My previous post was about my Dad's 70th birthday, and as a première, I showed you a picture of my Mum (of course I had asked her permission first). Some were wondering why, in spite of it having been my Dad's birthday, I showed her and not him. Well, the reason was simple: I did not have his permission - which was simply because he had not known I had asked for it :-)
On the next day, my Mum told me that Dad has absolutely nothing against me showing him on here, and therefore, Ladies and Gentlemen, *ta-daaa* here he is, my Dad!!
The picture was taken in May last year, when we were watching the Horse Market parade in our town. As you can see, it was a sunny day; you can look at many pictures of the horses, carriages and groups in colourful costumes if you click on this picture.
Well, the title of this post also says "Something About Being Kind", and so I am going to tell you a bit about what I did last Wednesday.
Ever since 2007, when I had my first breast cancer scare (it was a false alert, and all the others since then have been the same, therefore I should not really call it "scare", should I!), I've had to have regular screenings. They only annoy me in that I have to go there, sit around in the waiting room for sometimes hours, and then I'm in and out within five minutes. There is one such test, though, that is not only annoying but also a little painful. Those of you who've had a mammography will know what I am talking about. What makes it alright is that it is over in the blink of an eye, and the discomfort and pain is instantly forgotten, especially if the result is "nothing", as it luckily has been for me so far.
Last Wednesday morning, I had another mammography scheduled, and was prepared for a long wait and a quick escape afterwards. The other women in the waiting area were, mostly, more or less my age and older; it is rare to see someone younger than 35-40 there. Some where flicking through the women's magazines, some had brought their own reading material, some were fidgeting nervously on their chairs, and a few looked outright scared. Nobody talked.
One lady in particular was looking about rather wide-eyed with fear, and trying to catch someone's eye - obviously in desperate search for someone to talk to and ease up the tension a little.
She looked at me, and gave a tentative smile, seeing that I was neither reading nor staring into my lap, and I smiled back. Then, before we could say anything to each other, I was called in.
Now, at the radiology clinic where I go, they call you in twice; first you have the mammography, then they tell you to sit in the waiting area once more until they call you in again for the ultrasound examination, by which time they already have the pictures of your mammography ready and give you the result.
When I came out after the mammography, the only available chair was next to the lady who had smiled at me, and when I sat down, she smiled again and said, "That was quick!" I told her that it had indeed been quick but that I was having to go in again soon. She then said that she was really scared because she had never had a mammography and didn't know what to expect. So I explained to her what it was all about, and also told her that, yes, it did hurt but it was over so quickly it was easily bearable, and they'd already have her results when they'd call her in for the ultrasound.
She was pending on my lips, and her relief at having someone explain to her what was going on was palpable. When I looked around, I realized that everyone in the waiting room was watching us and listening; nobody was reading anymore. Some of the ladies quickly looked away when they saw I had noticed they were listening, but some others gave half-smiles, and I seriously wondered what, if anything, their doctors had been telling them before sending them here.
There are many foreigners in Germany, and in our area where unemployment is a lot less than in some other parts of Germany, the number of women who do not speak and understand German very well is quite high. The lady I was talking to spoke with a heavy accent, so possibly she had not felt confident enough to ask her doctor about the procedure, or he/she had explained it to her but she had not understood everything.