OldDogNewTits












It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Did you know that? Well, of course, you did.

Even my kids have noticed the ‘pinking’ of their worlds lately. I like that. I like that they’re so aware as children and don’t giggle at all when discussing something this important. Maybe it’s the fact that we’re all saying ‘breast’ and not ‘boob.’ (Yeah, that would likely send them both over the edge.)

My son and I recently got to spend a little one-on-one time together when he was home sick from school a few days. Strep throat. Poor kid missed playing in his football team’s playoff and championship games, which has got to really bite for him. So, what does a mom do to make it up to her boy? Well, once he was feeling well enough to leave home, we went straight for the fast food (greasy and delicious!) and then to a local sports store where, of course, I bought him a for-no-reason present. Love those kinds of days.

And, while we were in the store, my son couldn’t help but notice all of the pink jerseys, hats, gloves, cups, pens and other merchandise that touted the Breast Cancer Awareness message alongside the name of his favorite football team. (Duh, the New Orleans Saints)

I expected him to think all of the pink stuff in a Saints/Hornets/LSU store was oddly out of place. He always asks a lot of questions and I was ready to do some serious explaining. But instead, he just surprised me and said, “Look at all the pink jerseys. All the NFL teams are wearing them for Breast Cancer Month. And pink pants, gloves, socks, cleats, everything. You ought to put it on your blog, Mom.” And then he suggested that I take a few pictures.

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My blog??? My boy’s been paying attention enough to know about Breast Cancer Awareness Month and that his mom is writing a blog?? I just looked at him with my mouth open and decided to do exactly as I was instructed.

I don’t know that I’ve been giving him enough credit. His birthday is Sunday. I think I’ll go buy him an extra present.

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It was a typical school morning. The kids were griping about their breakfast and then again about their lunch choices. Yes, I love the snot out of them. But, son of Moses, eat the damned food and quit complaining … please! And, just as I managed to get them out of the door and throw myself together, Vanessa was already in the driveway to pick me up. My poor friend had a hairdryer malfunction this morning and still made it over here on time. God Bless her.

I was so not in the boob-groping, question-asking mode but I had to slap myself around and get in the zone again … for the fourth time in the last few weeks … not counting the unexpected mammogram and the ultrasound.

We found the doctor’s office with no trouble and got settled in. The decor was very “man den.” Neither one of us could better categorize the look of the place. It was very nicely appointed and clearly very masculine. There were no television shows or before and after books to keep us occupied so I attacked my fourth packet of dry personal paperwork while Vanessa thumbed through the magazines and kept us entertained. Robert Redford was on the cover of AARP magazine. Pass. Cosmo had a cover story entitled What Guys Hate for You to Wear in Bed. Simultaneously, Vanessa said headgear and I said retainers. Of course, the story was actually about matronly night gowns. We liked our answers better.

I think we were debating the cosmetic benefits versus the health risks of the Latisse eyelash growth treatment when the nurse called my name.

Unlike the other appointments, this one started with the doctor’s assistant (and not the doctor) doing the interview. She was great. She laughed at all of my nervous jokes and didn’t miss a beat. I like that quality in my medical personnel. I also like it in my kids’ teachers, my waiter, my dry cleaner, my masseuse, my grocery bagger, etc. but that’s beside the point.

She asked about my recent breast lump. I mentioned that everything had turned out fine. She asked about pregnancies and whether or not I breastfed. My answer of ‘Like nothing you’ve ever seen’ made her laugh again. Then, she asked me to get on the scale. In front of my friend. Not cool.

After talking to me a bit, she said I sounded like a good candidate for a mini-lift/implant combo but said she couldn’t be sure until my examination with the doctor. She said, due to my small frame and (let’s be honest) my small boobs, the need for a full lift was unlikely. And, just as we were told by doctor #1, she added that a full lift with implants would require two surgeries because the risk of scarring is too great when you combine them into one procedure. The anchor incision cannot heal properly when the breast is stuffed full (creating very taut skin) with an implant. (Remember doctor #1 telling us that exact same thing? And remember doctor #2 saying the opposite? Maybe he’s Dr. Uniboob.)

