So I popped my day spa cherry today… but I am jumping the gun. I’ve had an interesting week. (insert sarcasm anywhere in that last sentence)
Yes people, it was “that” time of the year with sprinkles!.
So in the space of 7 days, I received my results from my mammogram, had an internal exam, a series of blood tests, an ultrasound, well technically two ultrasounds, and had my very first experience at a day spa. Guess which one was my favourite.
I’ll give you a clue. three of these events involved me on my back with my knees in the air at some stage. Only one sent me to heaven and back multiple times.
OK, it wasn’t the internal ultrasound.
So here’s how it went. I got a letter from Breast Screening. Luckily, I am pleased to say that my mammogram results came back clear. You’d think I would be happy. Well I am, except for the fact that my original results were kindly fucked up by the breast screening people here. Me and thousands of other women had their results misread. I mean come on. Were they given to third graders to read? How do you misread a mammogram, if you have been doing this job for years. Anyway, it has taken seven months. Yes, SEVEN, VII, 7 months to get these results. I did get a very nice letter three days before Christmas advising me that I was in the group that was going to have to be redone due to the “mishap” and would have to wait for approximately another three to four months to know the results. So Happy Christmas me!! So long story short.. I’m in the clear there. YAY!
Two days later came the internal. You know, I’m 53, menopausal, and its just one of those things that we have to do. YOU have to do it too. Don’t put it off. It might save your life. Just suck it up and do it. OK.. end of lecture. Now, I should point out I have just changed doctors. I mean right this minute. And this was my very first appointment with her. Nice how do you do. Hi, nice to meet you.. spread your legs please. So there I was making small talk while this lovely sixty something woman poked and scraped and did whatever it is she needed to do. She did take time to tell me how pretty I looked.. she was not looking at my face… pretty is not something I’ve ever thought my bits would be called. But OK.. I’ll take it. She poked and prodded and due to some intermittent pain, she thought it would be wise to do an ovarian cancer test.
Now when you go to the doctor for a routine smear, you don’t really think that the words ovarian cancer are going to come into the conversation. Well, I didn’t. So my throat sort of closed up and my mouth went dry and I just nodded and signed the form. Hence the blood tests. And then she says, and we’ll follow up with an ultrasound, just to be safe. O-kay…. Thorough. That’s what this woman is. Short, feisty, knows a pretty thing when she sees it, and thorough. I guess I’m happy about that.
Giving blood has never bothered me. I’m kind of fascinated by the whole process. The pumping up of your veins so they bulge all blue and shiny through your skin. The sting of the needle as it pierces your skin and enters the vein, and the rush of that dark, almost black red liquid life filling those little vials. I love how fast it spurts into them and sort of foams at the top. Yes.. I suppose I’m a bit of a vampire. Blood has never bothered me. Anyway, five vials later. FIVE! I’m walking, staggering, out the door and driving home to ring up to make an appointment for the ultrasound. They fit me in the next day. Talk about rushing into things!
Now, anyone who has had one of these knows that it involves drinking water beforehand. A LOT of water. A litre, of water. Which some would say is not a lot. But you have to drink it one hour before your ultrasound, and hold it. Now, I’ve had three c-sections, am a bit overweight, and have a bit of a dodgy bladder. Three things that are not conducive to holding a litre of fluid inside my body. Thank god for the Pilates classes I started three months ago. Without that…. well let’s just say… puddles. So I drank my litre of water. And I felt fine. I got into the car and started driving. That’s when things went pear shaped. For whatever reason, my body decided that that was the moment to start needing to go to the toilet. So I activated my pelvic floor muscles and clamped everything shut. By the time I got to the place, I was pretty sure I was going to pop. Getting out of the car was hilarious. I was trying to keep my legs together, without bending over too far because you know, when you are a bit on the tubby side, your stomach kind of gets in the way and puts pressure on all your inside stuff.
OK. I got out of the car. Good. Well, maybe not so good. Walking was not good. It was painful. What idiot decided that I needed to drink a litre of water?? I sort of walked, my knees and thighs pushed together as hard as I could, to the counter and leaned over. It must have been all over my face. “Full bladder?” she asked. No. No, of course not. I always look this way. Take a seat she says. Really? At this stage, if I sit down, I’m not so sure my body will understand the difference between a chair and a toilet seat. So I just sort of lean in the corner, pressing my legs together. I really would have liked to have crossed them, but then everyone would know that I have an overly full bladder.
