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Pectoriloquy |

no, you don’t FREE TO VIEW

Michael R. Foldes, BA Anthropology
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Editor’s Note:The author writes, “I work for a company that makes image display products for mammography, the OR, and other medical applications. I had conflicting feelings about having a mammogram myself. I got a clean diagnosis, but I am sympathetic to the woman (or man) who gets a negative result.”

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2014;146(1):237. doi:10.1378/chest.13-2512
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the chest pain could have been
a pulled muscle, but the doc found
something he couldn’t put
his finger on and scheduled me
for a mammogram.
the waiting rooms were all pink
and pretty and i was looking
for a quick fix in blue or gray;
an hour later i was out of there,
thinking to myself, now i know.
my wife said, “no, you don’t.”
the results were clean. i felt
somehow diminished, as if
i’d been ordered to undertake
a meaningless expense,
a procedure that found nothing
... but could have saved my life.
the letter was buoyant,
could have been an invitation
to a garden party, but it didn’t
make me feel any better.
I wondered what they write
on darker days, how much more
difficult, then, to just move on.


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