Necessary Roughness

mammogramWhat can we say of the yearly mammogram? 

The glass plate is cold, they make you stand so close to the machine your ribs bruise, and then they force you to hold these contorted positions and stop breathing for like a million minutes while they set up the shot

And then, of course, there’s the vise.

That victim of  the revenge of Joe Pesci’s character in Scorsese’s  Casino comes to mind.

head in a vise

Your eyeballs don’t pop out like that guy’s did, but it feels like two things further down might pop for sure.

Oh I know, I know, you don’t really get permanently disfigured during a mammogram, and it’s a crucial diagnostic.

It’s just that you go in with two rough approximations of this shape on your chest:


And two minutes later they look like this:


I think I was even leaning over like this guy by the time we got done – and though he appears to be almost smiling,  I sure know I wasn’t!

10 thoughts on “Necessary Roughness

  1. And no 15 yard penalty! Only a male could have designed such a device. The equivalent in man’s exam is “Turn your head and cough”. Now I know what “women’s suffrage” is really about.

  2. It is brutal; had me in tears. The cut off age is probably the day you get your breast cut off. What’s a few minutes of discomfort every year compared to the alternative. The only time I didn’t have much pain with it is when I stayed off caffeine and dairy for a month. Yes, that includes chocolate, coffee, tea, processed cheese, etc. I survived on water, herbal tea and Stevia. I was on The Fast Metabolism Diet. I did lose 18 lbs, but I couldn’t maintain it. Fortunately, I didn’t gain it all back. I am back in tears with the mammogram.

    1. Wow there’s an interesting link! Does that mean coffee and chocolate and the rest make us hurt more ?
      18 pounds lost is a huge triumph, even if some of it does come back. Pat yourself on the back for that one!

  3. good one. I asked my doc when I could give the mammo’s up…her answer, “When you wouldn’t do anything about a bad result”…guess I’ll keep having them for the near future. Keep up the good work

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