Topless

Phew.

I’m feeling much better today. Well, I’m feeling crappy and humiliated, but MUCH BETTER.

You know that saying about how when God closes a door, he opens a window? Well it’s often like that in my life. Except more like, when one tragedy is averted, crushing embarrassment often steps in to take its place. Gosh, it’s good to be me. Or not. But it’s really the only life I know, so what the hell.

Oh, did you want more information? I’m SO HAPPY you asked! Far be it from me to withhold details! Which, you know, might be a useful skill to develop if I want to limit some of these situations where I feel like a total idiot, but what would be the good in that?

One of the joyful things about being on hormone replacement is that your hormones tend to be much more steady than your normal, pre-menopausal counterparts. No PMS! No mood swings! Except that sometimes your nice even hormonal keel sort of… falls over. In my case, every now and then I notice that I’ve got a little bit too much estrogen going on.

It would be nice if that was something that just sort of announced itself politely, like via a predetermined freckle flashing orange, or maybe your pee turning blue. “Oh!” you could then declare, “it must be time to regulate my estrogen!” Reality is, of course, much less tidy. What happens in my case is that my breasts start to get tender, and after a couple of days I realize that no, it can’t possibly be that Monkey stepped on me one too many times, I’m definitely feeling… off.

The solution is pretty easy. I normally wear my hormone patches on my rear (per manufacturer’s directions!), but I can lessen absorption by wearing them on my back, instead. I guess the further away from where your ovaries used to be that you position the patch, the less your body sucks out the hormones and uses them properly. Yes, that’s the scientific explanation.

Anyway. This has happened before, and I move my patches, and the breast tenderness goes away, and the earth continues to turn. Huzzah!

Anyway, I had the familiar discomfort, I moved my patches, and a week later… only one breast was better. Which was… weird.

So I did what any woman would do in such a situation. I commenced feeling myself up at every possible opportunity to try and figure out what the hell was wrong with my boob. I poked and I prodded and I assure you that it was not nearly as sexy as it sounds. (As unsexy as it sounds, it gets worse, so you might want to stop reading.) There was about a week that went by and I had just about convinced myself that I was, you know, just mentally ill and imagining and also maybe spending too much time alone.

And then over the weekend (while the doctor’s office was CLOSED) I discovered two things that made it clear that I was not imagining and also that I had only glimpsed the very tip of the neurosis iceberg.

Thing the 1st: I found a small lump. Or, at least, I thought I had, but I have fibrocystic (that’s medspeak for “very lumpy”) breasts so I wasn’t positive it was a NEW and/or BAD lump. While lumps are never joyful things, a woman never ever EVER wants to be able to put LUMP and BREAST in the same sentence. But still, fibrocystic! Maybe nothing! Better keep poking, but surely all is fine!

Thing the 2nd: While obsessively mucking around with said (probably nothing) lump, a… ummm… well. Okay. A brackish liquid oozed out of my nipple. YOU’RE WELCOME. No, it doesn’t occur to me to keep these things to myself because as you will soon see, I have no pride left which to protect. So, yes. Yes, I admit it. ME SO SEXY.

Let’s recap. Questionable lump; maybe something, maybe not. Breast that has not produced milk for many years suddenly 1) producing liquid, 2) producing liquid of a dark color that seems quite unnatural.

I did the sensible thing and immediately commenced freaking right the fuck out.

[Sidebar: Obviously I’m fine. Not even I can invent a joke for which the punchline is “And then they told me I have breast cancer!” Heck, even “tumor, I barely even know her!” falls pretty flat. Do not fret. Just read. This is not a tale of deadly disease, just a typical foray into my life as a complete dork.]

Then I consulted my friend Dr. Google, who assured me that it was almost certainly a ductal infection of some sort, but that “any type of discharge from the breast must be checked immediately.”

I spent the remainder of my weekend alternating being worried and just feeling generally crappy because of some cold or something I’d come down with that was really slowing me down.

