Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mammograms

And all the men ran screaming from the blogosphere........

Yesterday was my annual (in my case slightly over a year) mammogram and I was wittily composing status updates that included.... the injustice of a test that requires a tender part of the female anatomy to be crushed in a vice-like device......and/or......if men had to undergo a similar test we'd sure hear about it........and/or.......with all the advances in technology surely the women of the world deserved more or better or less excruciating pain.....as I walked to the hospital in the pouring rain. 

I didn't have time to update my status before my test as cell phones are not allowed in the waiting room.

I filled in the form and disrobed my upper half and put on the ever flattering blue hospital gown and entered the "room of doom".

The lovely Carol welcomed me to my second mammogram and asked if I needed a reminder of how it worked.  I wittily retorted that a mammogram is so memorable I had certainly not forgotten the contortions it would require, or the pain.  She readily agreed that mammograms were memorable.

I decided to try one of my witty draft status updates on her and quipped - "One would think that with all the technology today women wouldn't need to endure these lengths for a look inside their breasts". 

Insert humiliating reality check here.

Carol: "There are many other ways to get images of breasts.....just none as cost effective as this."

I shut up, contorted, held my breath as required, endured my 15 seconds per image pain (4 images in total) and thanked Carol for a) noticing my tan and b) being as gentle as distracting as possible and c) for the information on breast imaging.

I walked out feeling like a spoiled brat.

All the way there I was moaning and groaning, as most women do about mammograms, it's like a thing women do. 

And yet I had actually just had a test that could save my life.

I didn't even have to remember to get the test - they sent me a reminder.  ALL I had to do was call and make an appointment.  I showed up and was in and out in under 20 minutes. 

And I was whining. 

Unacceptable. 

I needed to be reminded how lucky I am to have this access.  I know we pay premiums and taxes to have this medical system we love to grumble about but we have little idea how very very lucky that makes us.  It doesn't matter what my income is - I would get this test anyway, every year. 

I hereby vow to never, ever complain about my screening mammogram again.  I will not enter the sisterhood of complaint about squished boobs - or rather I hereby exit from it.

I don't know what my test will show, hopefully nothing, but someone who had that test yesterday will be saved by it.

And that is worth all the squishing necessary.

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