Well, for me anyway. Today I went for the exam dreaded by women the world over.
That's right, the mammogram.
[Let me quickly inject here that this test, really a simple x-ray, must have been designed by a man going through an ugly divorce with his wife. Really. It's that barbaric.]
In America, I'd go to this test with my friend Sarah. It had become an annual ritual for us to see "Lucy" (the radiologist's name) together. Sarah, I wish you could have accompanied me this time too!
Here in Israel they don't start doing annual mammograms until the age of 50. No way, I thought. In the US I believe it's recommended to start having the annual test at age 40. (I started having them earlier than most women due to my medical history). I obtained the referral from my primary physician ages ago, but neglected to make the appointment. One thing Aliyah has done to me is make a me a terrible procrastinator. Anything I can leave for tomorrow, I do, and it takes me months to make appointments and the like. When I finally made the call in July, the first available appointment was for today! Which was fine with me.
In truth, I'm posting about this as a public service to women in Israel (or those of you who intend to one day live here). I went to a facility called Machon Hala (I searched but could not find a link). This was a clinic to rival any top clinic in the United States. Professional, kind, efficient and I even got a cover-up so I wouldn't have to sit in the altogether while waiting for the doctor to come. I was told that the wait would very long, and to bring a book and some food. (It wasn't bad at all). First I had the mammogram, then the doctor came in and performed a breast exam and did an ultra-sound. He discussed the results with me immediately and made his recommendations on the spot (Thank G-d results were all negative, and I am to return in a year).
And the best part was not an agura left my hand: this is completely covered by my kupah (health insurance). [Actually, that's not true; the best part was hearing the results].
HAVE YOUR ANNUAL MAMMOGRAM!
If you live in Israel, do it at Machon Hala--you deserve this high level of care. The clinic is located in Givat Shaul, Jerusalem. You can reach them at (02)-659-5533.