O’Mammogram On Wheels

I had an o’mammogram this week. I don’t know why, but I feel the need to make mammogram sound Irish. Everything sounds better with a wee bit of an Irish brogue. Besides, instead of that all-encompassing dread and general hiding under the covers and pouting, “I don’t wanna go!” I’d rather think of a Leprechaun kicking up his feet with joy! “Yeah, I get to have my o’mammogram today!” Not to mention, “Yeah, for an o’pap smear!”

When I called to make the appointment, they told me they had a new service. An RV would be parked outside the building. They would provide the o’mammogram.

I believe I actually said, “Er…” or some other nonsensical thing. “Okay.” What was I supposed to say? I’m opposed to procedures on the go. My mommy told me to never get your “girls” smashed in a trailer.

I’ve had plenty o-mammograms before, but always in a brick and mortar hospital, never anything with wheels.

I’m all for new experiences, but then we are talking about important body parts. At this age, I admit they could serve as a muffler that you wing around your neck to keep you warm. My grandmother used to say, she rolled them up and tucked them into her bra like someone stuffing a pair of socks into a dresser drawer. But I still need to protect them, which is why I went in the first place.

I tried to picture the RV. A chuck-wagon came to mind. Maybe afterwards, they could roll out the canvas awning and start serving burgers. They could have a tip jar with barely any tips in it. I’d feel guilty and have to add a little extra. There is a correlation of course. O’mammograms are incredibly expensive, so are the sandwiches from chuck wagons. I had a good mind to knock on the door and request a couple of corn dogs and a diet soda.

Since it was January, it didn’t seem prudent to bring my lawn chair and a refreshing beverage. In the summer, that could be the waiting room. People hanging out, cooking S’mores over a campfire. They’d call your name. “Just a minute…” You slam down a conglomeration of gooey melting chocolate marshmallows into your mouth. When they ask if you have any concerns today, you’d lick off the chocolate dribbling down your chin. Life can never be taken too seriously when eating a S’mores.

The RV service wasn’t totally foreign to me. I saw one on television when Good Morning America’s anchors agreed to do have their o-mammograms on the air. But that’s New York, this is Omaha. Who’d have thought we would be on the cusp of breaking technology? Amy Robach, GMA news reporter, found out she had breast cancer after the RV procedure. That RV was gigantic. It was the type that had a hot tub under a King size bed, and a Lamborghini in the basement. Omaha’s RV was more the bucket under the twin bed and a fold-up bicycle stashed behind the spare tire type. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love an RV and preferably the smaller one. Who needs a Lamborghini? Okay, well I do, but I digress.

I knocked and she, the technician, let me in. She handed me a clipboard and we went over my past medical history. Like all medical procedures, she requested my insurance card and driver’s license. For once, I see a real purpose for this. Should the need arise, I could drive the rig. I am a card-carrying registered driver. Kind of like when the stewardess says, “Are there any pilots aboard?”

“Yes, me. I can help you. I can drive you to the next doctor’s office or a KOA campground.”

Let me describe the “rig” for you. As you enter, on the left, there was five feet long built-in desk. A chair and a sink were within the same unit. I think a copy machine, and then what looked like a larger copy machine, but she put the films/slides into it.

At one point, there was an incredible noise. I thought it sounded like someone opened the door. Like the driver? Another patient? I almost dropped the clipboard. Later, she told me the door was locked. Thank goodness. There really wasn’t any room for anyone else in there. About midway, a curtain could stretch across the width of the unit. Another curtain was on the right side. I thought that was the changing area. I don’t know what was in there. I’m assuming supplies of some sort. Like maybe paper towels or charcoal briquettes. Possibly, a croquet set or a volleyball net.

The other half of the unit was a wide open space for the machine. There was a suspicious looking black unit on the wall. I wondered if it was a window, where the driver yells back, “Fasten your breast belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” I think it was a place where they could review X-rays.

Naturally, it was all perfectly fine. The procedure went well. As expected, they were very professional. I went for the obvious reasons, because we are supposed to go, because it’s better to find it early. I’m a tad scared that by blathering on about this subject, I might be tempting fate. I just got over a bout with thyroid cancer, and emotionally I’m not sure I could handle it. Cancer is survivable, but the key is early detection, so if that means getting your o-mammogram done in an RV, by all means do it.

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