The upside to the mini-lift? It involves significantly less cutting (and thus potential for scarring) than the full lift’s anchor incision. Another plus is that the mini-lift can be done at the same time as the implant insertion thus requiring only one surgery. That’s huge to me … as I don’t think I have the nerve, patience or funds to go through this shit more than once.

We then discussed the silicone versus saline decision. This office offers both but clearly favors the latter. And they offered several reasons:

(1) Saline implants cost at least $1K less than silicone.

(2) Because they are filled after they are already surgically in place, saline implants can be rolled into very thin tubes and inserted through an extremely small incision, resulting in faster healing and reduced scarring. Silicone implants are inserted in their bulbous entirety, requiring a larger incision that needs more healing and has the potential for a more visible scar.

(3) In the event of a rupture, saline implants are not harmful to the patients in that they are filled with saline which can be absorbed harmlessly into the body. A ruptured silicone implant is harmful to the patient and should have her running to the nearest doctor.

(4) A leak in a saline implant is easily detectable to the eye and thus no annual inspections are required. A leak in a silicone implant is very difficult to detect (even by mammogram) and thus an MRI is strongly recommended every other year to confirm its integrity. And those MRIs would all be at the patient’s expense.

(5) Saline implants can stay put in the patient for as long as she desires with no risk. Silicone implants should be replaced every ten years to reduce the possibility of their deterioration and thus harm to the patient.

(6) The saline implants used by the doctor (made by Allergan) come with an optional insurance policy offering a 10 year warranty on the entire procedure and the implants if there are any problems. After 10 years, the policy still covers the replacement cost of the implants themselves, but the patient would be responsible for any and all doctor’s fees associated with replacing them. Silicone implants offer no such guarantees.

Consequently, their patients opt for saline over silicone 10 to 1.

Elaborating a little on their Allergan product, she explained that the exterior of the saline implant shell is texturized rather than smooth. This new characteristic is said to feel much more natural within the patient and its roughed-up exterior adapts well with the natural tissue thus preventing the hardening of the breast and the development of scar tissue.

I asked about implants and their effects on mammography and got a much more informed answer than I had elsewhere. She explained that a patient with breast implants can have a complete and thorough mammogram but it’s imperative that she inform her technicians prior to the testing. A standard mammogram takes only a small number of images to achieve a full view of the breast tissue. A mammogram for an implant patient requires that extra images be taken to achieve a full view. So, it would seem, problem solved.

This assistant was ridiculously informative and I hadn’t even seen the doctor yet. She stepped out of the room and said she’d be back in a moment with the doctor to perform the examination. Vanessa and I were mentally exhausted but had been so thoroughly informed about everything that I think either of us could have given a lecture on the subject if asked. Our brains were both about to explode … as was Vanessa’s bladder apparently so she darted to the bathroom while I waited for the doctor.

I sat there checking emails and texts on my phone until they all came back in. I was topless within 60 seconds for an audience of three, my personal best to date. The doctor measured everything – chest width, breasts, waist and hips – as he aims to create a balanced figure. He was clearly a perfectionist (as a general physician, a plastics specialist and even a microsurgeon for the hand) which we both agreed was a really great quality in a boob man. There would be symmetry, there would be proportion and there would be art in his execution.

He then talked to us a bit, underlining everything his assistant had told us and asked if we had any other questions. No one had said anything so far about the fat injections (from the abdomen to the breasts) so I introduced the subject and was met with a very clear response:

“The American Society of Plastic Surgeons does not recommend fat injections for cosmetic breast enlargement.”

He explained (emphatically, I might add) that fat injections were only recommended for use in very small quantities (for example, in isolated touch-up areas on the face). At this point in time, he said the procedure is simply too new, too controversial and too investigational. The risk of scarring is increased and mammography becomes very difficult to interpret as foreign tissue is now present in the area. He also added that the technique offered less aesthetically to the patient as they are often required to undergo the procedure repeatedly to maintain their results. Fat deposits relocated to the breast area are frequently re-absorbed into the body, meaning the augmentative effects are lost.

Such a different opinion than doctor #3.

So, back to the implants. This doctor much prefers under the muscle placement. Honestly, it seems most doctors do. He said they feel better and are more naturally camouflaged within the body. He further added that under the muscle placement offers better mammography results as well as significantly less breast hardening. The textured saline shells, used by this office, result in little to none of this problem and massage, while often required with implants, is not needed at all.

