The Pity Voice

Today, a nurse named Barbara called me from the Breast Imaging center, which is where I had my mammogram a few weeks ago.  She wanted to get some updated health history (I swear, I cannot believe how many times I have to go through my medications, my family cancer history, previous surgeries, etc – get computers people!).  Toward the end of the conversation, her voice turned so pitiful.  “It’s a shame you have to be making these decisions, huh?”  What?  I had not invited this conversation.  I had not told her any of my decisions about surgeries or anything.  All she knew was that I was having a biopsy.  As far as she was concerned, the biggest decision I was going to have to make that day would be whether to valet or self-park at the hospital.

I know she was just trying to be nice, but this happens all the time, whenever I talk to a nurse or receptionist.  They really don’t know the whole story, but somehow they can tell it’s sad.  Or they assume.  I don’t know.

I was grateful though when she gave me her phone number and told me I could call her at any time if I had questions before or after the biopsy.


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