Well, today was my (bi)annual "lie back and think of England" exam. Such a nice way to get to know my new OB/GYN. She seemed nice enough, though I don't think I'm going to like her as well as I did my old doctor. Perhaps it's due to a different sort of bedside manner. Perhaps it's due to lack of history between us.
The part of the exam that usually bothers women the most goes by like a breeze for me. I can sit back, talk, even joke around a bit.
(I remember one time when the nurse assistant told me to relax. The doctor shook his head and insisted that NO ONE could EVER relax in my position. Contrary thing that I was, not only did I show them them I could, I started humming Wave in an effort to get them to relax.)
What really bothers and upsets me is the breast exam. I force myself to do it monthly, the doctor performs it, but it still horrifies me to the point of almost passing out or throwing up. In the past I have passed out, coming to propped against a nurse. Today I didn't do that. Made sure that I'd eaten a good breakfast and everything so as not to faint. I did shield my eyes with my free hand, wince and start to feel the tears well up. The weird feeling came over me, as well, but I did manage to stay conscious.
I apologized for being such a baby, that nothing actually hurt. Explained that I'd always been this way. The doctor asked if I was that afraid of cancer; couldn't honestly say that that was the whole reason, but did admit that that was part of it. She told me that in all her career, she'd only met two people now who'd been that upset about an exam, and tried to offer me some reassurances.
I know that I'm cystic: I feel them every month during the hormone surge. Even more so if I've not drunk enough soy, have been stressed-out, or have indulged in too much of three things: caffeine, red wine, chocolate. Already irritated and swelling tissue becomes even more painful if I don't. I can live with that.
I know that I'm young: Though there seems to be a higher incidence nowadays (1/9 women, as opposed to 1/10 before - could be due to more and earlier diagnosis), it's very rare in younger women. Add to that the fact that, as far as I know, no one on my mother's side of the family has ever had breast cancer. My dad's sister did recently, but she's fine now. But that's supposedly of less genetic importance to me than my mother's side.
I also understand intellectually that I'm dealing with some residual trauma from a long-past incident. I just wish that the emotional in this case would catch up to the intellect. It has in so many other areas, why not with my chest. Have worked so hard for so long to let go of pain, both psychological and physical. Why is there still this fixation on one part of me that don't particularly want to change?
Anyway, made it out of the doctor's office in one piece. Couldn't get out fast enough. Of course, in my haste to leave, I left something important behind. Now have to go back to retrieve it before closing time. Thank heavens this is all on my walk home.