Fear In 3D

So, tomorrow I have my first mammogram in over five years. I know, I know.

I have been so focused on what is going on with my optic nerves that my lady parts have taken a back seat. That’s the truth. And it’s also an excuse. New year, new excuses, right?

I’m just kidding. New year, new attitude. Tomorrow I go for my first 3D breast photo shoot. Here’s the thing: I am really, really scared. Not of the squishing or the flattening, although there always is a few seconds where I worry they won’t plump back up again, but of the results.

I understand the extreme importance of early detection. My closest friends all go yearly and they have all encouraged me to get it done. Some got downright tough with me. Never have I had such a throng of offers to drive me anywhere. And I love them for it.

I went through some things in my childhood that were horrible. My father was an alcoholic and put my mom and me through hell. And somewhere in my subconscious I thought I had had my troubles young and had gotten them out of the way. That would be hysterical if it wasn’t so damn sad. But I think a lot of people think this way. My friends tell me I have had more than my share and that I’ve already had “my thing”. If only they were the ones handing out the shares and the things.

When I woke up blind I wasn’t really worried. I suppose shock played a big factor but at no time did I thunk I had a brain tumor or that my life was in danger. I never thought my sight would not be fully restored. I suppose that’s the tiny silver lining inside the big fat horror of a sudden illness. But really, no matter when you find out you are in a medical crisis, it’s sudden. It may have been there for awhile but you didn’t know. And then you do. That’s the very definition of sudden.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m a pessimist now after the four tragedies in three years but I will say, ironically, that my eyes are more open now to what can happen in the blink of an eye, whether its nerves are working or not. It’s as if I know at 50 what most people won’t learn until they are 80. And that’s why I’m so rattled.

Day-to-day I must be brave to live my life with limited vision. But when it comes to the possibility of more health issues, I am the opposite of courageous and of who I was before I knew you could wake up blind with no warning.

I’m a nervous wreck but 3D mammogram here I come. I’m putting on my big girl panties and taking off my big girl bra. What’s that? I don’t take my bra off until I’m in the little room with the gowns? Oops. Sorry about that folks. My bra. I mean, my bad. I told you I’m a worried mess!

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