Saturday, February 9, 2013

Healing Kindness

The regular weekly schedule was disrupted on Wednesday.  I met three new people who were required to share an intimate experience with me.  It could have been a terribly embarrassing and tense situation except that these three treated me with kindness, compassion and professionalism.

My annual mammogram came back with microscopic calcium deposits in my left breast that were not there the year before.  The new digital mammography is excellent for seeing the smallest things but they also require that all the smallest things be investigated.  A biopsy was ordered.

A breast biopsy is a awkward ordeal.  The machine is an uncomfortable table where the patient lays on their stomach and their breast hangs through a cut out.  A mammography machine compresses the breast and film is made of the affected area. The breast stays compressed through the procedure leaving the patient in an uncomfortable and awkward position for about 40 minutes.

A Valium and pain pill was given to ease the process and the area was locally numbed before the needle was inserted and the biopsy performed.

I am not a modest person by nature so stripping to the waist with the female nurse and x-ray tech was not difficult.  The unfamiliar procedure and possible results had me on edge.

The nurse took her time in explaining the process, what would happen, where everyone would be and what I was expected to do.  Once I was informed and comfortable these two women pulled me into a companionable conversation, asking about me and my family as preparations were made.

I was loaded onto the table, my head and arms locked in position, then the nurse stepped into my line of sight where she would be throughout the procedure providing a running commentary on what was happening.

The doctor arrived, stepping into view to introduce himself as the ladies provided him with some information they gleaned about me so he seamlessly entered the easy chatter keeping the atmosphere casual and relaxed.

These three have done this same procedure many times and even though I was one on that road of many I want to thank them for seeing only me at my turn; for caring that I was comfortable and taking measures to see to my peace of mind.

I want to particularly thank N., my nurse, for holding my hand through the poking, prodding and cutting.  It was a gesture of compassion and a warm and welcomed comfort.

Footnote: The results were back on Thursday and all was clear and benign.

Google photos:


  1. I am so thankful that it came back benign and that you are OK.....Yes women do have to go through some embracing situations in order to keep our health in tip top shape....I always tell myself that the alternative is not good and that motivates me to go through with all these awkward exams....

  2. Am also so glad that your biopsy was benign. I am always so comforted when medical personnel exhibit extraordinary kindness and caring. When you consider every part of the procedure is routine and monotonous for them, it is amazing that they alleviate our anxieties.
    Hubby is ice fishing with sons this weekend, so I invited a childhood friend to come from Whitewater. We don't connect often but it was great to see her. We were supposed to quilt, but mostly talked and talked. Got a little sewing done. She just left since there is a threat of mixed precipitation tomorrow morning and day.

  3. I am so thankful for the results...and so thankful for caring and compassionate workers to walk you through it...what a true blessing from God. So sorry you had to go through that but so glad you know you are okay.

  4. Thankful for your great results, Sally! Woo-hoo!

  5. So glad you are okay! It really does make a difference when someone is helpful and kind throughout this kind of thing. Thankful you had good support and all is well. :)