Saturday, April 11, 2009

My First Time

It is that time of year again. No not spring. No not Easter. It is time to get the mammy’s grammed. . I was over at Life Just Keeps Getting Weirder and she reminded me it was that time. I have been doing this every year since I was ten years old. Yes since I was ten.
You see I was ten years old and I was on the playground trying to play softball. Remember me telling you about not being very good at sports. Alright that is an understatement. I am horrible at all sports. You can read about it in my post titled “I Choose You”. There I was in all my ten year old glory trying very desperately not to make a complete and utter fool out of myself, which honestly was impossible. James threw the softball and I saw it coming. I was ready. I was holding the bat the way that Coach Williams had shown me. I was standing at the plate with my feet apart and I was keeping my eye on the ball. Then I was looking up at the sky. I couldn’t breath and I could feel tears flowing freely out of my eyes.

Coach Williams and Mrs. Shaw came running up to the plate and were standing over me saying something but I couldn’t concentrate. I was hurting and trying to breathe. Finally I was able to gulp in some air and the next thing I knew someone was screaming. Then I realized that someone was me. They helped me up and Coach Williams instructed me “McGillcutty, stop screaming and walk it off”. Since I always did as I was told I tried. I walked a few steps then I heard that horrible screaming again. It was one again emanating from my own mouth and from my lungs. Mrs. Shaw shot Coach Williams a scathing look and said “Well I think she is getting air back in her lungs. I’m taking her to the nurse’s office.” I cried all the way there. I am not talking whimper here people. I am talking full out wailing like a banshee wail.

Nurse Miller looked me over and pulled up my shirt. She looked to make sure I didn’t have any broken ribs. I sniffed a big snot bubble and said “That’s not where the ball hit me.” Nurse Miller looked at me and started pressing on my stomach. “It didn’t hit me in the stomach either” I whined. “Well where exactly did it hit you” she asked. “It hit me in the er, um, ninny.” I embarrassingly answered. “The WHAT” she asked. “You know in my boobie” I whispered. Remember, I was TEN I had no puppy dog noses, no speed bumps I had nothing, notta. I was flatter than a pancake. She pressed around my sternum and then decided the best thing to do was call my mother. So there I sat in Nurse Miller’s office holding an icepack to my chest crying.

My mother came to pick me up, listened to the story and immediately went into Nurse Meme mode. She pulled my shirt up and checked out the afflicted area. She took Nurse Miller’s stethoscope and listened to make sure my breathing and heart sounded normal. Then she marched me out to the car and we drove straight to Dr. Darling’s office. Ok his name really wasn’t Darling but it was Darwin and when my mother would say it I thought she was saying Darling. I digress.

Dr. Darling came in and examined my now swollen chest. He looked in my eyes, listened to my heart and my breathing then sent me for X-rays. I went through the whole ordeal of ‘don’t breath, don’t move’ then they took me to the next room. There I stood in the room my little ten year old body swimming in the adult size gown. The technician came in and looked at my mother “Hun, your gonna have to take off your shirt” she stated looking at my mother. “No, you are supposed to mammogram Gladys here” my mother said as she pushed me in front of the machine. “I think there must be a mistake here, hun, I can’t perform a mammogram on her. She’s too young.” Once again Nurse Meme went into action and said “What does it say on this order? It says to run the procedure on this girl. You can read can’t you? Well that is what the damn doctor ordered and that is what you are going to do. I will go get your supervisor if you are not capable of performing your job.” The technician scowled and said “Fine. I need her on that stool and the gown needs to be off.” My mother scooted the stool over the machine and then helped me off with the gown.

I scooted as close to the imposing cold contraption I as could. I did just as the technician instructed and scooted in some more. Then I heard a whir and a womp and the next thing I knew my budding girl bits were slammed into a vice. I let out a screech that I am sure dogs heard in the next county. “Hold still, Hun, and don’t breath” the devil woman told me. Not breathe? Ok that was easy enough I mean I had just sucked all the air out of the room but I was instinctively trying to get out of this bear trap. I was ready to chew off whatever body part was necessary to get free. Then I heard another whir and I closed my eyes as the machine clamped down even further. “Hun, I need you to step out of the room” the devil woman told Nurse Meme.

Nurse Meme tried to leave but I was holding her hand in a death grip. She pried each finger loose and stepped out while the technician ran the procedure. Finally I heard the death trap release its hold and my little nib was freed. I stood there tears streaming down my face snot flowing out my nose and stepped off the stool. “Hun, I’m gonna need you to get back up on the stool so I can take a picture of the other one” I heard the devil woman say from behind the plexi-glass shield. I searched out Nurse Meme standing just outside the door and screamed “NO! Please MOMMMAAA! NO!” Nurse Meme came into the room not as my mother but as a trained professional. She helped me back up on the stool positioned my girly parts. Once again the medical bear trap was set and she nodded to the technician to proceed with the torture. I was having a hard time holding still because I was sobbing those racking heaving sobs that come from uncontrollable crying. I guess you could say I was having those heaving bosom sobs only I didn’t have a bosom. Nurse Meme walked back into the room and whispered in my ear “stay still and when this is over I’ll take you to the drug store and get you a root beer float.” Those were the magic words. I once again sucked all the air out of the room and made ready for the anvil to come down on my pathetic girly parts. The machine whirred, the slab slammed and I bit back a scream. Finally the procedure was completed and the devil woman deemed it to be successful.

True to her word Nurse Meme got me not only a root-beer-float but a cheeseburger too. She assured me it would be a long time before I would ever have to do that again. We went home and I tried desperately to forget the whole ordeal. Then about a week later I was sitting in my history lesson with Coach Williams when my mother showed up at the door. My mother never came to the school for any reason. I was confused and scared this could mean only one thing either someone was very sick or I was in big trouble. She whispered into Coach Williams’s ear and he motioned to me. I stood up and walked toward the front of the room when I heard him say “You need to get your things. It doesn’t look like you will be coming back.” That is what he really said. What I heard was “Dead Gladys walking” with a funeral dirge playing in the background. I reached the door book bag in hand and waved goodbye to my fellow classmates.
Nurse Meme didn’t say a word as she signed me out at the front desk and stowed my belongings in the backseat. Once we were situated she turned to me and said “they want to retake some of the pictures. They found a spot they want to take a better look at.” She put the car in drive and pulled out of the school’s circle drive. I sat studying my hands and then finally worked up the courage to ask. “Does this mean I get another root beer float?”


Bob said...

Gotta know -- so did you get that float?

BTW -- Did Nurse Meme take you to a Gunning-Casteel? We always went to the one on Fort Blvd, right next to Woolworth's.

Ms Martyr said...

Hurray for priorities!

Gladys said...

Bob - It was a little drug store named Watson Drugs. Yes I did and another cheeseburger.

Ms. Martyr well of course do you know how often I got a root beer float? Not near often enough. ;)

terri said...

10 years old? Holy moly! I didn't go for my first until I was 40-ish! I didn't get a root beer float either.

Queenie said...

Your poor little girl ta tas, Gladys...My heart was breaking for you. Always get your pappy and your mammies in the month of your birthday and then you will never forget. And after you go? Get a root beer float. It's on me.

Debbie said...

I just can't imagine doing that at 10.
I had mine last week! We must be on the same schedule.

The Texas Woman said...

Godalmighty! At ten mine hurt if my shirt touched them! I had to wear bandaids on the dang things to keep them from rubbing against the fabric! My heart breaks for little Gladys.

The Texas Woman

Anonymous said...

Wow, you've been getting mammograms since 10 years old? Yikes.