He asked about sizes and, with a little guidance, we decided I should be looking at somewhere between 270ccs and 330ccs. That would supposedly put me somewhere between a small C and a full C. (Vanessa reminded me that doctor #2 wanted to put me in a pair of 450ccs. I’m not sure I could have gotten out of bed in the morning.)

And then they brought out ‘The Great Big Book of Breasts’ (okay, they don’t call it that but wouldn’t it be a great name?) which looked a lot like a wedding album. Granted, it would be a very creepy wedding album and potentially X-rated given its sometimes horrifying contents (the befores, of course). And, after looking at yet another catalog featuring page after page after page of boobs staring back at me, I have two comments to make here:

(1) This doctor does beautiful work.

(2) There are a lot of ugly ass boobs out in the world. Seriously, I have seen chests as flat as a man’s, boobs that look like long empty tube socks stretching down below the ribs, nipples as big around as Coke cans … you just can’t even imagine.

Oh, and if you’re thinking that I forgot to ask about Board Certification, think again. I asked both the assistant and the doctor. And, in keeping with the theme of the whole appointment, I got an answer plus a little bit more. First of all, yes – the doctor is, of course, Board Certified in his field. (At that point, we were pretty sure he had a body suit with a big “S” across his chest under his white coat.) And then he taught us a little something extra. He explained that we must not simply ascertain that the doctor is “Board Certified.” We must confirm that the doctor is ‘Board Certified in Plastic Surgery.” Any doctor can be “Board Certified” but it could be for General Surgery and not Plastic Surgery, which is one big ass red flag. And, apparently, there are plenty of general docs out there anxious to get a piece of this cash cow industry who masquerade as specialists by calling themselves ‘Cosmetic Surgeons.’ Load of crap. Remember that.

The bottom line is that we both really liked him. And I’ve now seen four doctors … and gotten four pretty different opinions. I honestly didn’t expect that. And I’m seeing doctor #5 this Thursday.

Seriously … my head hurts.

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A few days ago, some of you may remember seeing a reference in one of my reader comments to yet another plastic-surgery-gone-wrong news report. (Thanks, Stephanie.)

Long story short, a woman named Dinora Rodriguez, 40, went in for what she thought was “routine maintenance” on her breast implants and came out with one of the worst botch jobs in recent history.  (See news video below.)

The technical term for it is symmastia … but you and I would call it a … uniboob.  (Horror movie scream!!)  Her “surgeon” cut across two pockets of breast tissue allowing the implants to join together and create the mammoth single entity.  The stay-at-home mom woke up from her surgery to discover this nightmare.

“My breasts looked really bad,” she told MSNBC. “It looked like I had one big breast instead of two. And the pain was terrible.”

And, if that wasn’t bad enough, the “surgeon” also took it upon himself to operate on a scar near her eyes and give her a little lift there … without her permission.  After that surgery, Rodriguez was no longer able to close her eyes completely.

Holy shit, would I be mad!

She went to this “surgeon” … I’m sorry but I just cannot NOT use the quotes here … on the recommendation of a friend. (I’m thinking that “friend” now deserves some quotation marks, too.)  Unfortunately, she failed to confirm that this “surgeon” (let’s just call him an assclown from this point forward) was board-certified.

Big mistake for her boobs … I mean boob … oh, whatever.

And, yes … of course, she sued the assclown.  With her settlement, she’s been … for lack of a better word … rebuilt. She’s also now featured in an ad campaign by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to promote the dangers associated with using unqualified surgeons.

There really needs to be a WAY better system in place to check in on these (so-called, in the assclown’s case) doctors for the protection of the wide-eyed consumer. Can you believe that only four states have laws on the books requiring that physicians disclose the specifics of their medical backgrounds? And … even more implausibly … Louisiana is one of them! (I know, right?) Go, typically underdog home state! Kudos also go out to California, Florida and Texas.

Appointment number four is tomorrow. Guess what question I’ll be leading with?

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{September 22, 2011}   The Mammogram Results

“NORMAL, NORMAL, NORMAL!!!  I’ll bring you a hard copy of the report so you have it for your surgeon when you make your choice.”