[Brief interruption here to note that my brain is swiss cheese. In the course of approximately 3 total years of breastfeeding, I had mastitis (a breast infection that can cause flu-like symptoms) THIRTEEN TIMES. Did it occur to me this weekend when I was mentally composing letters to my children to remember me by that perhaps instead of a cold and breast cancer, I had mastitis? No, it did not. Although–in my defense–every other time I’ve had it, I’ve also had searing pain that made me want to gnaw off my own boob. Still. I’m not very bright.]

So. I called the doctor’s office today, and BIG SURPRISE, my own doctor was unavailable. As was the (female) nurse practitioner. But Dr. Backup could see me this afternoon! Now, I do enjoy Dr. Backup, but for matters of boobage I would prefer to see a female doctor. Call me crazy. Nevertheless, only Dr. Backup in all his XY glory was available to see me. Fine.

I farmed out my children (damn school holiday) and headed to the doctor’s office. I had a lovely chat with the nurse and then donned the highly attractive gown she took out for me and waited for Dr. Backup to make his entrance. He appeared in no time at all, at which point I began to babble nonsensically. Seriously. What is the matter with me?

Dr. Backup: Hi, how are you? Long time no see!
Me: Yeah, I know, and this is JUST HOW I was hoping to see you again! Actually, ideally I would be COMPLETELY NAKED, but this’ll have to do.
DB: *laughs nervously* Yes, well, um….
Me: HAHAHAHA! Just kidding! No, this is GREAT! SO HAPPY TO BE HERE!
[we briefly discuss the hormone regulation thing, the sore breasts, the lump, the freaking out]
DB: So let’s see, it says here that you’re having some nipple discharge…?
Me: Yes! It’s… disturbing! And gross! And I can’t seem to stop touching myself, now, and not in a good way, so I thought maybe I’d get checked out.
DB: Okay, well, can you describe it for me?
Me: The touching myself…?
DB: HAHA, no, the discharge.
Me: Oh! Right! HAHAHA! Well, it’s, um, brown. It’s disgusting.
DB: Brown? Really?
Me: Yes. Brownish green, really. If you’re lucky I’ll show you. Your job is really glamorous in ways that people can’t understand, isn’t it?
DB: Heh. Yes indeed.
Me: Anyway, Dr. Google says I have a breast infection. I would like that, I think. Well, not LIKE it, but you know. I would like that more than breast cancer. So let’s have it be a breast infection. Okay?
DB: Well, um, yes, that would be my guess. I’ll have to do an exam. Let me go get an assistant and, um, a slide. Maybe we’ll have a look under the microscope.
Me: What, they don’t want you randomly fondling women without witnesses here?
DB: *on his way out* Hahaha, yes, well, um, be right back.
Me: *thinking to myself* OHMYGOD SHUT UP ALREADY YOU IDIOT.
DB: *returning with a nurse* Okay, I think we’re all set to have a look.
Me: OH GOOD, GREAT, CAN’T WAIT. ANYONE ELSE WANT TO COME IN AND WATCH, TOO?
Nurse: It’s normal to be nervous, dear, but just try to relax.
Me: NO I’M NOT NERVOUS I’M JUST FINE, IN FACT I CANNOT WAIT FOR EVERYONE TO LOOK AT MY FREAKISH OOZING BREAST. GOOD TIMES!
DB: Yes, well, lay back and put your arm under your head for me, please.
Me: OKAY! HEY, DIDN’T YOU JUST HAVE A BABY WHEN I WAS HERE LAST? I MEAN, YOUR WIFE JUST HAD A BABY?
DB: *frozen in place just before he opens my gown* Oh, um, well, he’s two now. I think that was a while ago! Haha! But we’re actually having another baby in April.
Me: OH WOW THAT’S GREAT CONGRATULATIONS BABIES ARE GREAT–
DB: Mir? Just try to relax, okay?
Me: I’M VERY RELAXED! I CAN HARDLY WAIT! WHY AM I SHOUTING?
Nurse: Just take a couple deep breaths, dear.
Me: *hyperventilating*
DB: *opens my gown, performs the time-honored medical technique of doing a breast exam while staring intently at the wall so as to make it absolutely clear that he is not in any way looking at my actual breast* Oh, I see what you mean about the cysts. You’re quite lumpy.
Me: That’s me! Quite lumpy!
DB: –but I’m not feeling anything alarming, here. So that’s good.
Me: Good! Alright then! Okay!
DB: I’d like to express some of that discharge for the slide, but if it doesn’t come easily I may have you do it, since you know your body better.
Me: OKAY! HEY, I’M SHOUTING AGAIN! HAVE AT IT! MOOOOO!
DB: Hmmmm. You know, I think I’ll have you do this.
Me: GREAT! OKAY!

