Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Tittie Squeezing - it's time and times have changes.



For more than a quarter of a century, shit doesn't that sound like a bloody ridiculously long time, I have been trooping off to the Wesley Breast Clinic for the annual squashing of the titties.

As little more than  a girl, after a somewhat complicated bout of fucking shit C, I would front up, firstly every 6 months and then after a while every year. This was a back in the day when you had an appointment and you lobbed in, smiled at the girl on the front desk collected your paper work, made nice with the older woman who was volunteering to show you around,  and then you got changed and left your clothes hanging alongside those of other titty squash women and had a lovely cuppa and bit of cake while you waited your turn. It was a festive sort of a wait with girl chat and gossip and often there were bus loads of women from far flung places all in the big smoke for a squeeze and then a bit of flash lunch.

It would be less than truthful to say that the squashing was a picnic, but compared to many of life's irritations it's pretty far down the list.

Anyway, there was the squeeze and sometimes an ultra sound and sometimes a the needle invasion, then the clothes were back on after a swipe of deodorant for good measure and less stink, collection of films from the wonderful volunteer and back to the front desk to settle the bill. $20.

Tradition dictated that I would then go to Park Road Shoes and I never left without a pair. Sometimes they proved toe crushingly uncomfortable and other times like little clouds on my feet. Shoe box in the car and I was outta there for another year.

Well perhaps it's because I am just morphing into a crabby old woman, but yesterday's squeeze left a great deal to be desired. Not the medical side of things. Really the medico women are outstanding. They are efficient and knowledgeable and caring and thorough. The volunteers are as pleasant too. It's all the other crap that just gets in the way.

THEY - who the fuck is THEY?,  sent 2 letters prior to the appointment and then there was the phone call reminding me of the appointment and asking for contact details which would be useful for fundraising contactability. The paper work which used to be handed to me on arrival was posted for me fill in prior to getting there, probably because it is a stat-dec saying I will happily pay for any procedures someone feels necessary, so it is dutifully signed even though there is no indication of the possible charges. The paper work that I used to complete myself  about any surgery and the location of scars etc, is now filled in by the radiographers who have to scurry around in the dim light looking for scrape marks. How this is an efficient use of their time I do not know.

The process is the same - get changed into a fetching robe, yeh mine is a bigger one now than it used to be but now you leave your clothes in a locker, that is so short that the bottom 1/3 of you top is hanging in a crumpled mess on the bottom, instead of hanging full length while chatting to someone else's top, and then it is off to the waiting room. The chairs and tables have changed very little, but now there is a flash coffee machine that I am not clever enough to use so I bring my own, and the health and safety police have insisted that the treaties and are all individually wrapped - no more open trays of deliciousness.

The machinery is kinder on  your body because digital imaging means that less pressure is needed for a good look, but the ultra sound is the same. The women always explain what they are doing and are wonderfully chatty if that's the mood and will happily reassure if that's required.

Then back to get changed and wait for the volunteer to bring you your little envelope of stuff and then out to settle up.

Yesterday it was all very simple. No needles, no second looks, no doctor's visit.

Settling up was more than $500. Medicare pays about fuck all back!

When the fuck did that happen? The account's clerk did admit that the price had gone up!

25 years, more admin staff have been employed. This does not alter one bit, the diagnostic outcomes.

25 years and a flash coffee machine has been installed. No change there either.

Clothe segregation is in place, correspondence has hit almost nuisance level, and phone calls which require stress relief breathing exercises to get through also are of no health benefit to me.

All the significant changes have not altered the medical outcomes at all.

I reckon for the price we could well and truly do without the changes, cos it seems to me that we are just paying for unnecessary stuff. Of course the person employed to make the calls I suppose would argue that if she didn't call, some people might not attend their appointments and therefore the Clinic would lose out on the $500 gap payment. But I would argue that if there were no wages paid to make the phone calls the $500 gap payment would be considerably dented.  

On the upside, yesterday's shoe shopping was a success.

Regardless of where you go, JUST GO GIRLS, it's that time of the year again.