That mammogram, that mammogram,I do not like that mammogram.
I do not like it on my tit,
I do not like it, not one bit.
Sorry. Obviously you know what I did today. My OB-GYN has been on me for a while to get my baseline, but fortunately I’ve been nursing. Now that the old milk factory has been shuttered for 15 months, there was no further stalling.
I know it’s stupid, but I was totally stressing this. You hear stories, and while not all of them were horrible, many did not leave a girl feeling confident. And while I was sure that my enormous sense of dread was unfounded, I felt it anyway. I imagined what this would look and feel like: taking a fist-sized chunk of your body and slamming it- very very slowly- in the refrigerator door. I had Shark Week footage running through my mind: the slo-mo scenes of the great white’s gaping maw about to slam down on a sea lion. Only in this episode it wasn’t a sea lion.
This is probably why my blood pressure was like 974/365 when they took it before I saw my OB-GYN. She and I even laughed about it. She said she’d much rather get a mammogram than a Pap smear. And while getting a Pap smear isn’t the most pleasant way to while away a morning, once you forget to feel embarrassed it’s really no big deal.So from my OB’s office, I went straight to the imaging center to face the music. All the staff were quite good. But the experience? I liked it not.
I didn’t think it would really hurt, per se. I also didn’t think it would be pleasurable.
So how would I describe it? It’s like playing three-dimensional Twister with an Easter Island head. “Left boob green,” followed by a massive pile-on. The pressure is pretty damn intense. Meanwhile your body is held in a strange position with your face mashed against a plexiglass box. And the actual positioning of the boob itself is just off-putting. Pretend your boob is a tub of icing and the imaging plate is a chest-level chocolate cake. The technician sort of tries to spread your boob on this plate. But since your boob is waaaaaay more viscous than icing – and contained within a sac of skin, of course- it just doesn’t work out so well.
I survived, obviously. But I didn’t like it. And now I get to worry until I get my results, even though I’ve never actively worried about this before.
Philosophically I’m glad this type of testing exists. The summer I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I found a lump on the left side between the boob and my armpit during a self-exam. I ended up having it removed, which was scary as hell at the time. It was benign- just an inflamed lymph node, but it could have been something and the fact that I caught it myself while it was small would have gone a long way. My boobs are now about 6 times bigger than they were then. I may not feel something if/when there’s a next time. But I must say I’m not excited about the idea of doing this once a year.