Monday, September 08, 2008
So. Today was THE day. The Annual Squish. And of course, last week, my cycle shifted just so that, 3 days ago, I was in full "Dolly Parton" mode. It was unpleasant, unplanned and painful! I got to the imaging facility and was able to go right in. I had a lovely technician, by the name of Janet, who "felt my pain." You see, the mammograms are digital and I have dense tissue (those of you who know me? Spare me the "dense" jokes!!). So, Janet says, the equipment has to "press down harder" to be able to get a good view. "Stand with your hips and feet facing the machine. Place your left arm and shoulder above the plate; don't GRIP the bar, just hold it. Scoot your butt out a bit. Now, hold still." Whirrrrrrrr; down comes the Plate of Pain. Janet goes behind her magic screen and says, "Now, hold your breath." Please. Like I could even THINK about breathing?? She apologizes as the Plate of Pain lifts, then we get to do it over on the other side. Then, the fun begins. We get to do the "sideways images." Stand with your toes and hips at a slight angle; tip your chin up so the plate doesn't whack you in the face. Bend slightly forward "so the tissue moves forward." Janet says, "Well, I know this is uncomfortable, but look at me" (which I can't because I'm squeezed in place) - "I'm all scrunched under here with my head under this part." Yes, dear, but I'm squeezed IN that part! I feel for my "less gifted" sisters - this is one test where more really IS better. I have a friend who's on the "boyish" side and she says that every year, she comes away bruised and feeling "scraped" by the Plate of Pain. So I guess it's good that I got the "family allotment of bosom" as my sister says. I give mammography technicians credit. They're handling a very aggravating test day in and day out. They are so professional (at least the ones I've run into) and matter-of-fact that they make you feel good about taking care of yourself. But even the pre-procedure aspirins did nothing today when "Dolly Parton" met The Squisher. That's ok, though. I came through this one without having to do any of the images over, and I'm done for a year.