As mentioned in my previous post, I attempted to have a mammogram done (again) and this time I was outright denied.
I scheduled the second mammogram at a different facility, a hospital instead of an imaging center. This is because I've been to this hospital several times, and I've never once had a bad experience there. When I called to make the appointment for the mammogram, I even stated that I was coming to the hospital to have the mammogram done with them because I was denied the service at the imaging center. I explicitly stated that I'd already had a breast ultrasound done and ONLY needed the mammogram.
Imagine my surprise when I arrive at the radiology desk to check in last Wednesday morning and find myself scheduled for an ultrasound. Why? Because I'm again listed as "too young" to have a mammogram. I spent about five minutes arguing with the lady at the desk, who was relaying messages from the radiology team. Bottom line? They weren't going to give a 26-year-old a mammogram.
The difference between this attempt and attempt #1 is that, this time, I didn't walk away quietly. I instead headed downstairs to the concierge desk and asked to speak with someone higher up in radiology. They sent down the lead technician, who explained for what felt like the millionth time that they wouldn't do a mammogram on someone under the age of 30 unless they did an ultrasound first. But I HAD an ultrasound done. What if I went and got those images? Didn't matter, she said. They would still want to do an ultrasound there.
So I said I would have an ultrasound there, even if my insurance didn't cover it (since I'd already had one done once earlier in the month), if they would do a mammogram. She went back to the radiologist, who gave his final word on the matter: NO. They would not do a mammogram on me. When I asked, "So are you now denying me a mammogram all together?" (Something they argued they weren't doing this entire point up until now.) She finally admitted, Yes.
The drive home was miserable. I called my doctor in tears. Then I called Joey in tears. Then I called my mom in tears. Finally, I calmed down enough to call the American Cancer Society's local office - a suggestion from several of my awesome IF friends on Twitter. They gave me the name of another imaging center that might be able to help. Meanwhile, they told me they would investigate these so-called age policies further.
The third facility initially said no, that they would not do a mammogram, but they changed their mind when I told them I had a family history and a personal history with breast lumps. I have one scheduled there in a couple of weeks. Yet I can't help feel hesitant that it still may not happen, or that I may have to put up another fight about it. I felt so hesitant and so disgusted by my experience, that I also contacted another local resource - the news. A producer called me 30 minutes after I sent them an email, and about 24 hours later, they sent an investigative reporter to my house to talk to me about my experience. To be honest, I regretted sending the email the moment I got the call. I've fought for so long against my infertility that I'm not sure I have another health related fight in me. But it's over and done with. What I want is for my mammogram to be over and done with, too.
So there you have it: the soap opera continues. Let's hope it ends on February 1 with my next appointment, or I'll be changing the name of my blog to General Hospital.