Thursday, December 13, 2007

My First Mammogram

Well, it's a rite of passage.

I turned 40 this year, and today I had a mammogram.

Breast cancer doesn't run in my family, thank goodness, so I'm not expecting any bad news. Mostly, I figured I'd follow the standard medical advice to get a baseline done now so just in case I ever develop a potential problem, they've got something to compare it to.

It wasn't as bad as I was afraid it would be.

When the technician took me into the room, I told her I needed to explain a few things -- that I'm ill, that I don't know whether I'll be able to tolerate the procedure, that I might have to stop and rest. She was very reassuring that we could stop at any time and I could have as many and as long of breaks as I needed.

I won't say it was comfortable or pleasant, but it could have been a lot worse.

The best part of the technology aspect was that although she had to squish me manually, once the machine had the picture it needed, it automatically released me. That was especially good for the side views, which I found somewhat painful.

I did take small breaks, sitting down between each of the four photos she took as she processed them or did whatever the heck it was she was doing on the computer. That helped.

I was still worn out after the experience, but it wasn't the horrendous ordeal that last week's trip to the dentist was, and I think that's because I learned to be more exact about what my needs were.

Thanks to the anonymous commentator who suggested how I need to be proactive in handling things like my dental visit. I'm definitely taking that advice to heart!

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