Exposing my breast (singular) to a stranger at 10am with the lights on

February 9, 2016
fried eggs

‘Please pull up your left breast. This gel will be cold.’

It’s an odd sentence to hear at 10am on a Saturday morning, not least because you don’t normally hear a human breast being referred to in the singular. They tend to come as a buy one get one free kinda deal.

The gel was indeed cold. Grateful as I was for the heads up, it was a bit like the most unfulfilling, least arousing foreplay ever. Boob fondlers take note – there is nothing erogenous in the area UNDERNEATH your boob. It’s not worth your time there. But in the instance that this were actual foreplay, it wouldn’t be the first time someone had fallen far of the desired effect.

Except this was EXACTLY what he desired, ‘he’ being not my boyfriend (who I feel at this point would like me to clarify that he is excellent at locating erogenous zones SOSORRYDAD), but a professional doctor with no sexual interest in my left breast, thankfully. Because I was, for the second time in as many months, wearing a hospital gown and splayed out like some clinical spatchcocked chicken on a wipe clean bed, with all the lights on.

And now I’ve made it sound like the beginnings of an awful porn film…

Following the much-discussed ‘incident that led to me being wheeled into A&E by paramedics and subsequently medically declared out of action for some weeks, I have had many a test that has declared I have… wait for it…

An extra bit of heart.

Isn’t that the most Julie Andrews diagnosis you could ever wish to hear?! ‘Hey, something shitty is happening, but take pride in this most delightful diagnosis, and have a great day! FOR A SPOONFUL OF SUGAR… oh wait, sorry not you, you’re diabetic aren’t you?’

Twisted, ain’t it?

Yep, that’s the big reveal – I was exposing a singular breast of a Saturday morning for the purpose of seeing THE INSIDE OF MY HEART. Aka an echocardiogram, which I could have just said 300 words ago but I’ve got me some artistic licence and I’m not afraid to use it. That, plus boob chat is hilarious no matter who you are or how poorly your heart is performing.

Should you ever get the chance to have your left tit caressed by something akin to a chilled, lubricated roll-on deodorant SAY YES IMMEDIATELY.

Seeing the inside of your heart is FREAKING INCREDIBLE. Should you ever get the chance to have your left tit caressed by something akin to a chilled, lubricated roll-on deodorant SAY YES IMMEDIATELY, despite the wipe-clean and the bright lights and the open-fronted gown and the awkward laying in such a position necessary to ‘open the ribcage’ (laying on the left side, right arm down, left arm over the head, in case you’re wondering).

But there I was, casually hanging out with the inside of my heart, watching its chambers go about their incredibly insane duties like it was No Big Deal.

Except it clearly is a big deal for my heart, who can’t quite cope with it to the point that I’m now booked in to get a piece of it cut off.

I’ve sent emails out to Voldemort, that bouncer that once made me cry and Katie Hopkins offering up my extra supplies. I’ll let you know how that goes.

I was in and out of there in a mere 15 minutes, left feeling like I’d had a one-night stand with the hospital as I hurriedly put my bra back on and assured my breasts  that they hadn’t actually been violated in any way and it was all part of the plan.

Yes, breasts plural. Sympathy pain from the right, who at this point was probably feeling a bit left out.

My heart gets mercilessly (although entirely carefully and beneficially) severed at the end of this month. This procedure, I’m told, is not the dramatic open-heart kind that is usually bestowed upon us during stop smoking campaigns and the like, but the kind of heart surgery that is apparently very non-scary and very low-risk, under local anaesthetic that will take just an hour of my time from start to finish.


A bit daunting yes, being my ticker and all. All this mammary chat is actually a thin veil disguising some real fear (you weren’t fooled, were you, oh wily ones). On the whole, I’m choosing to look at it in the same way as editing the first draft of a blog post: a ruthless cull of superfluous content. It’s necessary. Everyone will be better for it. It might be precious, but it’s for the greater good.

If only I’d applied it to this post, eh?




  • Reply Helen February 10, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Blimey Jen that sounds nasty. Local anaesthetic??? For heart surgery? You are totally hard core!
    Mind you, wait till you get old and have to have a mammogram – that bloody hurts!
    Seriously, hope it goes well and solves everything for you.

  • Reply Andrew February 14, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    I had a similar procedure earlier in the year to screen for kidney and bladder issues. At the clinic, they found blood in my pee. The scan came back negative for anything which gave a massive massive weight release from my shoulders. Hopefully yours will give the same relief. There’s not really a day went by on the run up to that scan that I wasn’t absolutely petrified. Here’s to a speedy recovery.. Look forward to seeing you around the web in the future :) Ax

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