust at my lack of tolerance to most pains.
Today, while I was being contorted in an unholy position and being told to hold my breath (like I could possibly breathe anyway?!?), I asked my personal Breast Tester if she was aware it was MS Awareness Week? She looked at me rather puzzled (I'm sure wondering how that question could possibly relate to my aged mammaries) and said, "No. Really? A full week?", as if MS was not deserving of having an entire week dedicated to its "awareness".
I casually replied, "Yes, ma'am. We only get one week in March because the Breast Cancer Awareness people commandeered the entire month of October!"
I went on mumbling about how the BCA people took all the good colors for their campaigns and how I was jealous of their marketing strategies and fund raisers and why didn't "we", us poor and miserable MSers, get more recognition?
This is when my Breast Tester obviously was moved out of her comfort zone...her smile left her face and she seemed to be pondering my comments and question. Finally she spoke...slowly and with some hesitation...but attempting to provide a serious response to my concerns (because that's what Breast Testers do...take their jobs very seriously!).
The following response came out of my Breast Tester's mouth...I kid you not. She looked at me seriously and said, "Well, I suppose that's because everybody has breasts and not everyone has MS."