I just got back from having a mammogram. Phew!
Nothing feels better than hearing those words, “Everything looks good. You can get dressed now.”
The first time I got a mammogram—when I was in my forties—it hurt so much I didn’t go back for ten or fifteen years.
It’s not just the pain, but also the fear that terrorizes. After all, the imaging tech has total control over how tightly your breast is going to be squeezed. You are completely vulnerable, depending on the expertise and good will of that person. (Not to mention trusting that the machine won’t break down in the middle of your compression and squash you to smithereens.)
Why on earth would you subject yourself to that?
In the online medical sites, they tell you that most women don’t find mammograms painful, and that they’re just “uncomfortable.” A Botsford Hospital blog I read today, for example, said, “About 99% of Laura’s patients say their mammogram didn’t hurt at all.”
Then when you read the comments below this message, they’re all from women saying how much it hurts. I added mine.
I don’t want to scare anyone out of getting a mammogram, but lying isn’t the answer.
I realize I am in the minority for feeling this much pain. A good friend who went with me for our first mammograms said hers didn’t hurt at all.
Over the years, my mammograms have become more bearable, and I thought I’d take the exam in stride today. After all, you’re only being squeezed for a few seconds during each compression. Even though it hurt a lot today, it was over quickly.
I scheduled this mammogram for the afternoon—something to look forward to. And then I wondered why my painting didn’t go well this morning and why I couldn’t think of a thing to write about for this blog.
I found myself Googling the morning away on some nonsense—not even making the effort to practice the piano. It’s like my mind was stuck in mush.
Next time I’ll schedule this test for first thing in the morning instead of letting its shadow cloud my whole day.
A sandbar at low tide in Bar Harbor, Maine, to take your mind off the content of this blog.