I'm turning 40 this year, which I'm cool with. I don't mind being 40. Or even 50. I'm happy to be alive, man.
But, one of the things that comes with turning 40 is getting a baseline mammogram. (Well, some women get theirs at 35, especially if there's a family history of breast cancer, but I'm luckily not in that category.) I've heard anecdotes about mammograms. Most of us have gotten the tongue-in-cheek email about practicing for a mammogram by slamming one's breast in a freezer door or having a spouse back a car over a boob.
If any of my friends need to go for their first mammogram, I will happily go with them, and sit with them until they actually get called in to get smashed. My sweet husband went with me for moral support, except it didn't have the desired effect because I was left in a changing room for 10 minutes wearing a giant paper towel, slowly getting more and more panicky & shivering from the chill.
I will say this ... the experience wasn't as painful as I thought it could be. But it sure as hell was not a walk in the park. I fully expect to have bruises tomorrow. I am a large chested woman, and I can see where for women with small breasts it would not be a picnic for a variety of reasons. Still ... it was decidedly uncomfortable for 4 of the 6 squishes. And one of them was just painful. PAINful, people. Brought tears to my eyes. And the technician was just reading off a script, not a scrap of empathy to be found.
As I write this, I realize my left boob (the one that was in PAIN from one of the squishes) is throbbing. I say again ... OW! Who came up with this torture device? I suppose I should be grateful that we've got this detection equipment. And if it catches anything & saves my life, I will be abjectly, prostrately grateful. But right now...all I can think is ... "Ow. Ow. Ow." And, oh yeah, "Thanks for nothing, tech-lady."