When I had my mammogram which was really uncomfortable, and the lady doing the huge machine said, ‘You’ll be right, dear.’

I can’t fit into the machine. No matter how I yoga myself into position, there’s no way I can get my entire confidences under that sandwich press. But she poked and pushed me till I did. And while she ironed me flat, I asked her sideways, ‘What was there before this?’

And she said, ‘Nothing that really worked.’

She had to take four images of me. The machine rotates for position number two (which is worse than number one). I was glum and refused to cooperate. She told me to turn my shoulder, grip the handle, and keep still. I did it incompetently.

Then I asked her why I can’t I just have an ultrasound.

She said, ‘Well, it’s like this. An ultrasound takes a picture of one single street. Mammography takes a picture of the entire suburb. An ultrasound can only see what’s at the end of it’s torch.  But this, this lights up ten whole blocks. All at once. We’re looking for trouble brewing quietly.

I was impressed. I cooperated for the last two pictures. We thanked each other, but it should have just been me, thanking her.

So, thank you.

Illustration by Juca Maximo

16 thoughts on “When I had my mammogram which was really uncomfortable, and the lady doing the huge machine said, ‘You’ll be right, dear.’

  1. I stopped having them as they were so painful on my left side that I just about passed out. I now have ultrasounds which I know are not the gold standard but passing out and having intense pain for days after are not for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think ultrasounds are more than useful. I once had to have something removed, and it was the ultrasound that found it.
      I am finding the mammogram more uncomfortable as I get older.

      Like

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