And after a weekend of compulsively poking at and squeezing my breast, I reached down and gave a squeeze and expressed… absolutely nothing.

Performance anxiety.

I kept chattering loudly (“HAHAHAHA WATCH ME NOT BE ABLE TO GET ANYTHING OUT NOW AFTER ALL THIS WORRY! IT’S JUST THAT I DON’T NORMALLY TRY TO EXPRESS GUNK FROM MY BREAST IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE!”) while I slowly flushed from head to toe. My face was so hot that I thought my hair was going to catch on fire. It occurred to me to try it sitting up, and after what seemed like an eternity but was probably only fifteen seconds or so, I triumphantly declared “OH YAY! LOOK! GUNK! QUICK, PUT IT ON YOUR SLIDE!”

Dr. Backup, lord love ‘im, turned to me from where he’d been concentrating pointedly on my chart and NOT LOOKING AT MY BREAST and said, “Oh! Ewww. Okay, lemme get a swab.” He carefully lifted the globule off my nipple and smeared it on the slide while I continued narrating because I could. Not. Shut. Up.

“Yeah, isn’t that GREAT? Wouldn’t YOU freak out if YOUR body produced that?? I’m SO PROUD. This has been REALLY FUN. I’m not quite sure how I’ll top it on my next visit, though!”

Dr. Backup and his nurse left the room chuckling and I collapsed in a heap of embarrassment and self-loathing.

I got dressed and sat there for a minute and Dr. Backup came back in with my chart and a grin.

DB: Good news! I can see bacteria and blood in that sample we took.
Me: Great! I guess!
DB: Well, it IS great, because that’s consistent with some sort of infection. Dr. Google did a good job diagnosing you. *at this he appeared to swallow a chuckle* Anyway, we’ll put you on some antibiotics and that should clear it right up, but if it doesn’t and you’re still having trouble in a week, come back in.
Me: That’s… it?
DB: Yep. I see no reason to do further testing at this point, though as I said, come back in a week if it’s not cleared up and then we can go from there. But I really think it’s just an infection.
Me: Okay. Cool.
DB: That stuff is like snot, you know?
Me: Thank you. You have a way with words.
DB: Heheheh sorry. But it is.
Me: I’M AWARE. THANK YOU.
DB: Well, it’s good to see you again.
Me: Likewise. Of course, I can never show my face here again, but thanks for your help!
DB: Heh.

And off I went on my merry way, collecting my children and my antibiotics and what tender little shreds of my self-dignity that remained.

I’ve spent the evening doing warm compresses and um, typing this out. Which I think I can safely say is the only entry out of 800-however- many on here which was entirely created while naked from the waist up.

Me so sexy.

41 Responses to “Topless”

  1. 1
    Momsy January 16, 2006 at 11:05 pm #

    You absolutely slay me. Hang in there . . .

  2. 2
    cristin January 16, 2006 at 11:16 pm #

    Oh MAN you are so funny!

