Today I had my second ever mammogram. My first one, over 2 years ago, was a memorable occasion as I was excited to have finally reached this ‘invitation’ stage of my life (for some reason I was excited??). I have decided after today’s experience, that I do not like them.Today was worse in some ways than my first time because I knew what was in store. Let me tell you – it was not fun!
The technician was lovely and sympathetic with nice warm hands, which was a bonus as she had to repeatedly manhandle my breasts to fit them into the torture machine.
Luckily us women, by the time we get to a certain age, have been through quite a bit of body handling, especially if we’ve had children. Mammograms are just another routine body indignity we have to suffer. I’m not a wuss and consider myself to have a high pain threshold but I can assure you that it was very painful.
First there is the fact that you have to strip off to the waist and parade around topless, pretending that you’re cool with this situation. Next you stand in front of the boob snatcher machine and become a contortionist as the technician manoeuvres your breasts into position. At one stage, after being asked to place my hand on my hip and turn my head the opposite way, relax my shoulder, lean forward, hug the machine – I suggested I do the I’m a little teapot nursery rhyme. It made me laugh anyway – albeit through gritted teeth.
Then the machine flattens and squashes the breast, holding it in position for way too long to be comfortable. It really hurt and brought tears to my eyes, which were clamped shut for the duration. This was then repeated on the other breast. It had to be redone for some reason and the technician decided to show me the image on the screen so that I could see what she was trying to get a picture of. This was not at all helpful to me but I humoured her, as I really don’t envy her her job!
This is where I’m supposed to say that it was all worth it if it picks up any abnormalities, but to be honest I’m really not sure at this early stage. I’m still so sore, tender beyond words and just so glad it’s over! Ask me tomorrow! Can’t they find a better way of looking at the breast without the use of these hideous machines? They’ve put men in space for goodness sake!!
Reality and experience tells me that I am truly grateful for the testing procedures and I know that many women have had their lives saved by these tests. I suppose I must look at it as just another thing we must endure.
Thanks for the mammaries, I’ll see you again in 2 years time to do it all again. Yay!!
No apologies to anyone offended by my use of the word breasts and/or the topic of this post. The more we talk about these issues the more accepted they become. Unfortunately breast cancer is a real evil, much worse than an uncomfortable and inconvenient little mammogram. Laughing at myself helps me cope! Just ask my workmates who got to see my fully cothed re-enactment 🙂