Thursday, November 11, 2010

What's That Smell?

Okay so I went for a mammogram earlier this week. My first, and hopefully my last for quite a while. And as fun as that experience wasn't, that's not what I want to talk about. Well, except to say two things. One, that whole office was way. too. pink. seriously. I'm not overly fond of the color, but a little in moderation is okay. On Tuesday I achieved my pink quota for the entire year 2011. I get why they do it, but it still set my teeth on edge.

The other thing was, as soon as I gave them my name and told them why I was there, they asked if anyone had talked to me about my bill. I told them I'd never been to their facility before. They said yes, but based on my insurance, my deductible, my amount of coverage and the procedures I was having done, I would owe several hundred dollars and they would be glad to collect it as soon as I filled out my paperwork.

And the rest of the visit was about as fun as that.

Anyway, when my doctor's office told me I needed the mammogram, they gave me several sheets of instructions. I am a rule follower, and I always like to do things correctly so I dutifully read everything they gave me.

The first sheet was filled with information on things that might make you think you need to schedule a mammogram. Since they had already told me to get one, this paper kind of seemed like a waste of time. I still kept reading because, if you're going to have medical tests done, there is always prep work to do. Blood glucose test? Fasting from midnight, please. Ultrasound while pregnant? Drink a gallon of water and then let the baby use your bladder as a trampoline for an hour before you come in. When I worked for a proctologist (side note: I should have made sure I knew the definition of all of his titles before I took the job) I was always giving pages of instructions to patients that listed several days worth of really horrible stuff prep work they had to do before tests.

To my relief, I discovered that I was required to do absolutely nothing before my ultrasound on Tuesday. Hooray! A little further reading told me that the day of the mammogram I should refrain from using lotion. Check. Or powder. Check. Or deodorant.


Now I don't know about you, but I've never considered deodorant to be optional. Lotion and powder are nice, and it's inconvenient to do without them, but I can if I have to. But deodorant? I'd no sooner go without deodorant than I'd go without my shirt. But there it was in black and white. So what to do?

The only thing that made sense was to reserve the first appointment in the morning. It was a good idea, but they had nothing available until mid-afternoon. Before I could mention it, the woman on the phone told me deodorant was fine, but not to use lotion or powder the day of the test.

Whew! I was very relieved until the day before the test when another woman called to remind me of my appointment. In a no-nonsense tone she informed that I needed to arrive 30 minutes early, and that under no circumstances was I to use lotion that day. Check. Or powder. Check. Or deodorant.

Wait! "The other lady told me I could use deodorant," I protested.

Come to find out, deodorant is actually okay. But the aluminum ingredient in anti-perspirant shows up on the mammogram, so anti-perspirant is a no-no. Well, it may be a no-no, but in central Florida it's still a necessity. But maybe for one day? I decided to be grateful that I needed these tests done after the weather had started turning cooler. And then I headed to the store to get some deodorant without any anti-perspirant in it. But that's here I ran into a whole new set of problems.

Yes, I'm  actually going to do a two-parter about deodorant. This is what happens when you have no life.


  1. I can "feel your pain" on this one. I've had more than my share of mammos in the past 14 mos..I had a benign calcification in one breast, which I chose to watch instead of biopsy. 14 mos. later, it's unchanged, thank the Lord. Some woman keeps calling me daily telling me I need to pre-register for my mammogram. I keep telling her, "I'm not having another mammogram,I just had one last month and it's normal." Apparently, someone has their wires crossed. Incidently, I've only had one place say anything about not using the antiperspirant...

  2. Geepers. As if women don't have it hard enough, right?

    You are a trooper. And a funny one at that. :)

  3. Well I am on the edge of my seat and cannot wait for part 2! Seriously... I don't think the task before you was an easy one. I find the whole deodorant thing almost as confusing as toothpaste selection.

  4. I was chuckling about the proctologist part! I usually have mine during the winter, and I make sure I take a stick of anti-perspirant with me to use as soon as I'm done.

  5. Jill, there is an award for you over on my blog, if you'd like to go over and pick it up. Have a great evening :) Kathy


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