My Beautiful Reward: American Lady Butterfly
The long and the short of it: in which I do medical stuff.
Oh, and here's a butterfly. :-)
Warning: t*t talk!
It has been a medical extravaganza for me since last week. It all started when I went for my regularly scheduled annual doctor appointment last Tuesday. We did the usual stuff and they gave me my flu booster shot.
I hadn't had a mammogram in a while, so she asked if I wanted to do that. Sure, go ahead and write the order, I said; I'll look into it when I get a chance. (Which meant: well, I'll think about it. But no time soon!)
Two other things happened that day that precipitated more medical events. One is that while eating a snack bar in the parking lot, I broke the first of two porcelain veneers. The other is that by the time we got home that afternoon, there was a message on our answering machine saying that my doctor's office had scheduled my mammogram for me!
I called them back and the lady said, did I want to know the date and time. I said, sure, that might be helpful. In a very perky voice, she indicated how fortunate I was: they'd had a cancellation, and they could get me in for the mammogram on Thursday of this week (today!).
Me, with my honest reaction: EEK!!!
My husband: I just wrote t*ts on the calendar!
Well, so much for putting it all off! My doctor had also written an order for some blood tests, the usual stuff. And so I figured if I was going into town for a mammogram on this morning, I might as well do my blood tests too. Two birds with one stone and all.
In the meantime, I broke a second tooth. So Tuesday found me at my dentist's, gravely assessing the devastation (as opposed to MONDAY's devastation). When did I want to deal with it? As soon as possible!
Which (due to a cancellation) got me an appointment on Wednesday morning, where they ground down the enamel and put in the provisionals. They wrapped things up in a little over an hour, which might be a new record, and I wrote out a big check.
So it was dentist Tuesday and Wednesday, and blood test and mammogram on Thursday. This meant that I had to fast from Wednesday night into Thursday morning (8 to 12 hours, they said). And for the mammogram, I had to shower, but NOT put on any of my usual stuff: no perfume, no lotions, no powders, no deodorants, no this, no that!
Well, you can imagine the state that I was in by 10 a.m. on Thursday, when we arrived in town for my blood test. I had called in advance to make sure they were open (this is not my first rodeo!), and when I waltzed in, there were two gents in front of me. Within 10 minutes, all three of us had had our blood tests and were walking out the door!
My mammogram wasn't until 11:15 (but I was told to be there by 11), so I talked my husband into going to Burger King. So it was that at 10:30 on this morning, I broke my fast by eating one of the most delicious hash browns of my life (also known as knockout tots, from a prior work trip where a colleague ate some, and then slept all the way to New Jersey!), dipped in ranch dressing. Oh, and a bacon egg and cheese croissan'wich. My GOSH, was that good!
And then we zipped over to Mount Nittany Medical Center, where I strolled in nearly a half-hour early for my mammogram. I sat down, they asked who I was, they took me in, I took off my top and bra (yes, I recommend you wear one in town) and put on the little gown, and the lady arranged me up against the machine where they place your breast tissue between glass plates and smoosh it down, down, down, while you hold on with one arm, with your face pressed against the glass.
"Now hold your breath," she said, at the last minute. And I admit I struggled, for I hadn't been warned. And it's surprising how much you love breathing, when it gets right down to it. Or at least *I* do. I'm a big fan! In! Out! But I did better the next time, and the next. And in just a few minutes, I was done and OUT of there before 11:15.
Every single appointment I have had in the past week went like this! It happened earlier than expected due to cancellations, etc. It went more expeditiously than expected due to competent personnel. I was out as quickly as possible; in some cases, earlier than I even should have gone in. And I was treated in all cases with friendliness, courtesy, consideration, and respect, which goes a long, long way.
I also had deodorant in the car, which I applied, as it is surprising how quickly a body without the usual stuff on it begins to retrieve its animal scents and wear them. So, chock-full of knockout tots and deodorized, and with all of the week's appointments behind me, I settled into peace. No, bliss. Have you fasted for a blood test lately? Then you remember how HAPPY you are when you can eat again!
My husband suggested we zip by his mechanic's to schedule an appointment for his car, which has been doing some odd things lately. And so we did that. And then we found ourselves up in Moshannon State Forest, with two ladies with horses, contemplating the wilderness ahead of us.
The ladies had been prancing their horses in the main parking lot. The horses were on tethers, running around and around the ladies. And then those two ladies rode the horses right by us! Of course, I was there to greet them, and we had a lovely chat, and were wishing each other a great day.
I snapped some photos as they rode on by, headed out for a wonderful ride. (And when my husband and I drove past them at afternoon's end, I hung out the window and waved madly at them, as they waved madly back. Goodbye . . . friends!)
At one point just after we'd gotten there, I looked up to the edge of the woods, and I spotted an orange flash. Hello, from my big sister! It was definitely a butterfly!!!! I figured it was a comma or a question mark, which are butterflies that show up at the starts and ends of things. I tend to see them in early spring and late fall, not unlike mourning cloaks.
But I ran over quickly with my camera, and snapped only THREE decent shots, of which this one was the best. Based on the tiny spot at the back of the forewing, I believe it is an American Lady, Vanessa virginiensis.
I am calling the photo My Beautiful Reward, because it represents to me the end of the medical odyssey of this week! Hello, girl! You did it! It's all over, it's all done, you made it! Here is your beautiful reward!!!!
Here is the Boss, with the song: My Beautiful Reward. I can't resist including this one too: Tom Petty, with American Girl. :-) Just LOOK at TP playing that double guitar!
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