    Sooooo glad it was only an infection. Been there/done that with the mastitis. Ick.

    Oh? and ouch usually, but when I got it back once after no longer moo-ing for my eldest for over 2.5 years, the pain wasn’t so bad then either. Hmmm, it only hurts while I nurse?

  3. 3
    daysgoby January 16, 2006 at 11:19 pm #

    Oh, Mir – YOU SO FUNNY.

  4. 4
    Dawn January 16, 2006 at 11:42 pm #

    HAVE AT IT! MOOOOO!

    Yes, Mir. You so sexy. And pretty. And so damned funny!

  5. 5
    David January 16, 2006 at 11:50 pm #

    Good Lord, woman! *shaking my head* As you once said, I think, Oh, your poor father! But I’m glad it was just an infection. Mercy, but you do take the cake.

  6. 6
    DebR January 16, 2006 at 11:51 pm #

    If someone had told me I could read something that would have me covering my mouth and going “eeuuwwEeuuwwEEUUUWWW!!!” and giggling at the same time, I’d have thought they were nuts, but I’d have been wrong.

    Hope your lumpy, snotty boobies are all better soon. And there’s something I didn’t expect to be saying to another human being pretty much, well, EVER. You are expanding my horizons, Mir.

    And also, yep…you so sexy!

  7. 7
    Cori January 17, 2006 at 12:01 am #

    Oh, Mir! Only you could make such a truly awful experience hilarious! I’m glad it all worked out well in the end but greenish-brown? Snot-like? You poor thing!

  8. 8
    Marvo January 17, 2006 at 12:26 am #

    I’m glad you’re okay, but I’m not glad I read this while eating my dinner. ;-)

  9. 9
    Cyndi January 17, 2006 at 12:35 am #

    *holding my belly and wiping tears* Ahh…haa…haaaa…aahahahaa…haa. Oh, my.

    Whew!

  10. 10
    Meg January 17, 2006 at 1:36 am #

    Oh, Ms Snottyboobs, you make me laugh, you make me cry, you make me stick a finger in my eye… actually, that last ain’t so true, but I was kind of covering my eyes so I couldn’t keep reading but I wanted to keep reading anyway.

    I’m SO GLAD it was just boobsnot.

    I love that word. Boobsnot.

    You’re still pretty. Even with boobsnot.

  11. 11
    Holly January 17, 2006 at 4:52 am #

    Hey, I grow great fibroids too! Ain’t it great to share. I grow ’em in my boobs and I used to grow ’em in my uterus but we decided to get rid of that. Don’t want to get rid of the boobs, but wouldn’t mind hitching ’em up and getting rid of the f*****g lumps.

    Love the ‘boobsnot’ Meg, great word.

  12. 12
    Karen January 17, 2006 at 7:57 am #

    BRACKISH. I just need to get over BRACKISH….

    Glad it was nothing serious, m’dear.

  13. 13
    Jules January 17, 2006 at 8:07 am #

    Half-nekkid blogging…I think you could be on to something there *snort*

    ..also..I’m eagerly awaiting the google ads you’re gonna get. Between ‘boobsnot’ and ‘gnaw off my own boob’ ..the mind boggles at the endless possibilities ;)

  14. 14
    Bob January 17, 2006 at 8:32 am #

    Moo. next time call a vet. Maybe you’ll be more comfortable as they do housecalls for mastitis.

  15. 15
    ben January 17, 2006 at 9:16 am #

    I was all set to have “moo” as my word of the day (you get points if you can work it into a sentence) but NOW I also have “boobsnot” to contend with and since they are both such fantastic words I’ll just have to have dual words of the day (and get triple points if I can work them both into a sentence at the same time).

    Whoa, that’s a long sentence for someone who is on his first cup of coffee!

    You. Are. Freakin’ Hilarious.

