I have heard a few words that women have repeatedly used to describe a mammogram...degrading (and it surely had it's moments of degradation), cold (never did feel the coldness), and squish (which I most definitely understand). In an effort to help out all of the women in America who may have to go through this in the future, I thought that I would tell you every detail so that when you do go in, you will not be unarmed. (In all truth, I just need to find the lighter side of a dark situation as this was a scary situation.)
So, my first advice is...take a good friend with you. Someone funny, quirky, and close enough to be able to talk freely about your breasts. Kit came by the office to ride with me to the hospital in the next town. The drive there was like any other day with her, just small talk and friendship. We arrived at the hospital to find that the entrance was blocked by some construction morons fixing the road! That makes for a great start to a wonderful experience. NOT! We find a parking place and Kit asks if she can take my book in with her. Sign of a true friend---a woman who is willing to read an icky romance novel while waiting at the doctors office for you when she most surely has better things to do. We make our way to the admissions desk (after stopping for directions because we women are capable of doing that!!!) where I sit down and fiddle in my purse. After a minute of waiting at what appears to be a deserted desk, I ring the bell (feeling a tad guilty for interuppting her gossip session in the next room). As I answer all of the questions and get signed in to do my test, Kit is standing behind me making odd snarling noises. I pay no mind to the woman becuase that is, of course, her normal sounding irritation at life. The admissions woman gets up and dissapears. I turn around to talk to Kit and find her wiping the dust off of all the decorations on the walls!!! Then she starts to exclaim in a none-too-quiet voice about how finding all of that dust just drives her crazy and she "wonders who cleans this place". The admissions lady comes back and tells us to meet her around the corner in the big hall. As I stand to leave, she says to Kit "I suppose you think we should clean those". Without missing a beat, Kit replies "No, I think I got it all, now." I turn the corner and about pee myself laughing. Reason one why I love Kit...she slays me!!!
So, we sit down in the waiting room and a nurse comes through the door to give me some paperwork to fill out. It is pink, of course. I fill it out to the best of my knowledge as Kit rearranges all of the magazines in the rack. I turn over the sheet and come across a drawing of...breasts. I have to draw any scars or moles that I have on my breasts. I look to Kit and say "I know I have a mole. I just don't know where!" I look up at the video camera in the corner and then decide that guessing just isn't an option, so I pull out my shirt and look down to see my boobs. Yep, there it is...on my right boob. Okay, good...so I draw a little circle on the pink paper on my lap in the correct place, look over and Kit and giggle like a little girl (probably because of the nerves, not becuase I am just that childish). The nurse comes through the door and takes the clipboard from me while I'm still trying to suppress my giggles and tells me they will be out to get me in a few minutes.
I try to focus my thoughts on the book in my hand when out of the corner of my eye I notice movement in the pane of security glass. I turn to take a look (curiosity always getting the better of me) and my heart leaps into my throat. I am about to head through a brown non-descript door to bare my breasts to some unknown person and behind the glass next to the waiting room is..............a man with a camera!!! Seriously, folks. I was floored! How exactly am I supposed to feel comfortable with the procedure that I am about to endure when there is some pervert on the other side of that door waiting to use me as the star of his next amateur porn shoot?!? Yikes! I say as much to Kit who lovingly rolls her eyes and goes back to reading her Good Housekeeping magazine (that has a slightly more interesting than my dilemma pro-lesbian ad where a woman is asking for a wife) and finally the nurse calls me in through "the door".
The rest of the boob squishing experience made me laugh just as much as it made me want to cry. Here's what the tell you when you get in but no one thinks to tell you before hand. You are handed a plethora of things to tie, tape and plaster to your upper body with very short instructions on how to do so. First you are given a "Mammowipe" (I found this to be hilarious because it is essentially a baby wipe with a stupid name) to wipe off all deodorant which can show up on the scan as calcium deposits. Then you are given PINK band-aids that have a bee-bee glued to the center of them to put over your nipples (see! even in the doctor's office there is to be no nipple-age on the screen!), pieces of pink tape to mark any lumps you may know about and different pink pieces of tape to mark and moles or scars. Finally you are given a hairdressers cape to allow yourself a molecule of privacy (except of course this one is in the mandatory cheap and flimsy fabric of all hospital gowns). When the nurse comes back in your boob is hoisted up on a platform and the nurse holds it in place as she steps on a gas pedal and a plastic plate comes
I walked out of the room after the procedure and
All in all, the results were fine. I am fine and I will just wait another year for the next boob squishing annual exam. Fun times had by womankind.
Find the little humor in the day and you will find the silver linings in the gray.