Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Generosity of Sweden

I have always joked about the birthday presents I get from the Swedish government. When I turned 40, I got a mammogram. 41 was a pap smear, and 42 - though a bit belated - was another mammogram. For anyone who has had one, it's not such a great present, giving someone the opportunity to have their breast squished between two plastic plates to the point of intense pain... but it's the thought that counts... even more so yesterday, when I got "recalled" based on last week's pics.

It was a tense night, with an appointment time today, and lots of reassuring chatter from the nurse, saying that many, many women get recalled. So I was back this morning for more pictures, 6 more mammogram shots and two ultrasounds on different machines, and then they decided on a biopsy. Just for reference, it does not feel like the mosquito bite that was promised. And also, just for reference, one is not enough. So just when you thought it was over...

Now for the waiting. And to the dictionary to find out what a "bindvävsknuta" is (something benign - and hopefully what I have).

I was extremely impressed by their thoroughness, but the parting moments were less than reassuring. Though all of the radiologists and nurses had been encouraging, reassuring and exemplary, the receptionist at the end did not give me my promised time with the "breast doctor" next week, and then charged me 200 kr for the analysis of the results. She then presented me with a "high cost" card, to keep track of all these small payments and ensure that my medical bills do not exceed a certain amount. I am so not ready for that card. Please.

(Update - apparently I don't have anything dangerous, just a "friendly change" that they will check again in 9 months. Whew!)

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