The Big ( Little?) Squeeze
Posted: May 07 2010
I did it. I went in for a mammogram. It was five years overdue; and I had been dragging my feet for way too long. Finally, I just made the appointment and got it over with. Mama, it was nothing! Seriously, nothing!
I'm not the buxom type. No, that's giving me way too much credit. I'm pretty darn flat-chested. To this day, I've never been able to wear a "grown up" bra. I get my bras in the little girl section at Target or Walmart. There they are, right between Dora Explorer and Barbie Fairytopia. On the positive side, I never have to pay over $8 for a bra. On the negative side, I'll never know what it feels like to have men stare transfixed when I walk in a room with a lowcut dress on, while my bodacious breasts threaten to spill out in a blaze of heaving glory. On second thought, that's perfectly okay with me. Cleavage is overrated.
So, I went in for my mammogram. The technician started explaining the process to me. Now, many of you know that I have a horribly short attention span. And when I get nervous I started blabbering and asking a bunch of questions:
Technician: Have you had a mammogram before?
Technician: I'll explain it to you.
Me (pointing at machine): Is that the machine? Are those the two plates that squish your boobies? Does it hurt?
Technician: It shouldn't hurt and, yes, you'll place your breast right...
Me: What if you're really flat-chested. Can you do a mammogram on non-boobies?
Technician: Believe me, I'll be able to do a mammogram on you. If you'll just...
Me: What do you do if a woman has implants?
Technician: You don't have implants, do you?
Me: Isn't that kind of obvious? I was just wondering what you would do.
Technician: We just push the implant over and pull the breast tissue over to...
Me: Have you ever done man boobs?
Technician: Actually, yes, I have.
Me: What do you do about really, really big boobs that can't fit in that machine?
Technician: We do them kind of like a puzzle where we do one part at a time.
Me: What are the biggest boobs you've ever done?
Technician: Why don't we go ahead and get started on your mammogram? I'll just walk you through it.
Me: Are mine the smallest boobs you've ever done?
Technician: I'm sure you're just fine. Let's go ahead and do that mammogram.
By this point I was blabbering on and on while she began to help me get out of my hospital gown top and place my...(lack of) breast on the machine. There wasn't much that could fit on there so, somehow, the technician pulled up all the fat around my middle and lower arm and placed it all on the bottom plate. The two plates began to squeeze together.
It was really tight, kind of like a Boobie Panini Press. But not painful, just really tight. Imagine this--if you were nursing, milk would squirt out and probably drill a hole in the drywall across from you like a high intensity power washer. It was pretty, darn tight.
She did two presses on each breast, one vertical and one horizontal. The machine is super cool. It flips sideways like one of those fancy schmancy waffle irons at hotels.
When she was done, there were black and white scans of each breast up on the machine. "Wow! Look at those beautiful little breasts!" The technician couldn't help it anymore--she smiled and laughed at me (or was she laughing at my little breasts?).
So, if you've been putting off a mammogram because of the pain or the exposure or the time, or any of the other variables that busy moms come up with for putting off their health care, DON'T! It just took a few minutes. It wasn't painful, just uncomfortable. And exposure? Good, golly, we've all had kids. A little exposure shouldn't faze us at all.
Get your BOOBIE PANINI PRESS done, and do it soon!