Finally they call my name. I am waddling now. I have not waddled since I was pregnant the last time. Imagine walking with your knees pressed together. It’s neither graceful nor easy.
I am asked to hop up on the bed. Hop. I would have chuckled at that, but didn’t because any sort of laughing, sneezing or coughing would pretty much have broken the dam. So I just pursed my lips in a sort of smile. Did you know it’s almost impossible to lie on your back with a full bladder? Anyway, I managed to get myself on my back. She asks me to lift my butt. Really? OK. And she shoves a sort of wedge under me so my pelvis is now above my head. Again, I thank the Pilates god.
Then it happened. She pressed that bloody ultrasound thingy against my stomach and I swear I nearly peed right then and there. Over and over she pushed that thing around my stomach. Stopping only to inform me that I have a really full bladder and that it was sort of working against her. WHAT THE FUCK?? You told me I needed a full bladder!!! OK.. OK.. breathe… just breathe and don’t think about peeing. Finally she finished and I virtually patted myself on the back for not breaking the dam. I am directed to the ladies room, which I would have run to, had I been able to run. I get back to the room and then she tells me I have to have an internal ultrasound also. What? Yep. Internal.
So I’m sent off to strip down and put on a gown that apparently does up at the back. If you’re not fat. So of course it doesn’t do up at the back. I wrap a towel around my waist and go back to the room. Back up on the bed, bum up on the wedge and joy of joys, legs apart. We women leave our pride at the door. There is no room for it. Nor modesty. Anyway. I then am introduced to what I am convinced was the longest internal ultrasound known to man. 45 minutes of them “probing” me. Apparently my right ovary is a bit of a mischevious one, playing hide and seek amongst my internal organs.
At one point I offer them the extremely hilarious titbit that perhaps it was missing because my favourite actor had blown up my ovaries years ago. They didn’t get the joke. So there I was, angled up on a wedge, knees apart, being probed, with another woman leaning into my abdomen trying to push my uterus into a more manageable position. Yeah. It was really great. I have a lovely black bruise on each thigh where her elbows were using me as leverage. Thankfully, it was all over. Eventually. I was sent away with the knowledge that because my ovaries were so small and so hard to find, it was highly unlikely that I had ovarian cancer, or cysts, or tumours. YAY me! I have never been so happy to have my legs back together I can tell you!
And so back to today. I popped my Day Spa cherry! I have never ever treated myself to anything like this before. It was a wonderful way to end my week from hell. I went with my sons partner, who I had bought a treatment package for too, for her birthday. Once again I was on a bed, but thankfully my knees were not apart, although they were bent up at one point as they massaged my feet and legs and gave me a pedicure.. Oh Bliss! And the back massage. OMG. I am amazed that a young girl, half my size could have such strong hands. God bless her. Half an hour of being kneaded and squeezed and pushed and pulled like a giant ball of dough…. Well I cannot think of any other way to describe it. Anyway. It was magical.
And then the facial. Now, I have pretty good skin for my age. Nobody ever guesses my age. I usually round out somewhere around 40-42 which is pretty amazing considering I’m 53. I’ll take it. And the fact that I really am kind of old school about skin care. I wash my face in the shower with my soap free body wash. I sometimes use the bottle of cleanser that my son left behind when he moved out. I rarely exfoliate. But I do moisturise every day, morning and night, and I don’t go out in the sun if I can help it. So all in all, my skin is in not terrible condition. A bit dry, but that’s about all. If I could have it every day, I would love to have a facial, the creamy lathering of my skin, the massaging, the hot towel wrapped around my face. It’s glorious. It would be my guilty pleasure, without the guilt. Yes, today was the perfect day. It was my reward for my shitty week.
Now all I have to do is go back to the doctors and get all my results. I’m going next week. It will be OK. I’m pretty confident. What with my bits being so pretty and all, and my tiny ovaries…. Yeah. It’s gonna be O K !!