This was the text I received today from my friend and, more importantly, my OB/GYN regarding the test results sent to her this morning.

I can’t hide my smile but I’m not going to lie. The first thing I did was cry. I had decided that everything was fine, would be fine, would always be fine … and I believed it. Still, there was this crappy little nagging feeling in the back of my mind that was nervous as hell.

I knew my mom was nervous as the subject came up a lot. She’s had a few of her own scares so she was a good resource to have around and also, you know, my mom. I knew my husband was scared as he’d become a prolific texter … warning me not to overgoogle anything … and then yet somehow quoting statistics and percentages that he could only have discovered through his own excessive online research.

But let’s go back in time a little. When I first heard the news on Tuesday, I knew that my aggressive nature had to kick in and I needed to nip this concern in the bud as soon as possible. Which is why I texted my OB/GYN as I was leaving the doctor’s office. Poor thing does have a life of her own and was probably trying to deliver someone else’s baby as I called both her office phone and her cell phone. And then I texted her.

I managed to reach her quickly and we discussed two places where I could have the tests done. The first place was very highly regarded and would be able to give me my results instantly. Instantly after the first available appointment on September 29, eight days away. I would have no hair or fingernails by then.

My doctor knew that … which is why she called the second place, a reputable one located closer to home for me and already in possession of the results of my last mammogram. Comparing these test results is one of the best ways the technicians can detect changes and, sometimes, problems in their patients. They could see me late the very next day. That was yesterday.

I’m sure you can guess which option we chose.

So, I left my house for my mammogram at the same time I’d normally be picking up my kids. My doctor (remember also a neighbor and good friend) even offered to get my children for me and have them start their homework alongside hers. Sooo sweet, but my husband was able to make himself available to me and the kids for the afternoon. Which I really appreciate.

I walked into the imaging center and signed in. Then, I found a decent magazine. Then, I was called up to go through all of the insurance and registration rigmorale. Then, back to my People magazine. (Did you know that Kim Kardashian wore three different gowns on her wedding day?) Then, they called my name.

As instructed, I went to the back area, women only, and changed into my stylish pink paper vest, which I nearly ripped in half exiting the ‘dressing booth.’ I made a nervous joke about it to the lady sitting in the same small waiting area as me. She just stared at me with a blank look. I thought a nasty thing or two about her in my head … then felt like a jerk when a translator finally came over and gave her the same instructions I received. In Spanish. Well, at least she didn’t hear what I said in my head. Which was in English anyway.

Armed with my now crappy Karma, I was escorted down the hall, first into the room where the mammograms are done. The technician there was very nice and patient with my nervous shell of a self. She maneuvered and manipulated my body to take the images she needed. This was my third mammogram. I had my first at age 35 and my second less than a year ago.  And, for whatever reason, this one hurt the worst.  Some of my friends hypothesized that they need to be that much more thorough when a problem is suspected.  Who knows?

While there … and thinking so much about breasts and lumps and implants lately, I asked the technician her thoughts on the impact that implants can have on the accuracy and efficacy of a mammogram.  And then I explained how my lump had been detected and why I wanted to know.  She said that, while there are arguments stating that under-the-muscle placement does decrease the odds of an implant causing a visual obstruction in a mammogram, there are still no guarantees that a problem couldn’t form behind that implant and thereby be invisible to the technicians.  Cancer cells, tumors and other problems can occur anywhere in the breast tissue so no placement is one hundred percent foolproof.  Then, we finished up the procedure and our informal teaching session and I was returned to the internal, ladies-only waiting area … until I was called again for my ultrasound.

Apparently (and this is not hypothecized), when there is a suspected problem, an ultrasound is also ordered to accompany the mammogram to rule out any issues. I haven’t had an ultrasound in years.  Do you know they actually warm up the ultrasound conductive gel these days? It was a welcome change from the frozen system-shock of years ago.

The ultrasound technician was just as lovely and soft-spoken a person as the mammogram tech.  The lighting was dimmed, decor nice and new age music was on.  I honestly felt a little like I was going to a spa for a massage.  And then, of course, I remembered that I wasn’t.  Still, I lay on the table and tried to relax completely, appreciative that there was no pain or discomfort associated with this test.  The tech commented on the fibercystic tissue in my breast, inherited from my mother.  Then, she moved the wand around over my left breast in search of any problems.  I tried to read her face for any signs of concern.  Just a poker face with a positive demeanor.  I didn’t really know what to make of any of it. She took a few pictures and said she wanted to run them by another tech elsewhere in the facility so she left me in the room, alone with my stupid thoughts, for a few minutes.

