Mammograms and Their Ouch Factor

20140209-152539.jpgAnybody who possesses a pair of mammary glands can be certain that having a mammogram at some point in their life is a very inescapable inevitability. In theory, a mammogram is a diagnostic test that is an effective tool in the crusade against breast cancer. In reality, it is a modern-day torture device that some misogynist invented for women. Whether flat-chested or amply endowed, all-adipose or part-silicone, the procedure, and I am assuming, the ouch factor, is the same.

Let me walk you through the procedure. You are led into a room where you are given a hospital gown and are told to remove your top and bra. A stranger then comes in and positions you for this torture of a procedure which, by the way, let me remind you, you agreed to. She (hopefully it’s a she) pulls back one side of the gown, asks you to tilt your head away from her (so you won’t remember who to curse) and pull the affected shoulder back to expose the chest area. She then grasps one whole breast, positions it between two solid metal boards, and starts making a breast sandwich out of that one hapless appendage of yours. (Just imagine the metal boards as two pieces of wheat bread and your breast as the patty. For guys, imagine your hot dog between two metal buns… Oh, NOW you get the picture!) As the boards continue to compress against your breast, you fervently pray that your tech knows what the heck she is doing. The sandwich-making continues until your eyeballs feel like popping out of their sockets from the discomfort. Skin as well as fatty and fibrous tissues seem to fuse into one incomprehensible mass of wretchedness. The boards keep crushing down until you reach a point when you are ready to let loose expletives in both English and your native language. Once you have almost reached that threshold, thankfully, the torment stops. The tech stands back and tells you to hold your breath, then she takes a picture. No, this is not the type where you flash your pearly whites and look pretty. It is the type where your teeth are bared, not in a smile, but in a grimace, ready to snarl. That has to be the longest nano-seconds of your life.

Cheese! All done. Finally! You breathe a sigh of relief. Then you remember. You have another breast. You try to tell yourself, “Maybe it wasn’t that bad. Maybe I just overreacted the first time.” Then she slams your other breast with her metal tongs again and Pow! “#!@* Guess you didn’t imagine that pain after all!

Well, at least it’s over. After all, you only have two breasts, right? Wrong. Turns out the ordeal is not over. Apparently, they need another angle of both breasts. Oh, how “udderly” marvelous! Your sarcasm spills over like ketchup on a hot dog bun as you embrace pain in the name of science.

Now that this trial and tribulation is over, at least until next year, you only have one more hurdle to undergo in this obstacle course called La Vida de Una Mujer: the dreaded Pap smear. As every woman who’s had one knows, having a Pap smear is as pleasant as going to the dentist. The dentist asks you to open your mouth and say “ahhh”, then pokes around in your oral cavity with steel instruments looking for who knows what. Likewise, the doctor asks you to open your legs until you say “ahhh,” then pokes around your cervical area with a speculum and a cotton tipped applicator looking for God knows what. At the dentist, you die from the pain. At the OB-Gyn, you die from the shame. I know, I know. Gross, right? Don’t worry. I am not about to take you on an exploration of dark caves and forbidden territories. I do have my standards, you know. I agree that some things are better left alone and unexplained. Until the next article, that is…



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Czy Girl
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 03:14:15

    Aguy, hadlok na ko mag-mammogram ani!



  2. Florence
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 09:04:27

    Hey Em, I can sympathize. πŸ™‚ Hopefully the results were good.



  3. Harold Cabahug
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 12:21:15

    ARRRAY KO PO!!! Now I feel sorry for all the ladies! For all the pain and suffering/embarrassment that you gals go thru, we guys are just a bunch of woosies!!! πŸ™‚



    • emmblu
      Aug 19, 2010 @ 13:14:18

      Harold, as they say,”Girls rule. Guys drool.” Yes, we women paid dearly for the sins of Eve, that’s why God made us tougher :]
      Czgirl, please don’t get discouraged bec of my histrionics. This is just a revenge article kay lami kaayo ipamalikas when she tightened the boards on my boobies, pero I dared not move a muscle kay usban unya ko !
      Flo, pa-it gyud ning babay ta pero we still have a lot to be thankful for, no? The pain and discomfort of all these procedures pale in comparison to the benefits of saved lives and peace of mind.
      Thanks all for the comments. Makalipay kaayo to hear from everyone.



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