January 25, 2009

I recently enjoyed one of the perks of being over the age of 40:  a mammogram.  It’s right up there with needing bifocals, perimenopause  and colonoscopies.  Whoo hoo.

The tech called my name and introduced herself, then told me she thought that she remembered doing my mammogram the year before at their other facility.  I’m sure she said that to make me feel more comfortable, but in all honesty it just weirded me out.  Were my boobies that memorable to someone who sees them all day, every day?  Gosh, I hope not!

Anyway, I got changed in the little cubicle (which had a better selection of magazines than the entire waiting room), then headed over to the room with the giant boobie squisher.

First she told me about how this was a new, better machine because it was digital.  I said “wow” a couple of times so she would think I was impressed, but the whole time I was thinking that if we were really making advances in mammogram technology, they wouldn’t be squishing my tender parts between two flat surfaces until I felt like passing out.

She handed me two little metal studded stickers and told me to put them on the very center of my nipples.  They seemed harmless enough when I put them on (if you don’t count humiliating as harmful), but when I pulled them off?  Ouch.

Down to business:  right boobie… squish, picture, release.  Different position, squish, picture, release.  Repeat on left side.  At one point I looked at the number display that said my boobie was squished to just over 7 centimeters.  Thankfully, I don’t know metric, and I didn’t realize that it was about 2 1/2 inches.

So now that I’m done griping, I have to admit that it was over in just a few minutes.  And while it was painful enough for me to dread it every year, it is an important preventive measure.


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