I lay there on the table while she was gone and thought about everything I’d learned during the last day as well as during the last month (ODNT is one month old today) … and thought about all the amazing people I’d heard from in the last 24 hours.  I had literally gotten inspirational messages from friends from grade school, high school and college, friends from former jobs, parents of my children’s friends, new friends and even people I’ve never even met. Incredible. I felt completely and suddenly very moved ….and then a little panicked.

I hadn’t really thought this plan through.  I had brought a buddy with me to every consultation appointment so far which, with one small exception, provided only general information to me and never any kinds of bad news.  And yet this time, partly due to the last minute nature of everything, I’d chosen to come alone.  What if she came back into the room with bad news?  How was I going to drive myself home? My imagination ran a little wild for a few minutes until she came back into the room.

No bad news. No real news other than that there was no bad news.  She couldn’t comment too specifically on anything and said they’d send everything over to my doctor who would then be contacting me. And, unfortunately, it was past closing time now.

Still, I left that office feeling pretty good.  For whatever reason, I knew this wasn’t going to be an issue. I have no idea why and I won’t deny that I was still a little nervous up until the point when my personal doctor contacted me with the good news today. Maybe it was all the prayers, good vibes, rain dances and other positive energy the universe sent my way yesterday.

Thanks, everyone. I feel loved. :)

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I woke up this morning to my alarm slapping me in the face and telling me to get out of bed. My daughter had choir practice and needed to be at school extra early today. Never mind the fact that the rain and my husband, hit hard with a headache again, kept waking me throughout the night. It was time to get up, throw everyone together and out the door so my day could begin.

Yesterday morning couldn’t have been smoother but this morning was a little … bumpy. (Sooo not the ‘explevatory’ word I want to use here.) Nobody was in an especially good mood, with my daughter being the real star of that dark and dramatic show. So, once they were all off and on their way, I was left to get myself, now really not in the best of moods, ready for appointment number two. Remember to wear a two-piece ensemble again, Michele. (If I ever forget and wear a damned dress, I will have to stand there completely naked for the examination. Topless is demeaning enough.)

Fortunately for me, my upbeat friend, Vanessa, was my appointment buddy for today. And, even more fortunately, she offered to drive … enabling us to get there on time today … unlike last week when I was in charge of the driving. I googled the address from the car and we got there without incident. All improvements from last week.

After finishing the elephantine amount of paperwork a second time, Vanessa and I were left to peruse the waiting room and all that it had to offer. The TV in the corner blared ‘The View’ for anyone interested in hearing about Danny DeVito’s latest exploits. The requisite glass cabinet of upscale Obaji skin products was on display on the wall near the exit. There was an additional glass case featuring all of the doctor’s Mardi Gras memorabilia. Clearly, he had been this organization’s king at some point in the past. And his membership was probably paid for by the many sets of beautiful new breasts that may have, ironically, been flashed at his very float for that parade.

Vanessa and I flipped through his ‘Breast Book’ – filled with page after page of impressive before and after shots. True, there were some women who either had no business being befores or were fairly disappointing afters … but most had made significant improvements in their areas of interest. There was even a before and after picture of a man who had reduction surgery. And, yes, we both thought he had made the right decision. All of the pictures were headless, including his, except for one. One beautiful blonde woman with a smile as wide as Texas wanted to be sure she got credit for her efforts. And did she ever look happy!

We were just finishing up the book when the nurse called my name and we went to the examination room. She handed me a gown and told me to put it on facing forward. Oh, and I want to mention that this room had some nude Venus de Milo-y statuettes here and there as well as a plastic resin cross-section of a boob.

Isn’t this exactly what I was looking for last time???

