Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Right of passage

Throughout our life there are certain things that are considered rights of passage things. You learning to ride a 2 wheeler without training wheels. That was a BIG deal, and meant you weren't a little kid anymore. Going to school! Now that was a big one, wasn't it? Loosing your first tooth, which in our house also meant your first visit from the tooth fairy. Getting your drivers license. Talk about major!

For girls, getting their period is a big thing, because "now you're a woman" and all that jazz. It's even bigger than getting that first bra. Somewhere in there is your first pap smear, something most of us would rather live without. Having your first baby has got to be the ultimate right of passage for us women, and it doesn't matter if it's by birth or adoption. Each brings it's own experiences that ultimately give you the right to be called a mom.

Which brings me to my next right of passage. Dean and I had spent several months arguing about why he needed to go in for a check-up. It has been years and I was pretty sure his doctor would tell him he was a walking heart attack. In my pestering he asked when the last time was that *I* had gone in for a check-up???? Yeah, I did a little back pedaling, because it had been several years. In fact, it had been EIGHT years! Yep..EIGHT!

I really didn't see the reason to go in for a check-up. Yes, pap smears are important, but I don't have those parts anymore. (sorry for the TMI guys) and that's the biggest reason for a check-up right? For the sake of the argument I agreed to go in if Dean would. The conversation with the doctor went like this:

So she's looking at my chart (I'm new there so she's never seen me before) and says,

Dr: "'s been EIGHT years since your last check-up?"

Me: Yes
Dr (somewhat sarcastically): You know it's recommended that you come in yearly...right?
Me: Yeah..I here I am lets get it done with.
Dr: So you need a few different immunizations too.
Me: lovely
Dr: Have you ever had your cholesterol checked?
Me: Nope...guess we'll be doing that too huh?
Dr: Ummmm yeah. You have one child with Down Syndrome?
Me: yes.

So I get undressed, have a seat on the table, and she starts teasing me...

Dr: Those kids with Down Syndrome are so loving and happy all the time.
Me (internally cheering because she said it right, cringing because of the steretype): Yeah, let me have my daughter come in here so she can call you a dumbass and F-ing B-ch. She'll dispell the myth for you.
Dr: So, as you can see, we still use styrrups.
Me: great. Gotta love those styrrups.
Dr: We still do a breast exams too. That hasn't gone techno yet.
Me: K
Dr: So you really need to come in every year.
Me: Yeah, so you told me.
Dr: We do have some new tools! Lookc..Clear disposable speculums.
Me: Great, thank goodness for advances in medicine.
Dr: Yeah, and if you'd been coming in when you were supposed to, you would know this already.
Me: Yeah, thanks for reminding me AGAIN
Dr: So you need to see the dermatologist to have them look at the spot on your neck.
Me: I was gonna ask you about that.
Dr: No need to, it's the size of a lemon, can't miss it. You have lots of sun damage, given your family history you really need to stay out of the sun, and then when you come in every year we can keep a better eye on your skin.
Me: great, I'll remember that. Do I have to have a mammogram? My friends are giving me a hard time cuz I haven't had one yet.
Dr: Nope, you get lucky on that one. You're 39 with no family history, so you get one more year. You do need a pap every 3-5 years (cuz I've had a hysterectomy and only have my ovaries left) But you STILL need a pelvic every year, plus breast exam. So you STILL have to come in every year......... I'm also writing a referral for you to see the audiologist.
Me: HUH? I haven't had an ear infection in years, and my meneirs only acts up once in a great while.
Dr: Because I just asked you something and you didn't hear me.
Me: Great....can't wait to hear what they say

That conversation took place a year and a half ago. I never did quite make it to the audiologist, nor the dermatologist. But tomorrow is that right of passage I was talking about. It happens when you turn 40 (unless there is a family history that indicates it needs to be done sooner.) Yep...the mammogram. Lucky me. Dean's previous wife died of breast cancer. I'm a little surprised he hasn't bugged me about going in, but then he'd have to go in for his check-up too, wouldn't he?

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