    Also? Is there a place on the Flea Marmaly form for “brackish discharge?” It might be nice to find a guy that likes that sort of thing (if you’re planning on a repeat anytime soon)

  16. 16
    dad January 17, 2006 at 9:26 am #

    I’m with David on this one. How could you do this to your poor father?
    It’s very difficult to be meaningfullly concerned, on the verge of giving back breakfast and hysterically laugh, all simultaneously together at the same time.

    Have you thought about writing comedy porn? I’ll love you even if you do.

  17. 17
    Angela January 17, 2006 at 9:59 am #

    Notes:

    Love Mir. Love her. Love her. Love her.

    Now have the courage to get my own boobsnot checked out, because, really, could it be any more humiliating that Mir’s experience.

    In future, remember not to drink the hot coffee while reading Mir’s blog. Cold things out the nose due to massive snorting = discomfort. Hot coffee out the nose due to massive snorting = I think I need to run on down to the clinic.

  18. 18
    divorcedmomof2 January 17, 2006 at 10:27 am #

    I don’t know who you are but I stumbled across your blog and thought you were writing about me. So I read on. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. Which was suprising, enjoyable and depressing all at the same time. Surprising, because I didnt know I had a sense of humor left, enjoyable, because like I said I have not done it in a while, and depressing because I do believe I might have an incontinence problem. Oh well life is a give and take. Thanks for the laugh! Oh and I am very glad your boob is okay!

  19. 19
    aimee January 17, 2006 at 10:30 am #

    *sproinks madly*

    I…what can I even say. You are so frickin’ funny. AND sexy. Even with the mooing and the boobsnot. If you *did* write comedy porn, I’d read it.

  20. 20
    Nothing But Bonfires January 17, 2006 at 10:30 am #

    How much do you want to bet you’ll run into Dr. Backup at Dunkin Donuts next week? You thought you couldn’t top the embarassment of the office visit? OH, I BET THAT’LL DO IT.

  21. 21
    Christy January 17, 2006 at 10:35 am #

    Oh dear God, that is the funniest thing I have ever read. You take what other weird women think, and put it into words SOOOOOOOOO WELLLLLL! Bless your heart, Mir. And your boobs, for that matter.

  22. 22
    Kris January 17, 2006 at 10:37 am #

    Mir, I just love your take on things. It’s like we share the same brain sometimes. (You keep the boobs this week though, K?) LOL!

  23. 23
    Theresa January 17, 2006 at 10:40 am #

    It is a miracle I did not wet myself laughing. Seriously though…I had a bad scare, so I was feeling for you too. I’m glad everything’s ok.

  24. 24
    bad penguin January 17, 2006 at 10:59 am #

    Wow. That was awesome. I am tired and cranky this morning, and you managed to make me laugh out loud. Seriously though, I a) also have lumpy breasts and they can be scary and b) had mastitis once and man did it hurt. I hope the antibiotics kick in quickly.

  25. 25
    Cele January 17, 2006 at 11:42 am #

    Mir, Mir, Mir…God girl I feel for you. I am fibrocystic, but I don’t tend to ooze snot from my breast…Thank God…that would mean I’d have to talk about it.

    Preformance anxiety…oh my God.

    I learn along time ago to (almost) ignor my lumpy breast and (almost) be joyous when they begin having sharp shooting pains…Now being menopausal I don’t experience either as often as when I was pre.

    Mir there is something here that nobody else touched on (and no were not talking that I’m jealous of your humor and writing ability)(but I am) Sharing your experience will help many other women, who later today will moo and discover boobsnot and would have panicked worse…except they laughed (and learned) this morning when they read you.

    Performance anxiety…too much.

    I’m with your dad and Aimee *you should write comedy porn*

  26. 26
    Vicky (Desperate to be a Housewife) January 17, 2006 at 11:55 am #

    Oh Mir, you are the best! Only you could make Mastitis funny…and I’ve had it…it hurts! I think, however, that I’m going to have to refrain from reading your blog from behind my cubicle wall in order to prevent the loss of my job…nothing about my job is remotely funny…they’re going to figure it out soon that I’m not laughing at my brightly coloured post-it-notes.

