Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I read with laughter Rae’s post about getting a mammogram. I couldn’t resist putting in my two cents worth. My doctor had recommended that I get a baseline mammogram at the age of 40. And I’ve gotten one each year after that. So I speak with experience. Although a mammogram saves lives, I can’t help but think that there’s got to be a better way to check for tumors. This machine is a throwback to the dark ages. It’s cruel and unusual punishment. I’ve always said that this machine had to have been invented by a man. I was right.
According to WikiAnswers.Com, “The current machines being used for mammography compression were issued a patent by the U.S. Patent Office in 1986. The inventors were Patrick Panetta and Jack Wennet.” This is what I think. If, for some reason, we had to check to see if there were cracks in a man’s testicles, believe you me, they would come up with a better machine than slapping those nuts between two pieces of Plexiglas and smooshing them till they are unrecognizable.
Luckily where I go to have mammograms, I’m the only person in the room besides the technician. Unlike Rae, I don’t have to flash anyone. If I had to sit in a regular waiting room without a bra on, in that little top that opens in front? They’d kick me out, thinking I had two puppies sitting on my knees. “NO ANIMALS ALLOWED”, they’d tell me.
It’s bad enough not wearing deodorant or powder that day (you’ll smear up the machine, whatever), but picture the poor technician who has to lift my hot, sweaty boob to put on the plate of the machine. Yuk! I’ve heard from both sides, but I think it’s worse if you have big boobs because there’s more to smash. My friends who are smaller say, “No, it’s worse if you have less, because they stretch to squish SOMETHING."
When that machine comes down on your boob, you think, “Oh, that’s not too bad.” Then it continues pushing more and more until your boob is unrecognizable. Similar to those old cartoons where the character gets run over flat, I feel like my boobs are so flat that I have to shake, shake, shake, till they get back to their normal size again.
Remember when you donated blood you used to get a little sticker that read, “Be kind to me today. I donated blood,”? I’m a firm believer that all women should receive a sticker after a mammogram that reads, “Be kind to me today. I’ve just had my tits flattened by a freakin’ machine!”
One time, while having the test done, the technician said, “Would you hold your other boob out of the way?”
I quipped, “Sorry, they’re a pair and they go everywhere together!”
I’ve gone to the same technician for years. Her name is Lana. She’s very nice, and as gentle as allowed. After my mammogram she told me that they were moving to a new building. She handed me her card with her new number on it and told me that if I wanted her, I could request her to do the test. Great, I thought.
The next year rolled around quickly and it was time to make the appointment. I called the new building to set it up. The woman on the phone said, “Okay, I must ask you, how large are your breasts?”
“Excuse me?” I said.
“Well, are you larger than a 38B?”
“I’m sorry, but we can’t take care of you here. Our machine isn’t large enough for you.”
I guess she could tell by my stunned silence that she needed to give me more information.
“Yes, well, you see, when they ordered the machine for the new building, they ordered one with the smaller plate, so we can’t accommodate larger breasted women.”
(In my head I’m already thinking of starting a group - BBWU – Big Breasted Women Unite, to protest.)
The woman continues, “They can service you at the blah, blah, blah facility. They have a bigger machine there.”
So now I have to SUPERSIZE my mammogram. Who knew?
HOW TO PREPARE FOR A MAMMOGRAM