Thursday, May 11, 2006

Who'd be a woman?

I went for a routine mammagram (known in our home as the Squidgy Boob Test) earlier this week.
'We need to press the breast flat so we can see all the tissue,' explained Ms Chirpy, the radiographer. 'Tell me if it gets too uncomfortable.'
What she didn't say was 'We need to press your breast flat as a tissue,' but I didn't get cross.
It was so appallingly hot in there, as soon as I walked in I thought I must have slammed into the menopause and was in the throes of my first ever full on hot flush. It can't be pleasant working all day in those conditions. Plus I'd power walked there and had to apologise for smelling a bit gamey. Last night's garlic bread must have added to her olfactory ordeal, so I didn't like to complain.
Anyway, you park your breast on a metal plate and she presses a button which lowers another plate, gradually compressing your poor mammary. When it got to the thickness of a slice of bread, I cracked.
'Er ... that's really uncomfortable ...' I gasped. (Imagine strangled voice delivered from behind clenched teeth.)
'Sorry. Bit more,' she chirruped.
Paper-thin was when she relented, instructed me to hold my breath (was I supposed to be breathing?) and pressed another button before finally releasing me. After repeating the torture on the left side, she assured me she'd correct any imbalance now by repeating the whole process vertically.
I've always been rather fond of my breasts. Hope they forgive me ... It was for their own good ...
I don't want to put anyone off having a mammagram, so here are some positive aspects:
you get to meet and bond (albeit briefly) with other women approximately your age
it's quick
it's not as bad as a smear

11 comments:

Sharon J said...

I had one done when I was in my early 20s and had no idea they were going to sandwich my tits between metal plates! Came as a bit of shock, I can tell you.

I've been having smears every 6 months since I had a bad result (CIN 3 - last stage before the big C) but was given the all clear to go on to once a year at my last one, last week. Phew! I hate the darned things. 'Specially as my periods are totally up the creak so I never know when "mid ways between two" is going to be.

Minx said...

Rather have this than a camera up the other end with the whole of the BBC crew looking in!!

Sharon J said...

Is this something you've experienced, Minx? Pray tell.

Minx said...

Yes, I have the crew in quite often, lost all inhibitions after having child in public (a car park actually).
Debi, think you had better put up a 'No entry to males' on this post - it could get nasty!!

Debi said...

Oooh, you are a minx, Minx.
Nasty? No. Tantalising? Oh yes!

Wobblingscruffbag said...

If you don't like these tests, don't have them! Just fucking die of cancer. You would be no loss to the world, you moaning bunch of pointless cunts!

Debi said...

Hello again, dearest Scruffy. Still happy I see. What a lovely life you must have ....

Verilion said...

Well thanks for being the person who taught me something new today. I'll be really looking forward to that first mammogram one day.

Debi said...

We all need something to look forward to.
Personally, I can't wait 'til the menopause when all the moisture leaks from your body and pours out of your poor pores without pause ...

Maxine said...

I find this post and thoughts it evokes too sad so cannot comment, except to say that that wobbling scruffbag should be exterminated.

Debi said...

Oh, Maxine. I'm really sorry - this has obviously struck something deep and personal for you.
That's the problem with just chucking stuff out for general consumption - you get the Scruffys - but you also get YOU - for whom the whole thing has other painful dimensions.
Don't worry about Scruffy (he has no power)- and please forgive me for any unintended insensitivity.