So, You've Scheduled Your Very First Mammogram!
First, I say, good for you! Next, I'd like to say, don't worry! Just 3 days ago, I was a mammogram virgin, too. I was so nervous, but I got through it so I thought I'd share my experience so others won't be scared and put it off. It's really nothing and it can save your life!
Here's my story...
But I Don't Want To Smoosh My Boobies Between Glass!
Yeah, I believe most of us think the worst when conjuring up this image upon hearing the word 'mammogram'. "What if the machine gets stuck?"..."Will it hurt?"...Will blood pour from my nipples?"
Okay, that last one might have just been too much, but I guarantee that at least one woman has had that run through her mind.
My appointment was scheduled a month in advance so that just meant I had 30 days to think of all the horrible things that could go wrong.
I'll go ahead and confess to you that I did think about cancelling my appointment. I thought about it until the time I opened up the door to the doctor's office. I didn't cancel and I'm so glad I didn't. Believe me when I tell you, it was a piece of cake! Well, at least for me it was. I can't vouch for every boobie scan. I only have two!
Before going, I was told not to wear any lotion, perfume, or deodorant near or on my breasts. Luckily it was not a hot day, so the deodorant was not necessary anyway. When the nurse asked me if I had followed their instructions, I stood up tall and proud and said "yes ma'am!"
She giggled and I thought I heard her say "What a goof". Hey, there's a few of us out there! At least I made her laugh!
She ushered me into a room and told me to disrobe to the waist and put on a nifty paper robe. She didn't tell me, but I knew to have the opening in front. I'm sure there were some women that didn't give it a second thought and put it on the usual "extended hospital stay" way.
My robe didn't fit me all that great. There was about an inch of flesh showing and it was freaking me out! I didn't know what awaited me in the next room and I was not properly dressed!
Was there an audience? Would I be required to serve drinks? Was there a talent portion during this mammogram show? A song and dance number?
My robe was ripped because I kept trying to pull it closed and I was more worried about that than my boobies being smooshed between that terrifying machine with the glass plates!
"You may come in now" I heard her say. I opened up the door and to my relief, she was the only person in the room. Not only that, she had a sweet, gentle face, and a awesome demeanor! I couldn't have asked for a better boobie inspector!
She put all my fears to rest when she said "first time, huh?". I giggled and then she told me I had "the look". At first, I thought she was hitting on me, but then I realized she meant the look of fear because it was my first mammogram. (For those that don't always get my humor, I really didn't think she was hitting on me!)
She guided me to the machine and told me to stand facing it. She said she would scan my left breast first. After adjusting my breast between the glass, she told me to turn my head to the right with my chin up towards the ceiling. Then she said something about doing the hokey pokey and turning myself around, but I couldn't because my boob was stuck in a machine! I hope I still pass the test!
After the left breast, she did the same thing to the right one. Next, she said she had to scan my side boobs. Well, I was starting to get a bit huffy at that statement, until I realized she just meant a scan of the side of my breast. For this, I had to stand sideways and kind of hug the machine. I've never been quite so intimate with a machine before. I think it was smoking as I left the room.
Oh, a piece of friendly advice...that paper robe is meant for modesty, but when the nurse starts twisting you all around and stuffing body parts in the machine, you really won't need it. Trust me, I am very modest, but after the first scan, I went topless AND carried on a conversation! I was so proud of me! I thought about buying the nurse a drink to celebrate but I couldn't find the bartender.
That's pretty much it. If you are lucky enough to get a nice and understanding nurse/technician, you won't have any problems at all. It doesn't hurt, but it can be uncomfortable and a little embarrassing. They also said that if you are experiencing tender breasts to take them out of the marinade, dab with a paper towel and bake for 15 - 20 minutes...wait...that's my next post on baked barbecue chicken! Okay, here's the rest...it is best to reschedule your appointment until that passes.
There's nothing to fear, and like I said, it might just save your life! If you are over 40, talk to your doctor to see if you should be scheduled for a mammogram. Some doctors suggest them after 40, while others say to wait until a woman is 50 and older.
The only thing you have to fear is fear itself and you will feel so proud of yourself after you do it! You'll feel like a big girl and big girls can handle anything! I promise!