Or, Mama Sled Goes To The Lady Doctor

I used to have an actual boobologist. She spent her work days in an airless, windowless below-ground section of Georgetown University Hospital, full of glossy leaflets and ionizing radiation. I would go there every year or so for a mammogram and hands-on exam, and she would explain all the gnarly stuff hiding out in my rack. Guys (have any of you read this far?) rarely realize how hard it is to tell a “lump” from all the furniture that is normally arranged in a pair of boobs. She was good at pointing out things like the difference between lymphatic tissue and my prodigious Cooper’s Ligament (generally known as the anatomical bra, and subject to hypertrophy in people who pound the hell out of their chest muscles). She went off to get a Ph.D. in something or other; I miss her.

I have had a really crappy time with medical people in general over the course of my life. Three out of four of them seem to have been hell bent on putting me in my place. I have a bad habit of speaking their language, questioning their judgment and failing to conform to their ideas of what a woman should be (especially when I was younger, this meant a biddable, diffident baby-factory-in-waiting.) I really don’t think that idea has changed very much, judging from the leaflets you see in gynecologists’ offices (they all display images of pretty flowers and demure women who look like they never lift anything heavier than a shopping bag).

So I was, one might say, “between doctors” when I toweled off after a shower last weekend and said WTF is that? meaning a big bump under the skin of my right knocker. This is why I have been a little quiet. Two days, an indelicate exam and a bunch of radiology later, it looks like I have a blob of fat that has organized itself into a nuisance, but I am getting a biopsy next week just to be sure. This assumes that the radiology practice involved doesn’t eject me for doing Hindu pushups, bench dips and calf raises in the waiting room (goddammit, I was bored, the waiting room magazines were all celebrity crap and I had to miss a workout to go there).

The doctor who facilitated all this — a serendipitous referral from a client — gave me no crap about rendering my own medical history in professional language, and asked if menopause was causing me any problems. “You know what’s the best lubricant?” she said conspiratorially. “Crisco. I mean you’re not supposed to eat it any more, it has to be good for something. Crisco.”

She is a relaxed, comfortable looking character, whom I suspect would gladly eat a well-Criscoed pie crust filled with something like mincemeat or rhubarb. Like me, she has a miserable reaction to perfume and squalling rug-rats, and requests pointedly that her clientele leave both at home.

Out by the office door, where you always see the tin box with biological samples for the testing lab, she had a dish of kibble and another of water for the local feral cats. Her staff informed me, on finding that I was a cat person, that the doctor herself had seven.

I’m cautious, but she seems like my kind of gal. I wasn’t planning on the boobological introduction, but you take what you get.

News as it happens.


23 thoughts on “Boobology

  1. Though my father’s PhD is in analytical chemistry, the title of “Dr.” radically changes the dynamic once a medical professional gets wind of it. Suddenly they are all too happy to speak with him in their own language, and because he’s brilliant, my father encourages them and they prattle right along. I’ve witnessed it myself, and of course not being nearly on the same plane, wind up feeling like a small child.

    Anyway. I’ve felt around helpfully for lumps and am happy to say I never found any.

  2. I like the sound of this doctor. And it’s good you’re getting the biopsy done.

    After my last mammogram I got called back for another one as there were some suspicious bits of lumpiness, but they seemed satisfied with the second results that I was okay.

    Hope you’re okay too!

  3. Hope it’s nothing more than a stupid lipoma, and you don’t have to waste any more time in doctors’ offices. Though with advice like that, I suppose it isn’t entirely time wasted.

  4. Good luck on the results. I, too, have a low opinion of doctors in general. It is also based on my experiences with them. They are, in my opinion, nothing more than “auto mechanics” for the human body. When was the last time you ran into a good mechanic? Yeah, me neither.

  5. Hoping its just a recalcitrant blob of fat cells. Keep us posted.

    Those hindu push ups are part of the Ashtanga yoga series of poses. I can do about 12 and then I’m wiped out. Plus, my form is nowhere near as good as the chap in that video. I suspect yours is 😉

    Don’t even start me on doctors. I’ve had a lot of trouble with my skin since I was a kid, and GPs are about as much use when it comes to diagnosing, explaining or treating disorders of the body’s largest organ as a chocolate teapot is good for making tea. I got to the point several years ago where I go in and tell them a) what the trouble is and b) what to prescribe to sort it out. They don’t like that very much.

  6. I actually think doctors do their best considering how we elevate them. It is a tough job, fraught with stress and the fear of lawsuits.

    You are wise to follow up. From what you have shared, your follow- up should be fine.

    Thanks for sharing. I’m sure the last week has been stressful.

    • Some do, and some don’t. You have to have seen the gathering anger and outrage (suppressed, but visible) in the face of a doctor who’s hearing me give my history in medical language, not because I want to impress them, but because it’s quick and accurate. I’ve learned to recognize that look and get away as soon as I gracefully can. It says “Who are you, slave, to speak to me as an equal?”

      Some people go to medical school because they are excited at the idea of learning a healing art, and some — way too many — go there because they like power and prestige, and worse, in some cases, the sadistic satisfaction that goes with control of fearful people.

      I have been spoken to by doctors in tones of contempt, scorn, condescension and anger. I have been told in patronizing tones that something I knew was true (and could even find a journal citation for) was silly and wrong. I have called a doctor’s office for my records after realizing he had no intention of offering me anything other than a cook-book solution that I knew would do me injury, and had him leave a message on my phone: “Stop acting like a hysterical woman!”

      Oh, not all of them are doing their best. And what pisses that crowd off is the fact that I *don’t* elevate them.

  7. How is it going dear Queen of ALL Witches?

    Manius is here and he’ll write the chapter soon so you’ll hopefully have some fun (I had recently received a brick on my head within my company so I had to fight back, now all is ok).

    Well, they say that making a lot of sports is the therapy for any kind of stuff, what ever it is. Any kind of sports.

    Un caro saluto and many hugs and kissess from Roma, the eternal loose woman and she-wolf:



  8. Cheri is right. Those who live every moment with the thought they may be sued are scared.

    Reassure them at every turn, patiently and gently help them to understand your case, quietly correcting misconceptions, crediting them with all you achieve, and they come off their defensive pedestal and you get the best out of them.

    Physician, heal thyself!

    When are your results through?

    • They can be scared to be sued all they want. I wish I saw a bit more of that and a bit less of “f**k off and quit bothering me.”

      They tell me that once they drill my Glob the path lab will have an evaluation in 48 hours (meaning next Wednesday or so). Honestly, at this point I am not particularly on tenterhooks. I saw the radiology on screen, to include ultrasound of a little Glob floating between skin and lobular tissue, with discernible dark gaps in between. I am going to ask if they can spear it clean out, like fondue.

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