Friday, February 27, 2009

Mammal, Mammal

Okay, I am now officially pissed off at all those emails that go around telling you how horrible and painful and nightmarish mammograms are. Do you know, I put my first one off for about four years, just because there were so many horror stories and I dreaded it so much? Did you know that, according to the technician, this is actually quite common and often causes cancer to be detected much later than it could have been? All because somebody had to write up a hilarious email telling you it's like getting your girls slammed in a car door or clinched in a vise.

I won't have my results back for about a week, but from a preliminary glance at the films, the technician didn't think it was at all likely there would be any questions. "Follow-ups are particularly common with first mammograms," she told me before we got started, "so don't be alarmed if you get a call back to come in and get checked out some more. It's just that since this is your first, we don't have anything to compare it to." But after we were done and she looked the pictures over, she didn't think there was anything that looked even remotely questionable.

IT DID NOT HURT, people. It was at worst mildly uncomfortable and a little awkward, standing there, leaning forward in my high heels (you bet your sweet ass I wore heels for my mammogram!) with a breast squished in between a couple of flat surfaces. But it didn't get all that squished - not anything like what I'd heard. There was pressure, no pain. Ever had thrush? Oh my God. Now THAT'S pain. This? Piece of effing CAKE, I'm telling you.

Honestly, I should have known, because - I don't mean to bash my fellow women here - there really is a cultural tradition of acting like the physical travails of being female are simply unbearable. I know that menstruation (barring medical problems) is no big deal; PMS is irritating, but entirely manageable; having a period is messy and may bring a little cramping now and again; pregnancy is generally easy (I highly recommend getting plenty of exercise and a weekly chair massage to keep it this way); childbirth is hard work and hurts, yeah, but not so's you'd let somebody stick a NEEDLE into your SPINAL COLUMN, WTF?! So I really should have known the hoop-la over mammograms is just so much more exaggeration.

It's now over. The other awful thing that was causing me to be in so much pain that I figured what the hell, might as well go get the dreaded mammogram while we're at it, is also over. I refuse to hurt anymore, I'm sick of it. I don't have to and you can't make me.

Mammal power!

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