Canada Kicks Ass

It's Mammogram time!
Date: Sunday, December 10 2006
Topic: Health and Well-Being

So you are concerned about getting your first mammogram.  This is my experience.

Iím still breathing folks.  I survived my first mammogram! 

Let me tell you, anytime I heard the word Ė Mammogram Ė Iíd react with an Iím out of here! Or better yet, get me out of here!  I couldnít get away from the idea of a mammogram fast enough.  

The first time my doctor suggested me getting one, I was nearly sick to my stomach Ė first, with fear, then embarrassment and finally, a too-doo-loo Twilight Zone score in the background.  He said I should get one done yearly at my age.  This ainít suppose to happen to me!

 This comes from a woman who gets her annual physical, but one whoís shy about undressing in front of strangers. Youíd think after having children Iíd have overcome that one.  This is supposed to get easier with age. 

 Take it from me, I survived my first mammogram and I am still around to talk about it, only nobody wants to talk about this topic unless theyíve had one done; itís head for the hills on that subject.  Let me assure you, I experienced no torture chamber machinery and I didnít have to undress in front of anybody except the person who did the mammogram.  Best of all, it didnít hurt. 

 For women who are about to move toward getting a first mammogram, I will encourage you to go without fear because itís no big deal.  Go because getting one is important for your health.  Once there, I survived my shyness and I know you will, too.

This is what I was asked to do.  Are you ready for this! Too-doo-loo!

The first thing I did was remove my top clothing in a bathroom.  Even the dťcor in the waiting area and bathroom was created to make me feel comfortable.  I was asked to wash my chest area including my underarms so that the image would take successfully.  The assistant gave me a hospital gown.   Believe me, I looked swell in puke green.  (The nice thing to know is that no one is competing on looks in this environment).

Not more than a few minutes later, I was called into the mammogram room.  No fancy tech terms here to scare away.  Plain and simple English with plain and simple instructions.  Mammograms should be described in simple terms because the procedure itself is simple, at least for the one getting it done. 

The technician, a female in my case, was extremely friendly and invited me to remove my top gown and advance to the image scanner.  She placed my one breast on the tray (at least thatís what I call it) and the technician aligned my body in the right position for the scanner. 

Now this part is what may make you scared, but itís no big deal.  She lowers an upper tray so that it sits atop your breast applying pressure so that she can take a successful picture.  Hold your breath, snap, and the image is taken. The technician does this on both sides. 

Then she positions your body a little differently so that she can take an almost side view of your breast area.  A little more pressure due to the position you are standing in.  But no big deal.  I felt no pain. 

In a matter of ten minutes, I was finished.  Thatís it, I thought. All I had to do next was wait for her to tell me the picture took successfully.  Then I was free to go.  Iím out of here!

Medical terms scared me more than anything.  Mammogram was the big boogieman term that sent shivers down my spine.  Mammogram is just a word. 


By Suzanne Berton ©

This article comes from Canada Kicks Ass

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