Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Mammogram

Well, I went for the ol' mammogram yesterday.

I walked in for my appointment a little early, hoping to get the show on the road.  I filled out all the appropriate paperwork and took my seat among the other women there.  Soon, my name was called and I was taken to the little room where they assign you those lockers for your belongings after they instruct you to wipe off your deodorant and put on the gown with the opening to the front.  You know the drill.

There I sat in one of the chairs that lined the hallway with all of the other gowned women, each of us clutching our locker key, as we anxiously awaited our name to be called, so we could get this peep show over with and be on our way.  It sort of had a cattle holding pen kind of feel to it.  I suppose if we're going with that metaphor then there we were..... all waiting to have our udders checked. 
There were some sweet, older women there and we kind of bonded as we sat and waited for quite a while.  I was feeling a bit cocky at this point, sitting among the 70 and up group assembled there, as I was, by far, the "perkiest" in the bunch.  My confidence was soaring.  We exchanged general information like our children's ages, what our husbands do, where we live, and things of that nature.  I don't mind chit chatting with strangers, but then some of the other ladies wanted to take it a step further and went on to tell me which breast was giving them trouble, which one was hurting, how many cysts they had in each one and how many years they'd had them.  I nodded politely, sympathetically winced when I thought it appropriate and inserted an occasional, "Oh, goodness", but kept my breast secrets to myself.

Anyway, finally, my name was called and it was to my relief as I didn't think I could muster up much more enthusiasm for my fellow man's breast stories.  The cute, young girl took me inside the room and we got down to business.  I've always thought that it would take a special person to do that job.....I mean, you know.....corralling bosoms into that machine. All. Day. Long.  I bet she's got a litany of stories to tell at the family Thanksgiving.  Surely, everyone wants to sit at her table.  I know I would.    
She put the little stickers on.  Can we stop here and talk about the little stickers?  What are those anyway.....BB's?  I'm not sure why, but something about it doesn't seem know, a Southern Baptist wearing beaded jewelry there.  I mean my mama taught me right.....too bad she's passed out on her floor again as now I've used the words, breast AND derrière online. 

Anyway, I grabbed the handle and leaned in like I knew to do.  Just when you think you've gotten it all in there, they beg to differ......"I don't think we've got the lower lobe of your lung in here yet" as she pulls and pulls some more.  Then, when you're all up in there and the thing comes down, she says, "Ok, just relax."  I thought, "Oh, I'm relaxed all right.  I can't remember the last time I was this relaxed.  In fact, if I were any more relaxed, I'd be in a coma.....I could stay like this all day." 

There's that first initial clamping down that the machine tricks you into thinking, "oh, well this isn't so bad".....but I think that just serves the purpose of grabbing you so you can't has to wonder if it was from here that the term, booby trap, originated.  The only way you're getting out of there, at this point, would be by gnawing your breast off as wild animals are known to do when trapped, but I digress.  Then the big squeeze happens leaving you looking like a rolled out pie crust and the cute, little girl says, "ok, now don't move"....."oh, I don't think there's much chance of that", you're thinking, while praying for the sound of the little beep, which precedes the release.

You can't help but wonder if those things ever malfunction.  You know dishwashers break, refrigerators go on the fritz, washing machines tear up, cars break down........surely, the mammogram machine is not above disrepair.  I mean, just last week, we had workers over here as our garage door went down, but wouldn't go back up again.  And don't think that didn't cross my mind.  "I bet this is what it would feel like to get your breast caught under the garage door", I thought.  I don't know exactly what circumstances would lead you to find yourself in that predicament, but I can imagine that is what it would feel like if you ever did.
Surely, at some point in time, somewhere in the world, a mammogram machine has clamped down and failed to go back up again.  Can you imagine?  I guess the first thing they'd do is unplug it and plug it back in and see if that helped.  Then maybe, unplug it, blow on the plug, and plug it back in.  If that doesn't work, surely, they have some emergency numbers for such an event.  How embarrassing though if Bob and Howard from maintenance or a slew of firemen had to come in and tinker with it.  But let's not even think about that.       

Can I just say here, too, that I couldn't help but notice the temperature had to have been close to freezing in there.  When the air in a room is cold, it, in turn, cools the hard surfaces in a room.   Undoubtedly, some man, who's never had a mammogram, or breasts for that matter, sitting in a far away office in a different building, playing with his Newton's cradle, was, obviously, controlling the thermostat.  Strip them of their clothes, dignity, their antiperspirant and body temperature so that when all combined, they can honestly say that they've never been more uncomfortable in their life.

As I stood there ensnared, I tried to think of the man's equivalent to the mammogram and alas, I couldn't think of any.  There are several things in a woman's experience for which there is no male equivalent.  Perhaps the gray haired lady sitting beside me said it best, "Women 'sho' do have a lot to worry about."  "Yes, ma'am, they do", I agreed.  I guess we should give the men some credit though.....being that they do have, never mind.  They don't have to do squat. 
I'll leave you with some parting words on how you can prepare for your next mammogram from one of my favorite speakers, the late Barbara Johnson.....


The Mammogram

"This is an X-ray that has its own name because no one wants to actually say the word "breast." Mammograms require your breasts to do gymnastics. If you have extremely agile breasts, you should do fine. Most breasts, however, pretty much hang around doing nothing in particular, so they are woefully unprepared. But you can prepare for a mammogram right at home using these simple exercises.
Exercise 1: Refrigerate two bookends overnight. Lay one of your breasts (either will do) between the two bookends and smash the bookends together as hard as you can. Repeat this three times daily.

Exercise 2: Locate a pasta maker or old wringer washer. Feed the breast into the machine and start cranking. Repeat twice daily.

Exercise 3 (advanced only please): Situate yourself comfortably on your side on the garage floor. Place one of your breasts snugly behind the rear tire of the family van. When you give the signal, have your hubby slowly ease the car into reverse. Hold for five seconds. Repeat."

Call and make your mammogram appointment today!!! 
 (It's really not that bad.)



  1. The pictures you chose for this post are so funny! Always glad when it's out of the way for another year! :)

  2. Hahahaha!! I was already smiling while reading this post but when I got to the part that said "one has to wonder if it was from here that the term, booby trap, originated." I almost fell out of my chair!! Hahahahahahahah!! Thanks for this laugh today. I needed it!

    1. Thank you....that makes me happy! :)

  3. My husband asked what I was laughing at and when I told him he said, "I have two words for you, Prostate Exam," So at least women avoid that.

    1. True......I guess we have to give them that! Still, I think they have it pretty easy...... :)

  4. Hi Joni,
    I nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award. I've enjoyed reading your blog and love your humorous take on life! You can read more about your nomination here...
    I look forward to reading your posts and wish you the very best!
    Marie @ Normal Everyday Life

    1. Wow......I have no idea what that is, but I will surely take a look, Marie! I appreciate all your encouragement and sending people my way! Thank you so much.

  5. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    Hi Joni! I found you through Marie . . . and so happy that I did. I don't think I've laughed this hard in months.
    I need to pass this on to a few friends who are in need of a great laugh too. You nailed it!
    Have a great weekend,

    1. Oh, Wow.....thanks, Suzanne! That means a lot to me. :)