Seemingly separate to my health mission, although related of course, is that I am in a breast cancer early screening program due to family history and today I went for a procedure called an automated breast ultrasound (ABUS). Unlike attending a mammogram at the hospital where you’re seated in a warm medium-sized room with other women – everyone wearing dressing gowns – and so discussion and a nice camaraderie develops, I was lead into a tiny room where three sides of the room were doors! The woman performing the scan was lovely and put me at ease, but it certainly wasn’t relaxing undressing in a room made of doors, especially when hearing voices from behind those doors. She took my paperwork and I was left to look at myself in the mirror – the only other wall – for 5 minutes in a tiny room. The procedure that followed was like a dentist visit gone wrong! You lie prone face up, arm above your head and a large white machine arm with a flat clear square on it is pressed against your chest in three different compressions and the scanner rolls across your chest pressing down harder through the plastic. It hurt more than a mammogram at some points. The intent for me having this process is to avoid an MRI because of how stressful I find it to be face down in the tunnel for 45 minutes. No hang on! The intent is to detect any changes in the tissue, because it’s very dense and changes are not likely to be seen on the mammogram.
I was just a little annoyed with myself afterwards though, and this is really unhelpful, but I tried to do some work and really just frittered the afternoon away and didn’t do any good work and didn’t do any relaxing. I was quite wound up and still having a bit of discomfort on my chest as well as a sore back. I have to go out tonight to a work thing – an aircraft inspection – so I think I was just staying in work mode. But now I’m annoyed. At myself, which is dumb.
This has been the year of the doctor for me. I visited the chiro this morning for an adjustment and I’m off to collect the results of the ABUS on Friday, then physio on Saturday, then thyroid doctor on Monday, after that I’m sort of hoping there won’t be many more trips to the doctor for a while and that I can also cancel the MRI booked for just after the new year.
Visiting doctors is exhausting, even though they are there to help. I find the trips up there, scheduling between school drop offs, parking, the emotional investment all quite time consuming and draining. And that’s why this afternoon went out the window, and I should have known that and allowed myself to just be ok – maybe read a book or something. Thing is, all this year I’ve had trouble doing that, and I don’t know why. It’s a complicated feeling of wanting to sense some achievement with work and wanting to ‘get back’ to where I was, even though it’s become clear that I really don’t want to go back to where I was at all. I’m lost and only just starting to work out maybe where I want to go from here, now I hopefully have some good energy that’s going to stay with me. I’m only just starting to work this out because my life has been so busy with doctors appointments! And work and of course being a single Mum.
I’ve loved writing more this month than I have before and I’ve just let myself go on topics and not really worried about if people are reading (although it’s really nice to see they are) and I’ve learnt a lot by writing things down. I’ll continue the process as much as I can, if I can find something useful to write about!