I would’ve written about this yesterday but I was still suffering from post traumatic distress due to my experience with what has to be the most absurd exam on the face of this earth. Â Now, don’t get me wrong, I know mammograms are not only necessary but they save lives. Â However, I would like us to come together as a people and figure out a way to test for problems that does not include something that looks like a papercutter base and something that looks like a container I’d find with my tupperware. Â If men had to stick their testicles into anything remotely looking like this contraption or feeling anywhere near the same, we’d have those little sensors that the doctors used on Star Trek that you would just float over a body part and miraculously knew what was going on inside.
First of all, why is it so cold in diagnostic offices? Â Do I really need to be in 65 degree weather for you to perform your exam? Â I had a cute girl come and get me from the front (way after my appointment time, might I add). Â She takes me to a nice changing room where I got to pick a pink “robe”. I walked into a room with low lighting and then it felt like speed dating.
Have you ever had a mammogram before? No. Â Have you had any issues? Yes. Small lump. Right breast. Â Any pain? No. Any discharge? Ew! No. Â I try to make small talk with Holly (I can’t remember if this is her real name. I’d like to think I made it up to protect the innocent but, I was too traumatized to think this through). Â I explain to her that I think it’s probably a demented milk duct. She stops writing looks at me and asks how long it’s been since I nursed. Â I say April. She asks if I am still lactating. Â I want to laugh out loud and then slap her upside her head. Silly girl! There’s no milk in these!
Holly proceeds to tell me that she has to check with the radiologist because apparently there’s a minimum time limit between lactating and mammogram (who knew?). Before walking out, however, she asks me if I have deodorant on. Excuse me?! I say yes. Holly hands me a “mammo wipe” and explains that I will need to remove the deodorant so that it does not show up on the mammogram. Â Again, this machine is strong enough to catch the damn deodorant under my arm but you still can’t figure out a way to look at my breast tissue without putting it in a sandwich press? What’s wrong with this picture?
We get the go-ahead to proceed and then in a very professional manner, Holly explains that she will have to take 8 “films” of the boobage. She “manipulates” my breast on to the sandwich press and then lowers what can be described as an acrylic bed pan on to the boob.Â There’s positioning that takes place. She has obviously done this before. Â I can honestly say that I have never had anyone treat my girls with as much non-sexiness as now. It was all business.
The machine comes down on my boob. Â Smush. I look down and to my horror I see drops of white liquid right under my nipple! Â What the hell?! I just acted indignant when this woman asked me if my milk had dried up. I have NEVER had any leakage after I stopped nursing in April! Where did this come from? Â Then I thought: the cyst was milk like I suspected and she just smushed it out! I think this has happened to Holly before because she did not seem as mortified as I was about the drops of milk.
She goes to stand behind the machine. Â Look to the left. Relax (because whenever your boob is being squeezed by a stranger and followed up with a machine, the first word that comes to mind is “relax”). Â Hold your breath. Â Then, the boob is released. Â This goes on a few times on each side. Â She then changes the bed pan for a cup measurer and does it again on the “affected” boob.
I am then taken to torture chamber #2. Â What could that be, you ask? Let me explain. I was up in the middle of the night with the frog princess. I fell back asleep and then had to rush out of the house which meant I left without coffee and no breakfast. Â I then get taken into a little waiting room that has a water cooler, a sink, some chairs and on the counter I see the following: styrofoam cups, stirrers, sugar, Splenda. Â What is obviously missing from this picture is the damn coffee! So I sit and yawn and wait.
Holly comes back to tell me that they couldn’t see anything and that I would be going to get an ultrasound. I knew this beforehand because my doctor wrote the script as such. However, this place didn’t think it would be appropriate to actually schedule those two things so instead I wait some more. Â For over an hour since, of course, on this day they are a tech short.
When I finally get into the ultrasound room I think I’ve been in this room before. Â Getting my mom’s abdomen scanned right before we found that the cancer had metastasized to her liver. Â Before then, I was in the room next door, with my mom and the man finding out that I was having a frog princess. Â The tech leaves to get the doctor. Â I sit and wait.
The radiologist comes in to tell me that the cyst is filled with fluid. Â That there appears to be some debris in it but that it is tiny and not to worry about it. Â To keep an eye on it and make sure that if there are any changes I go back to my doctor. Â If it gets any bigger we can always drain it. Â These things usually just clear up on their own. Â She smiles and reassures me that everything will be okay.
I leave there thinking 1. I can’t believe I’m not already at work! 2. I’m SO hungry (because by now it’s noon) 3. this has to be the first time my boobs got this much attention and I enjoyed not one little bit of it! 4. Â They should really serve you mimosas with your mammogram because at least then you’d think: I got felt up but at least I got a drink out of it!
Okay ladies, when are YOU scheduling your mammograms?