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And, as I was undressing and putting on my gown, Vanessa took her top off … just for me to see a comparison. She promised before, remember? First of all, I want to compliment my friend (who I will point out is six years younger than me!) and say she has great boobs. Everything looked to be very much in the right place to me. Did I have that six years ago? Of course, I didn’t get to look at them long because, about two minutes after she unhooked her bra and pulled down her strapless spandex dress, the doctor walked in without warning … forcing her to throw her sweater around her chest and sit there throughout the entire appointment with her bra in her hand and her dress at her waist. Our little secret.

The doctor wasted no time with me. I kind of expected a man to be different. He got right down to the examination and was fairly physical with my breasts. He immediately said that the first thing he would recommend was a Bilateral Supra Areolar Mastopexy, which is sort of like a mini-lift. It wouldn’t lift as much as the full lift suggested at my first doctor visit but it also wouldn’t leave the anchor scar (line from the nipple to the breast base with a perpendicular c-shaped scar under the breast). The only incision needed would be made around the nipple and the implant could actually be inserted through that opening. Unlike the last doctor, he said the two surgeries could be done at the same time and that, since the only incisions made would be around the nipple (rather than the full lift’s anchor incision), scarring would not be an issue. And he seemed very confident with his answers.

When I asked about implants, he said he uses both kinds but much prefers silicone over saline. (I know. Again, different, right?) He said the silicone implants feel much more real and less invasive to the patient.

When I asked about the recovery period after the surgery, he said there would be some pain but that I could exercise after two weeks. (Woohoo!) He said the breasts are taped down a few weeks during the healing process anyway. (Sounds awesome.)

When he asked me how big I wanted to go, I looked at Vanessa and we came up with the same conservative “Not too big” (me) and “Small C?” (Vanessa). He seemed surprised with our answers and said that you want to go big C or small D to really get your money’s worth and have others notice the difference. I think he mentioned something about my husband at this point. (I really wasn’t wild about this conversation.) And then he asked to take my headless picture for my file. (Please let me know if my pictures hit the internet so I know when to file for free boobs!) Perfectly nice man. Seemed to really know his stuff. Just sort of felt a little like a number. Two lifted boobs, D, silicone, check.

Of course, he did leave us to play with his sample silicone implants – the 330cc, the 420cc and the whopping 450cc – which would translate to me being a full D. With my small frame and my just under 5’4” ‘stature,’ I looked like I was about to topple over. I might just need to take it down a notch.

They say everything happens for a reason. And I mentioned earlier in this post that he was pretty physical with the examination. It wasn’t exactly comfortable, of course. But without that literal manhandling, he would never have found the lump he found today in my left breast. Yes, lump. Which was also what I got in my throat when he told me. Remember that scene in Sex and the City with Samantha? Damn.

(I love you, Vanessa, and am so glad you were there with me today.)

So now, in the middle of this whole thing, I need to go get a mammogram to determine what the hell he found today. I would have had to do it for any of these surgeries anyway, but now I’m just going with a little more urgency … and anxiety. And I have another consultation appointment tomorrow. Sigh.

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So, I’m lying in my bed in the dark last night trying to fall asleep … amidst nervous pangs of anxiety and a bit of a stomach ache … and Seinfeld is on in the background. The show ran nine seasons and produced nearly two hundred episodes in total, but (of course!) the one that’s airing is ‘The Implant.’ If you’ve seen the show even once, you know what I’m talking about. Teri Hatcher guest stars as Jerry’s love interest, and Elaine questions the authenticity of her two best assets.  The whole episode then goes on to debate the difference in look (and feel) of real versus fake and the average person’s ability to spot the difference.  Great.  Just what I need to be listening to as I doze off, right?  Anyway, I did finally get to sleep last night … despite the cat’s constant efforts to keep me awake.

This morning was a fairly normal one, waking up the kids and getting them dressed, fed and out the door to school … stopping only once for a quick toilet-side goldfish funeral for my daughter’s 11-month-old pet.  So, I could now focus on my first big appointment this morning.  And I made sure to wear a shirt and pants today as I knew I’d be topless for an audience in less than an hour.  Commence the palm sweats.

