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Oh, the Stories a Geriatrican Could Tell; or, Your Dad’s Getting a Mammogram

My mom called earlier this evening just to check in and see what I was up to all day.  She really wants to come for a visit, but can’t leave my dad alone for long these days as his patience is short, and he gets confused easily.  He also needs to stay off the main highway, but that’s another battle for another day.  Both of them are doing well, sort of.

Here’s how a part of the conversation went.  There is more, but I’m saving that for next week.

Mom:  Well, I went to the doctor this past week.  My cholesterol is down, and Dr. G. was very pleased with my sugar levels.  He wasn’t happy with the fact that I gained 4 pounds since my last visit.  I have to cut down on those iced coffees that I’ve been drinking.

Me:  I’m glad you’re doing well.  Did dad go with you to the doctor?

Mom:  Oh, yeah. [My parents accompany each other to all of the doctor’s visits, this way there’s less confusion on instructions from the doctor.]

Me:  What’s wrong?

Mom:  Well.  Ahem.  Ha.  Ok.  As we were getting ready to finish up, your dad told Dr. G that his left nipple was sore, and it was achy, and bothering him.

Me:  Huh?

Mom:  Yep.  Dr. G. looked at him and said that the nipple and the area around it was inflamed.  Get this.  Dr. G. is sending him for a mammogram on Monday.

Me:  Ok, that is just plain weird.  Just like that he pipes up with “my left nipple hurts”?

Mom:  Yep.  Never said a word to me about it before we went to the doctor either.  Remember that cartoon that was on the kitchen refrigerator for a while? The one with the man putting his penis in the mammogram machine? Now, that’s all I can picture in my mind every time I look at your dad.  You know how sensitive and emotional he gets [as he gets older]?  So, I’m just going to leave it be.   

Me:  Are you going with him to the hospital on Monday for the mammogram?

Mom:  Oh yeah, I wouldn’t miss this for all the tea in china.

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