Thursday, March 02, 2006

A GreenTuna PSA

Generally speaking, on these hallowed pages, I do not speak of personal matters. Partly because I'm private, partly because I'm sure nobody really cares all the much as to the state of my bowel movements, or drunken debaucheries on a Saturday night (1. Just fine thank you, and 2. Yeah, right). However, today I'm going to break ranks just a little bit and let you in on a big personal piece of information. Today I had a mammogram.

I realize that to most people this is not particularly newsworthy and most likely ranks right back down there with bowel movements (ba-DUMP-bump!). But I am making it newsworthy, dammit.

After successfully forgetting to schedule this routine female procedure for my entire adult life, my doctor finally wizened up, stopped giving me the form with the instructions to "just call and make an appointment" and gave it to the receptionist so she could be sure it was done now, and not five or six years down the line.

So this morning, off I went to face the monster. Bite the bullet. Feel the pinch? Such was my luck that this very same morning was also accompanied by freezing rain, sleet, hail, school closings, AND TinyTuna in tow (with her youthful Ward, GameBoy).

The nurse/technician lady was quite nice and I mentioned I was a "first-timer." As always, I just LOVED when she asked if I was pregnant, and I looked at her, wished I could raise one eyebrow, and simply said, "Only if Jesus wants a brother." Being rather pregnant herself, she cracked up and prepared the vice.

She ripped the adhesive off the back of what looked like an overgrown mouse pad and smooshed it all over the base of the smooshing pad. As if she were telling me the most scandalous secret ever, she said, "now since you've never had one before, you don't know, but let me just tell you ... this makes ALL the difference in the world." I nodded in an "Mmmmmkay" kind of way and prepared for the worst. After my first pose I could only say one thing:

"Are you kidding me? Is THIS IT?"

"Yep!" She said, as she changed her slides. That's about it.

I felt like the Grinch who had just been tricked out of seeing a gaggle of pissed-off Whos from Whoville.

"Seriously?" I asked. "This is IT?"

"Well," she said, "Sometimes it bothers some people more than others." And off she went to take the next slide.

As I got dressed, dragged TinyTuna to the car -- BattleShips bombing all the while -- and drove into work, I started compiling a little list to bring some sort of perspective to my morning.

The Top Several Things I Can Think Of
That are WORSE Than A Mammogram:

  1. Sixth Grade Math Books with No Examples
  2. Taxes
  3. Rain, Sleet, Hail, No School AND A Mammogram on the same day
  4. That American Idol Guy That Sang "Copacabana"
  5. M.C. Hammer's New Blog
  6. Barfing Up A Pile
  7. The Disney Channel
  8. The Bush Administration (BIG Boobs caliber .244 version 2.0)
  9. Stupid Students
  10. UoM Winning Anything
  11. Driving the DC Beltway at Rush Hour (5:30am - 11:30pm)
  12. Simultaneous Broadcast of Good TV Shows > Number of VCRs
  13. A newly cleaned litter pan + one poop filled cat
  15. Having to stop making lists in order to do actual work
  16. Mince Pie
So, if you haven't had it done in awhile -- or ever -- go to it. You'll wonder what all the fuss is about and your family will thank you. And if you don't -- I'll make you eat Mince Pie.


RiveterGirl said...

Karma must be on your side. Because I've had a mammogram and your experience was not mine. I had a terrible time (probably amplified by the fact that they were looking for the lump that the doctor palpated). I liken the mammogram machine to a medieval torture device ... the boob vice. As the thing was clamped down on my mammary gland the technician said, "The further we can go, the better the result." So I let her crank it down another click and was horrified at the pain. Keep in mind that they don't diagnose testicular cancer via the nut vice.

Bozoette said...

While I've never experienced out and out pain, that final squeeze always takes my breath away -- just at the exact moment that the tech says "Hold your breath". I keep wanting to croak "Can't -- you already took it."

lifeonhold said...

What bozoette said.

Maybe there is a modesty component in the reluctance to have mamograms, pap tests, and the like. Perhaps rather than address this in public it's easier to build up the myth of the terrible Torture Device.

My worst mamograms were the 11 in one session by Ms Incompetent who couldn't seem to get a good pic of an area of interest. They finally sent me for an ultrasound of the region that cleared things up in 10 minutes.

nk said...

*sheepishly hanging her head at posting many a drunken escapade, although not for a long time*

good for you for facing the breat beast. i've not had to yet, but have had more than my fair share of other female probings.

no teaching today?

MissMeliss said...

Heyyyy, some of us LIKE Mince Pie :)

Mrs. Wonderful said...

Coming late to this discussion, but I had one last year too, first one. And it wasn't fun. I wouldn't elect to do it over, say, trying on clothes at the mall *shudder*... but that's a close call there.

What fascinated me were the little metal nipple indicators. I saved mine and was going to scan it and blog it, but never got around to it. That little technical thing probably kept me interested in the process and less about the breast sandwich.