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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I had my annual exam yesterday by the wonderful doctor who delivered SOv.2 in May 2004. He is a really nice guy and always seems happy even though he is perpetually sleep deprived. We had the opportunity to gossip about celebrities, talked about our kids and finally came around to the 'age' thing. (Maybe this is my new obsession alongside real estate prices.) The issue came up because he looked at my chart at the same time as he asked if I wanted to have another baby and he said "Tick tock, girl. Better get hopping on another if you're going to do it at all". I've hit that magic 'worry' number for obstetricians.

He has just turned 45 himself and thought, for him, it was a milestone. Because, as he said, he could imagine living to 80 but not quite to 90, so 45 officially meant the beginning of the end. It means for the first time he has more years behind him than in front of him. I actually thought of this when my uncle died last month. Does everyone have this thought at some point? And how does everyone shake the 'hurry up and get something noteworthy done' panic? Or worse, the 'why bother I haven't enough time anyway' malaise. Even my doctor, an OB/GYN who has delivered hundreds of babies, feels it. "I feel like I haven't accomplished anything yet!" he said. Not a comforting thought for ME. My accomplishments are slim compared to his. But then he was talking about things like travelling in Europe, seeing movies, reading books... not work accomplishments. What I was thinking about were work accomplishments. And in that regard I have fared poorly. I have been busy busy busy trying to accomplish things my whole adult life and several years back into my childhood when I was certain that acting was my path (at the age of 7 no less) and was trying to rack up credits. But frankly, when I look at it now I have very mixed feelings. I am proud of the work that I have done. But work itself doesn't impress and could I talk about what I have accomplished in my worklife at, say, a cocktail party and be as proud? I haven't one (or several) things that I can point to that make me feel, "See, I did what I set out to do".

I pointed out to the doctor that since I just turned 40 that I was officially invisible to the world. He looked a little worried until I told him that for a man they didn't really have to worry until they were 65... or poor. I guess one of the beauties of being invisible is that you can do whatever the hell you want to. But one of the problems with that is that since you are invisible, no one will notice. (Its just slightly possible that I am overly concerned with what others think of me but you would never be able to tell that by my appearance!!)

Another gloomy consequence of being 40 is the onset of the annual mamogram. I now have a referral to have one, once SOv.2 stops nursing that is, and a handy little bit of concern about The Mom ' Pop Boob.

(OK, that's a long story: When I was struggling to nurse SOv.1, who was born about 6 weeks prematurely, my sister - who was, like SO and myself, out of work at the time - spent alot of time with us and the new baby. Since SOv.1 was not really good at nursing I had to pump and the left boob was always the big producer. I remarked that SOv.1 didn't like the left breast much because it was the big one, but he liked the littler right one because it was not so looming and more friendly. My sister then named them The Corporate Boob (left) and The Mom 'n Pop Boob (right). There you have that story...)

No doubt, it amounts to nothing but that since I am still nursing baby at night and mornings and my appointment was at 2pm my milk ducts were filled. But the doctor was being overly cautious, making me promise to wean that girl soon and go get a mamogram. One out of every eight women now gets breast cancer. The incidence is on the rise and they are not sure why and on top of that in his particular practice they have had a spate of incidents. Rotten.

"Boobs. Whaaa. Good god... What are they good for? Absolutely nursing. Say it again. Huuuu. Boobs..."

Of course, SO would not agree with above assessment. But really at this age, what are they doing dangling there all vulnerable being possibly 1 out of 8? Why isn't testicular cancer as prevelant? Fat tissue? Male dominance? We're starting to close the ranks in female heart attacks but they'll never catch us at breast cancer! Ha! Though some men do get it and no doubt its much more scary for them.

I wish I had some sort of conclusion to this line of thought to console myself with... The only thing I can think is I must remember to always take my vitamins... and hope I live to 90. Oh, imagine the dangling then!

1 comment:

demondoll said...

Well, Missy- the mammogram isn't a party, but it's better than a pap. Only just. Had my first last week before the trip, very nice technician. (BTW, men should definitely get prostates checked regularly. I'm just sayin')
xoxoxo D-Doll