Now that I'm in the "over 45" crowd (and have been for a couple of years!), my doctor is strongly urging me to undergo some of the tests I've been avoiding because I felt I was too young. Or, to be more honest, I just didn't want to go through them because I'm a needle-phobe and have severe white coat syndrome. This is no joke. The doctor (I'm seeing now) is the first who hasn't made my blood pressure go up just by walking in the room.
Most recently, she made a very convincing argument for the necessity of a mammogram.
I have no knowledge of a woman who enjoys this procedure. However, there is some history of cysts in my family--no breast cancer I'm aware of--so I figured it was better to make the appointment and just get it over with. Three to four days of pain, and I would be fine, right?
A couple of weeks ago, I went to the appointment and...survived. However, a follow-up call from my doctor's office informed me they could not get a good read on one side. I needed to make another appointment and have some new "pictures" taken. Ugh.
I went back today, knowing a little better what to expect. Going by what I was told, there was nothing to worry about. This was all pretty routine. Until I walked into the radiology department.
The technician showed me one of the x-rays from my last appointment. There was a good-sized spot on that picture. She said there was concern about it. Thus, the new testing. I was floored. She was surprised that I was so...well, surprised.
We went through another round of x-rays. Then I waited. Those were some agonizing 15-20 minutes, as I sat alone in the tiny dressing cubicle and prayed. And prayed. I felt very alone.
She called me back in, only to inform me the radiologist wanted just "a few" more pictures to read. As you can imagine, I was getting past the "this-is-no-big-deal" stage to the "what-in-the-world-is-going-on" stage. More images, more pain, and then more waiting. More loneliness.
When she called my name again, I stepped out of the dressing area expecting grim news. However, the tech had a smile on her face. Her report: "That last image was the clearest one. The radiologist said it's all clear. Everything is fine." And then, it happened...
She stepped forward and wrapped me in a hug. Her words: "I can see the look on your face. I've been there. This is good news, though! Go home and have a great evening!"
That is one of the best hugs I have ever been given. I will never forget it. Thank you for blessing me with your friendship today, sweet technician.
Her words breathed life into an afternoon that had become very dark and lonely. God definitely answered my prayers. Not so much because of the results (though, of course, that is an answer, too!). The real answer came in the hug of a stranger.
Thank you, God, for showing me Your love through that amazingly kind woman.