The Boob Diaries 2: The Wait

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Waiting to see a doctor at A&E because she hasn’t received a letter from the breast clinic, Aoife Read finds herself sick of being sick.


The sleepless night before this has rendered me over sensitive. Sitting here in A&E, waiting to be seen by a doctor, I feel detached from myself. I came because I still haven’t received a letter from the breast clinic to come for a check-up and the pain of the lump in my boob is worsening.

So, with a letter of referral from my GP in my pocket, here I am in the mire of the waiting room masses. The first and most disconcerting part of the ordeal were the double mirrors on either side of me at the reception desk. It’s like they’re trying to make you look at yourself. Look at how sick you are. How frail. Look at how everyone else is seeing you.

Next there was the weird examination by the triage nurse and Jessica, the over friendly, over compensating student nurse. They didn’t even ask me to remove my bra. How can you examine a breast with a bra still on?

So now I’m sitting in the waiting room waiting to be seen by a doctor, with my Dad in tow. My eyes find it difficult to adjust to the buzzing strip lighting after being in the toilets, which are lit by UV lights. “That’s to stop junkies from finding veins so they can’t shoot up,” Dad informs me. Everyone around me is sick and tired, and failing as much as I am.

20 Minutes Later

I’ve been seen by a male doctor in a curtained-off section – standing up, boobs out, poked and prodded at further. The whole thing is so humiliating. He assures me it’s a cyst. A large one that I will have to have removed. I’m back in the waiting room, waiting on an appointment time to get the procedure done.

One good thing is it’s all moving at a fast pace. I’ve only been here for an hour and 45 minutes, which is not too bad for an A&E visit. A cyst is serious, I’ve been told. At least one this size is. Although my worst fears about cancer are alayed, the cyst could make me ill; in fact the doctor was surprised I wasn’t ill already with it. Although between pernicious aenemia and my general bad health, I probably wouldn’t notice if it was making me sick. Sicker than usual.

I’m sick of being sick. It seems to be one thing after another lately.  Still, my adrenaline is racing. I feel giddy and lightheaded; a weird sense of relief coupled with fear.

Now I have to wait again to see what has to be done. I feel like my life is on hold at the moment, as I breath in and out between the binking of flourescent waiting room lights. I look forward to the wait being over.



Previously: The Boob Diaries One

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