About ten days ago I had to go to the doctor's for my 10,000km service. You know, they put you up on blocks, check your oil, make sure you're still roadworthy. Now unlike some women, I have no problem undergoing these routine check-ups, despite the awkwardness. And that's actually quite good, because I can honestly admit - I really have no idea what's going on with my body most of the time.
Seriously. I think of my body in much the same way I think of my computer. I can surf the internet, send emails, upload and do basic photo and video edits - but I don't really understand the technology that underpins all that stuff. I learned the basics of how things work, and then I just went on my merry way.
- There's a "thing" that happens every month that can be easily handled. Check.
- If I take "these" precautions, I won't contract something permanent like an STI, or worse, a child. Double check.
- If I have "this" routine probing, I'll stay healthy. Checkmate.
However this joyful state of fingers-in-the-ear, "I'm not listening" style of medical maintenance received something of a jolt during this most recent exam, when my doctor noticed something while doing the ol' touchy-feely on my boobs and recommended I have an ultrasound. She thought it was just some "hormonal thickening" (which I had always thought was the technical term for adolescence, but hey, I'm not the M.D. here), but said she never liked to take chances.
I thought for a second about breaking down in paroxyms of grief, clutching my bosom and crying, "That's it! It's all over! I have....*gasp*... Cancer!" - but I quickly realised that was far too selfish and dramatic even for me. I also thought immediately of my mother, who honestly is the most down-to-earth person when it comes to surgery. She's had her fair share of serious operations over the years, but she's of the non-hysterical "just check me in and get it out" school.
So I decided not to worry, as I'm only 26, have no family history of breast cancer, and - without sounding like I'm boasting - have a fair amount of breast tissue. I was also helped in that regard by my Scrooge-like attitude to money: once I found out it would cost nearly $200 for the ultrasound, I simply replaced stressing about any potential long-term health fears with short-term financial ones. Brilliant!
I toddled off this morning to my Diagnostic Imaging Centre - conveniently located just a 10 minute walk from Chez Clumsy. Now I've never had an ultrasound before. I knew there was slimy slippery conducting cream involved - but I had no idea HOW slimy it was going to get. Obviously my bosom must have quite the square footage, because the sonographer used virtually a jar-ful on the property. One nork at a time, she massaged her little dooby-whacker (should that be booby-whacker?) device around, watching intently on the screen. All I could see was black-and-white static, like a TV channel short-circuited during a storm.
"I don't know how you can make out anything on that," I said. "To me it just looks like my breasts are experiencing technical difficulties".
To her credit she laughed at my joke, and pointed out a little oval near the top of the screen, which I had thought must have been my nipple (I told you, I have no idea). "That's just breast tissue undergoing what we call micro-cystic change. It's perfectly normal." Phew, I sighed. I've just got normal lumpy-things.
The image changed, and rather disturbingly looked like that greasy chick coming out of the well in "The Ring". That's just what I need - cursed jugs that kill you within seven days of gawping at them. Although come to think of it in certain environments that might actually come in handy.
At the end of the ultrasound, she told me it all looked good, and I could get dressed while she made sure all the images were OK. And it was at that moment, dear readers, when I realised why some women don't like having intimate examinations. She left me in the semi-dark of the examination room, with two small towels to mop up the conducting cream that was still greasing up my torso. I had been wearing a smock that opened at the front, and as I sat on the tiny bed wiping the gel off me, I felt more than just a little bit seedy. All I wanted was a nice hot shower to wash the shame away!
On the plus side, it appears that everything does in fact appear normal. My gajungas, ta-tas, hooters, bazoongas and funbags are still in great condition, and I'll no doubt get a fair few more years out of them before I have to think about extending the warranty or upgrading to the newer model. And who knows - I may even learn from this experience and try to better educate myself in the ways of the woman.
But for now, a simple plaintative cry - hooray for boobies!