Friday, February 1, 2013

Health Update: Annual & First Mammogram

It is that time of annual physical which renders me with what seems like 7000 follow up appointments and feeling older by the moment.  I have to admit that times have changed from my previous physical posts - much to my chagrin - I no longer needed to pee in a cup and have the cup fall in the toilet (here) like in 2009!

I really seem to be struggling with my weight and hunger.  I am gaining uncontrollably and seem to have an insatiable appetite.  I was referred to Weight Watchers.  The doctor also checked my throat and paused during the exam.  I informed her that years ago she found a nodule that was monitored for a while by ultrasounds and I no longer require appointments as there was no change over a few years.  She referred me for another ultrasound as well as blood work to test my thyroid levels and cholesterol.  I realized after I had blood drawn this morning since it was an inadvertent 12 hour fast, that it probably wasn't the best day to do it, since last night I went out after work and had two drinks and nachos.  Oh blood pressure was also extremely elevated, twice, until the girl decided to use a different cuff that fit and found that it was just fine.  Sigh...

As I am quickly approaching forty, it is inevitable that the discussion of a mammogram would arise, especially since my mom is a breast cancer survivor (GO MOM!). When normal mammograms would be in the 40's, due to my mother's cancer, I was asked if I wanted one early.  Of course with everything I have heard about a vice-grip contortionism of the breast, how could I refuse???

Tonight, I had my mammogram.  The lady assured me that it would be better than I thought.  Well hell, since I thought the worst, I was pretty sure she was right.  Not that I like pain or anything when it comes to intimacy, and given what I thought was my high pain tolerance, I figured it would be a piece of cake.  I was wrong.

I have never been one for public displays of my body.  I have posted about whether or not I am a prude, somewhere (sorry to lazy to link).  I really just imagined it would be a vice-smash photo and done.  I wasn't prepared for the four photos on one breast and three on the other. I wasn't prepared for the different stances and pushing, prodding, pinching and flattening.  At one point I actually bellowed in pain.

Not trying to be comforting at all, but matter of fact, the lady then says to me, "Your exam is much more painful than most."  So I say, "Oh, because I have small breasts?"  I mean really, I get it - I am not well endowed by any means.  But to my surprise she says, "NO.  Your breasts are firm.  They are solid.  They are not squishy at all.  So I am literally pinching your muscle trying to get the entire breast."

Then as if in consolation, she says something along the lines of, "Don't worry.  You will have something to look forward to.  Having sagging, squishy breasts that will be less painful for mammograms."

I tried to make a joke...but seriously?  Is that really something to look forward to?  I think I will just handle the pain and rejoice in having firm, non-squishy/saggy boobies for the time being.  Onward and upward :)

Do you have any mammogram stories you want to share?  Feel free...I would love to hear them.  

Especially given the fact that I was assured I will likely be receiving a call that I will need to have them re-examined, which is nothing to be concerned about, but they have nothing to compare them to.  Well that is reassuring.  

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