True to my usual form, I ran a little late this morning and still needed to run around the corner to pick up my friend and boob supporter (which I guess sort of makes her a human bra) on the way to the doctor’s office.  I’m late, but she’s not (Thanks, V), so she jumps in the car, coffee in hand, and begins thumbing through the People Magazine on the floor of my car.  Unfortunately, she doesn’t realize that I’ve already got secretarial duties planned for her, and I quickly make a call to schedule my next appointment.  (I’m still deathly afraid some of these docs are going to tell me there’s a three, six or even twelve-month wait for an appointment.)  But I luck out, and my next appointment, with recommended doctor number two, is now scheduled for this coming Tuesday.  (Titillating Tuesdays for me from week to week, I suppose.)

We race there only to learn that my reliable iPhone GPS really should’ve given me a different route, so we’re set back a few more minutes and are now wrestling with an old man driver to get into the damned parking garage.

 MeI can totally get around him.

VirginiaI think you should just take the next turn.

MeWHY IS HE JUST $#@&% SITTING THERE?!!?  (pause) I think I can intimidate him into moving.

VirginiaBe nice.  Take the next turn.

MeFine.

VirginiaLet’s call the office while we’re looking for a parking spot.  Tell them we’re running a little late because we left one of your boobs at home.

MeSee.  I told you you could be funny.

The office is nice when we call and seems to understand the crowded garage. Alas, my phone rings as we’re running in, and I notice it’s one of the other doctors I’ve called repeatedly to make an appointment.  Hating to miss the call, I grab it … thinking it’ll only take a minute.

 Wrong.

 These people want to know everything about me.  Seriously, I think I gave them my Confirmation name.  Again, unfortunately for Virginia, this phone call leaves my hardworking friend responsible for checking me in to the current appointment and literally beginning the completion of my paperwork. She did a damned good job if you ask me, leaving blanks only in areas like my social security number.

 I finally finish up my phone interrogation and take over the pen and paper from my amazingly-composed friend.  We laugh about the “Do you drink alcohol at all?” question.  Then, she adds her two cents about the one asking “Have you seen a psychiatrist or therapist in the last two years?”  Fine, fine. And then, I have to sign the Photograph Consent Form. Ugh.  I’ve seen these headless wretches a few hundred times during the last few months and no one … I mean NO ONE, not even the best pair of boobs … looks good in these photos.  Yes, they’re headless … and therefore anonymous.  Still, I’ll know. Bleeeeech.

 Once we finished the paperwork, we were finally able to settle down in our seats and take in our surroundings.  And you know how when you go to a podiatrist, there are feet and foot-related products everywhere?  Same for ENT with big plastic ears, noses and throats or at least pictures of them all over the place.  Well, like a dumb ass, I half-expected to see boob diagrams on the walls, perhaps a large plastic resin cross-section of a boob illustrating the implant process, maybe even a big boob-shaped chair for patients in the waiting room.  Alright, I’m getting a little carried away with that last one.  Anyway, there was nothing.  I could’ve been at the breast doctor’s office or a law firm.  It was a tasteful space that gave nothing cosmetic away except for the small cabinet of skin products we spied in one end of the room.

 Only one other woman came in while we were there.  And I don’t think she was a patient.  Or maybe she was a ‘before’ like me. Let’s hope.  (Sorry, but it’s true!)  We waited a little longer, shooting the bull about boobs and talking about whatever (or whomever!) else we could think of to discuss … until I heard them call my name …

Part two of this momentous experience will be shared tomorrow … when my head stops spinning!

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{September 5, 2011}   Happy Labor Day from ODNT

Hope everyone’s having a fun day off celebrating this holiday, first recognized more than a hundred years ago.   Here are just a few of the newer ‘observances’ I found during a recent and very meaningless google search.  Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss out!

- National Breast Appreciation Day (January 2)

- International Touch a Boob  Day (February 23 or March 17; Apparently, there is some discrepancy here.)

- National Sideboob Day (March 24)

- National Feel a Boob Day (March 31; This one I support as it’s related to Breast Cancer Awareness.)

- National Cleavage Day (sometime in April, South Africa)

- National Go Braless Day (July 5 or July 9; Again, there’s a  discrepancy.  Maybe men just want it commemorated more than once a year?)

- Go Topless Day in Venice Beach, CA (August 23)

- National Grab a Boob Day (April 23 or sometime in September;  Yes, again, there’s a discrepancy.  See a trend here?)

- National Boob Cake Day (October 10, It’s part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so again – Yay!)

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et cetera
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