Friday, February 6, 2009

Boobie pancakes

I have my first mammogram scheduled for Monday. And I'm nervous. I'm not nervous about what they might find - I don't even want to think about that can of worms - but I'm nervous about the procedure itself. Am I going to feel really weird with my breasts exposed to and being handled by strangers? (Although it has to be better than an internal exam or that ultrasound I had over the summer, right?) Will it hurt? (I had a friend who was an x-ray tech and performed mammographies, and she had said it was all about how the tech did her job, whether it would hurt or not.) Am I going to faint while I'm standing there with my boob clamped into the machine, and then just be dangling by my boob? (Why do they make you stand, anyway?) Doesn't that smushing damage the breast? And why did I explain EXACTLY to The Boy what a mammogram is?

Also, why am I reading on the Web that I shouldn't wear deodorant for the test (it can cause shadows), but nobody at the doctor's office told me that?

Does anyone have any positive mammography stories they wouldn't mind sharing? And if you've got a horror story, please don't share it. At least until Tuesday.



Mindi Scott said...

I had a mammogram a couple of years ago. It ended up not being a big deal. The boob handling was fine, and the tech made me feel at ease through the whole thing. The actual smashing wasn't comfortable, but it wasn't by any means unbearable. And it didn't last long.

As I recall, she had me wear a cloth robe that tied in the front. Only one breast was pulled out at a time and the other stayed covered by the robe. And, of course, the one that was out at any given time wasn't entirely exposed since it was doing its thing in the machine.

Overall, I'd expected bad stuff, and was pleasantly surprised. Getting cranked open and swabbed for pap smears is far more traumatizing to me.

(Also, I was told not to wear deodorant before I went.)

Cindy (starshine) said... story is pretty close to identical to Min's. I was also told not to wear deodorant and was surprised at how simple it turned out to be. Slight discomfort? Maybe, and I DO mean slight but not painful at all. I left wondering why I had worried so much.

allison said...

I have had three mammograms..and one more scheduled for next week. Honestly, they have been just fine, although it can get a bit cold. The last time, I took one of my pashminas to wrap around myself as she checked the images which helped with the cold part. The tech doesn't really touch you all that much, just helps you get in position and stuff. The actual squishing is a bit uncomfortable, at times a bit more ouchy, but certainly bearable.

I have had two mammograms in the last year because the clinic wanted to monitor some spots that they assumed were calcium deposits. As long as the spots didn't change, they were not worried. The second time, the tech showed me the images and explained exactly what the doctors were looking at and showed me how they hadn't visibly changed at all, which really helped my peace of mind. There are lots of shadows in your images that might scare you, but apparently those are not what the techs are looking for. It's voids that concern them. If you can, go ahead and ask the tech questions. I bet you will get lots of support and ease of mind. Anyway, I have another one next week on both boobies because that is my official annual date and then I should be okay for two years.

And no deodorant!

CosmicAvatar said...

I know nothing about mammograms (fortunately there are nice experienced people who have already posted on the subject), but I just wanted to say that I hope it all goes well.

jenn said...

No mammogram story, but I can say after the breastfeeding fiasco in the hospital I'm pretty down with random people handling my boobs.

In fact, I must sometimes remind myself that most people WON"T want to handle them quit that openly.