Hi. My name is Nadine Silverthorne. You might know me as Scarbie Doll or scarbiedoll or some other nickname/handle/avatar/acronym. I might come across as a bit rough around the edges. But inside, I'm quite soft.
And really, really lumpy-bumpy.
My body makes cysts. Lots of them. One for every serious stress I've ever experienced. Yup, there's a cyst for that. That's my body's way of coping. To package hurts and worries up in little balls of fat and fluid and deposit them in random places in and on my body. I have several cysts on my eyelids for example. A big ol' lump in my left arm. A pebble in my left thigh. Something funky on one of my ovaries. And several weird, painful bits in my boobs.
When you have tendencies towards being a hypochondriac with moderate to severe anxiety and panic issues, well, sometimes it's hard to tell when you should let things be and when you should advocate for better care for yourself.
I've had a lump in my left boob for 15 years, give or take a few. Lately, it's been feeling larger and hurting more. So after bugging my doctor over and over to give me breast exams, she finally suggested I have an ultrasound to put my mind at ease.
"What will that tell us?" I asked like an idiot.
"It will tell us you have cysts in your breasts, like we already know," replied my slightly annoyed doctor. Then she warned, "Look, we know your body makes cysts. You don't want to go down the path of poking yourself full of holes either."
I figured she was right, but the allure of putting my worry to rest was too appealing.
I had the ultrasound. They found my teenaged fibroid. But then they also found two suspicious hobbly-nobs. (YESTHAT'STHEMEDICALTERMFORTHEM!) And so I had to go back, to have two pricks and one rather large hole poked into me (doesn't that sound like a porn synopsis?).
The radiologist was hot. Correction. HAWT. And I immediately regretted opting out of plucking crazy-ass, stray nipple hairs. (Hey, I'm an Armo. Nipple hairs are God's way of saying, "You're lucky I didn't give you chest hair like your cousin Arpi!")
Then the ultrasound technician totally started flirting with the hot radiologist and I was all like, "Bitch, there's not room in here for the both of us! Now move out the way so he can admire my long nipple hairs and fall in love with me."
Anyway, I basically let them gang bang my cysts with a really long needle, because I'm a freak like that, for the better part of an hour. I don't actually know how I got through it without a panic attack, but I suspect I was doing some Eckhart Tolle Power of Now thinking (as in "All I have is this moment with the sexy radiologist and this needle and if I focus on his tanned biceps, then the needle doesn't exist."). Then I got dressed and hazily walked through the breast centre, out the doors to find my family waiting for me. Boy, were they a sight of sore boobs!
Outside, I asked if we could make our way into the Metropolitain United. I love churches for their ability to make me cry and let me cry in peace. The huzzle loves churches because he thinks, "Silly humans. Look at all this lovely artwork you've created for someone that doesn't exist." So he agreed.
I sat in a pew and stumbled over the Hail Mary. Then I sang the Armenian hymn Der Voghormeyah in my head because it's the surest way to get the tears out. And I sobbed. Like a baby. I had only wanted reassurance of my health and now, maybe, I was going to be facing a whole lot worse.
Let me tell you fellow panickers -- the "I told you so" is not worth it.
Then my daughter decided the altar was a stage, performing clumsy pirhouettes and Rupaul stances. My son's Zhu Zhu pet kept chattering away, causing Nate to cover his mouth and giggle, then shush his little batteried love pet. I wiped my tears away and laughed. No more feeling sorry for myself. I've got too much to live for.
Tomorrow morning I will get the results from my intense threesome with the radiologist and the needle. Regardless of the outcome, I've already decided how I'm living from this point on: fighting to stay fully awake in life, battling to get out of my head and to live, completely, in the present moment. Just being. Not fighting what is insane to try and renounce. Life. Living it. Alive and kicking.
Welcome to Nadine 2.0.