The Mammogram

I turned 40 in November. The big 4-0. With that came celebratory dinners and family gatherings...and a mammogram. I don't feel like I'm getting terribly old, but doctors have a special way of changing the questions they ask you as you age. They require different things from you and advise you differently, just because of the stupid number at the front of your age. The doctors essentially remind you that you are getting old. But, I had to do as told, so I went for the mammogram.

The mammography techs must really excel when handling a Playdoh Fun Factory. I was pulled and plied and manipulated in ways that didn't seem physically possible. Then, once they had my bits shoved into the machine and smashed down, the tech took a crank to make me even more smashed. My arms were flung behind me, I ended up on tip toes, arched backward, looking like I was being pulled into the rays of an alien abduction.

"Okay, now don't move. And...hold your breath. It will last only a few seconds."

Except I had already started to hold my breath, so when she asked me to hold my breath, I really needed to take a breath. By the time the machine released me and I could go flat-footed again, I was turning purple and audibly gasped for breath. I needed to work on the timing for breathing a little better. 

They do this little song and dance four times if you are lucky. Squish flat up and down. Squish flat from the sides. If you breath or move, you have a few more squishes in your future. Frankly, once she started cranking me into pancakes, I swore something was going to pop. It's not natural.

As I recovered afterward, my friend texted me and asked me if my breasts now felt like a boxer's practice punching bags. Yes, in fact. Yes, they did. 

There's got to be a better way. I'm hopeful that 30 years down the road, people will look back and say, "Man, do you remember when we had to smash our breasts into laundered tube socks to check for cancer? That was so barbaric! So glad it's just a painless space scanner now. Phew."