  27. 27
    WendyC January 17, 2006 at 1:24 pm #

    That is seriously one of the funniest things I’ve ever read! I am glad it all worked out. Hopefully the boobsnot will be gone sooner rather than later – ICK!

  28. 28
    Laurie January 17, 2006 at 1:34 pm #

    OMG can’t. stop. laughing.

    I’m here at work reading your post and people are looking at me like I’m nuts.

    Glad it’s nothing serious. Take care.

  29. 29
    Zuska January 17, 2006 at 1:38 pm #

    I’m glad all is well. And you seriously need to receive an award of some sort for this post!!! I would burst out laughing half an hour after I read it, to the surprise of my co-workers.

  30. 30
    chris January 17, 2006 at 2:30 pm #

    You are too funny.

    And boobsnot, snotty boob, boobie snot… I can’t stop

  31. 31
    liz January 17, 2006 at 2:54 pm #

    i’m another one of those people reading at work and tittering (huh, huh, get it? _tittering_) and hoping that no one asks me why i’m laughing. what am i going to say? i’m laughing at BOOBSNOT! yeah, that might raise a few more questions than i really want to answer. glad you’re ok though!!!

  32. 32
    barbex January 17, 2006 at 2:55 pm #

    *wipes tears from eyes*

    Well I’m glad the boobsnot turned out okay!

    *falls off chair laughing*

    I’m sorry, really! Buhuhuhaha, I can’t stop laughing!

  33. 33
    Fraulein N January 17, 2006 at 4:50 pm #

    Oh, my. Boob snot. Glad you’re okay.

  34. 34
    KimberlyDi January 17, 2006 at 5:22 pm #

    Oh My God… Breast Snot!!! Actually right with you on the breast concerns. Actually made an appointment with my doctor to refer me to a boob doctor for a mamogram. Yuck. And once I got whitish discharge and really freaked out. Long time ago. No I wasn’t pregnant.

    Good luck and hope the anti-biotics help!

  35. 35
    Shiz January 17, 2006 at 6:05 pm #

    You ROCK! You’re hilarious! That was awesome!

    Sorry it happened, tho. Life is better without all that drama, no?

  36. 36
    Amy-GO January 17, 2006 at 7:57 pm #

    How come you post “gross” warnings but not “will make you pee yourself laughing while snorting your drink out of your nose” warnings? ‘Cause it would be helpful. Just sayin’. ;)

  37. 37
    Jenn January 17, 2006 at 9:09 pm #

    Dear God, how can you be so damn funny about a boob crisis? Genius. I LOVED this — thank you for being so bold and brave and full of Girl Cojones. Hugs and gentle pats to you and your poor beleagered mammaries.

  38. 38
    cristin January 17, 2006 at 11:34 pm #

    I just have to tell you, I am so sorry you are hurting now,… WTF boobsnot? Antibiotics make it go away already….but I must say that I now truly love your dad.

  39. 39
    Heels January 18, 2006 at 11:12 am #

    Oh, holy night, that is the funniest damn thing I have ever read and I and my mastits-riddled (well, not right now, but frequently in the past) boobs thank you.

    I feel your pain. Hope yer well soon.

  40. 40
    OBDR January 18, 2006 at 8:39 pm #

    I’m really sorry your breast hurts, but that was the best laugh I’ve had in ages and I really, really needed it today.

    Thank you. Feel better. I do now. :)

  41. 41
    Jensgalore January 25, 2006 at 8:35 am #

    I had that happen to me once. Reddish gunk oozing from my breast, which itched furiously. I panicked and sobbed until I got to the doctor, certain I had cancer. Antibiotics and warm compresses were the doctor’s prescription. I was so relieved!

    I could not have written about it this funnily, though! :)

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