Women’s Health Week in the Boyhouse

You guys, it is Wednesday already, and in one week, February will be over. Over! February feels like it just started, I have four months left before both of my children are junior high students, one month before I have a teenager, and six days until my very last book fair, all of which are good reminders that Time Stops For No One.

It has been a busy week already, even with Monday being a holiday; lots of lovely classes to teach, things to do, children’s dental appointments to sit through. For some reason I booked dentist appointments on the same day that the orthodontist office is closed, and woe, the cleaning will have to take place with wires still in place. The receptionist who called me to confirm sternly said that it would be okay this once, but next time would I please book the cleaning NOT on a Friday. Her tone made me feel like the consequences would be much more dire than they probably are.

It’s also, apparently, Women’s Health Week for me – I had my physical yesterday, and I appear to be fit as a fiddle, as they say in old-timey books about healthy individuals. I had my Pap test and I was not accidentally inseminated, which is my new bar for such things, thank you Jane the Virgin. I did, however, have to endure the usual Where’s Waldo game my doctor plays with my cervix. My cervix is apparently like a toddler in a clothing store; only one doctor has been able to locate it with precision and minimal discomfort. I feel like my cervix is starring in its own drama; like it’s a reclusive Greta Garbo, shying away from the public.

After my physical, I was given my usual requisition forms for blood work and a mammogram, and I went downstairs from the doctor’s office to book the latter. Now, I do not know what is going on with medical imaging in Calgary, but I have to tell you, I like it. For some reason every year that I’ve had a mammogram (this would be my fourth), it’s been in a different location, because the previous location “doesn’t do mammograms anymore.” Why? Why do they keep moving all the mammogram equipment around? I went to book it and was told that they didn’t do them anymore but fortunately, I was able to get an appointment at an even more convenient location. Score! Now, the first time I had a mammogram I had to wait several weeks for an appointment, and they ran late, and I had to sit shirtless, covered only by a paper robe, in a freezing room for thirty minutes before testing, the whole thing taking over two hours to complete. Yesterday, the woman at the clinic offered me an appointment that very afternoon. I was completely unprepared for that, so I declined, instead getting an appointment for nine-thirty the following morning. What is this magic? I don’t know if it’s a new imaging firm that has the contracts, but I LIKE IT.

This morning I trundled over to the imaging clinic, deodorant-less but with a book in my bag and several articles bookmarked on my phone. I was preparing for a hefty wait, when the receptionist told me “Your check-in is at 9:30, but your actual appointment isn’t until 9:35.” Talk about precision! I had barely made it into the waiting area, and taken my book out of my bag, before my name was called. I was literally in and out in fifteen minutes.

The technicians that do the mammograms must be specially trained for sensitivity and kindness; without exception every one of them has been lovely, especially when you consider the bizarre nature of their job, squishing and squeezing the girls to get them in “just the right position.” Getting a mammogram feels a lot like being part of the weirdest photo shoot ever, with the technician telling me to “place my hand here” and “turn my chin up and to the right” and gently fixing my hair just so.

My favourite thing about the new location is the style of medical gown they use. Remember last time, how I awkwardly had the gown on backwards, proving my ability to misunderstand basic instructions? There was no room for such issues today, as the robes were kimono-style, and one would have to be REALLY confused to not figure that out. In fact, I felt a little bit fancy in my gown, all ready for my squishy-breast photo shoot.


  1. Kimono-style is a GREAT IDEA for mammogram cover-ups!

  2. I agree. That gown is pretty classy.

  3. Good for you!

    Also, good for you. 🙂

    I love that you wrote about this. The new place sounds great.

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