This morning I had my first ever mammogram. I took Hestia with me because I needed the experienced dog! Brad didn’t go because the appointment was at 7:40 AM.
For a little background, my doctor wanted me to get a 3D mammogram. When I called to schedule the appointment, I asked if my insurance would cover it. They had no idea and told me to call my insurance. So I called insurance and they had no idea. I called the mammogram facility back and got the billing codes, then called the insurance company again. They said they couldn’t give that information out over the phone. So I went to the insurance website and put the codes in pretending I was a doctor. It said both that it was covered and wasn’t covered. So I then made an appointment with my doctor to see if she could put in an order for a 3D mammogram specifically. She said they didn’t do 2D mammograms anymore, and that they had no idea why insurance wouldn’t be able to tell me what was going on. So basically it was all this run up to have no idea… But I trusted my doctor that they didn’t even do 2D mammograms anymore.
So I showed up and put my name down on the piece of paper. I sat down in the waiting room with a bunch of other women. After about 15 min, they called a name that I thought was “Laura”. No one got up. They called several times for Laura, and no one got up. So then they called “Anderson” and I realized they were calling last names not first and they probably had been saying “Morris”! So I went up and explained that I have hearing issues and asked if they had been calling me– which they had. Ugh.
They gave me paperwork to fill out and the first sheet was asking if I wanted a 2D or 3D mammogram. The sheet explained that they had no idea how much a 3D mammogram would cost me, it could be hundreds of dollars!!! I felt like crying! I know my doctor wanted me to get a 3D mammogram, but I can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars like that! So I filled out the paperwork then went up to the front to ask if they could look up my insurance in their system. They said no and gave me the codes so I could call my insurance company… I explained I had already done that, and they just shrugged.
So I put down that I wanted a 2D mammogram.
Eventually they called me to register me, and the woman who was registering me spoke really softly. Of course with COVID, everyone is masked so I couldn’t read her lips. I kept asking her to speak up and she never got any louder. I had to struggle through, not knowing what she was saying most of the time. I had to agree to things and I had no idea what I was agreeing to. I really felt like crying then! Hestia was on my lap and just leaned into my chest and started licking me.
Then I had to wait some more, and then they called me back to do the actual exam. The nurse was surprised I had a service dog with me, and asked if I had anyone to hold her during the mammogram. I said no, I need her with me. She asked if I could leave her across the room, and I said I could try but that she is trained to stay near me at all times. I didn’t know how big their rooms were etc. Luckily the nurse was very nice and said we’d figure it out.
So I changed and got into the mammogram room and decided to put Hestia behind me about 3 feet right next to the station where the nurse stands to take the images. I just dropped her leash and the nurse was able to walk around her. Luckily it was 3 feet away, Hestia doesn’t like being further away than that from me when I’m having a hard time.
Hestia was SO GOOD!!!!! The nurse had to take four images of each breast which involved lots of positioning my boobs plus moving a big machine around and the nurse walking back and forth from her station. Hestia just chilled out there where I put her the whole time. I think she was happy she was still close to me, and I was happy she was right there, too.
Luckily the mammogram itself didn’t hurt too badly. The nurse was nice and we got done fairly quickly.
But it was a really hard morning overall. I just hope I don’t have to go back and get another one because I chose the 2D mammogram! I really wish that they’d tell you what things cost in the medical field!
Now I’m home and I plan to spend the day relaxing. I deserve it after that stressful morning!