Monday, March 25, 2013

Why I let strangers grope my gobstoppers

Several weeks ago, a woman with cold hands squeezed my naked sweater potatoes with a look of intense concentration.

I paid her for it.

At least, my insurance company did.

“I know you’re only 38,” my doctor said as she palpated my fun bags, “but since you have some family history of breast cancer, now would be a good time for you to schedule a baseline mammogram.”

Not eager to argue with someone gripping one of my meatloaves, I left my annual exam and phoned the radiology clinic. The scheduler asked so many questions about my dairy pillows, she knew them better than I did by the time she booked my appointment.

The night before my mammogram, I considered treating my lady balls to a special dinner or buying them some expensive lotion. Everything I’d heard about mammograms indicated my chesticles were in for an unpleasant experience, and I felt I owed them something nice.

My gentleman friend gamely offered to assist, adding that he'd also be happy to conduct the entire mammogram himself.

"You're such a helpful, selfless individual," I said.

"I do my part," he agreed.

The next morning, I walked into the clinic and spotted this sign over the front desk:

“I’m supposed to be here for a mammogram,” I told the receptionist. “But that PET thing sounds like more fun. Do I get to pick who pets me?”

She gave me a nervous smile and a bunch of paperwork to fill out. I sat there in the waiting room giving my pointer sisters a pep talk until a cute guy came out in blue scrubs and called my name. I followed him down the hall where he pointed me to a small dressing room.

“If you’re wearing any lotion or deodorant, you’ll want to clean it off,” he said.

“You’re not offering sponge baths?” I asked as he handed me a weird pink wraparound top.

He shook his head and pointed at a bowl of wet-wipes.

I sponged off my own  rib balloons and wriggled into the pink top, unclear why I couldn’t just walk to the mammogram room shirtless and save everyone the hassle. I had my answer seconds later when I found myself in a second waiting area accompanied by half-a-dozen other women wearing the same top and matching uneasy expressions.

“It’s like some kind of weird prison garb,” I said to one woman who looked up from her magazine as I entered. “Think we get to keep these shirts?”

“At least they warmed them up,” she said, and I agreed that was a nice touch.

Seconds later, a technician called my name and led me down the hall to where this contraption awaited my hush puppies:


“This is your first time?” the technician asked.

“Yes. Does that mean I get extra foreplay?”

She laughed and began a brief lecture on pressure and pain thresholds. I’m sure her precise wording was much more clinical than this, but what I heard was, “some women are delicate and sensitive, and some hussies like things rough, and if you’re one of the latter, you’ll do just fine.”

I’m sure those weren’t her exact words, but I relaxed anyway.

I relaxed further when I remembered the words of a friend who used to work in a mammography clinic. “Women with big boobs are usually easy, so you’ll do great.”

I appreciated the backhanded compliment, and reminded myself to look at all women with oversized love muffins and think easy from now on.

For the next five minutes, I engaged in a sort of bizarre dance with the technician calling out the moves. “Take two steps this way. Lift your arm. Turn to the right. I’m going to move your breast now.”

She maneuvered my beanbags into position, stepping away every now and then to tighten the vice grip before stepping back to rearrange my t-shirt meat on the metal plate.

“You’re done,” she announced abruptly.

“Really?” I asked. “That’s it?”

“For some people, mammograms are very painful. For other people—” she shrugged, leaving me to fill in the blank as, insensitive bitches like you don’t feel a thing.

Which was true, and a great relief, but still.

“Do I at least get a lollypop?” I asked.

“You got squeezed. Isn’t that better?”

“Very true,” I agreed. “It’s an awesome day anytime someone cops a feel before 9 a.m.”

Three days later—lightning fast, in my opinion—I got a letter in the mail:


While the first line was a relief, it was the second that caught my eye. I handed the letter to my gentleman friend. “Apparently, my flesh bulbs aren’t very smart,” I said.

“What?”

“My hood ornaments,” I informed him. “They’re dense.”

“Do they need some special ed?”

All jokes aside, I googled “dense breasts” and was taken aback by what I read. According to areyoudense.org (I couldn’t make that up if I wanted to) some women’s flapjacks are made up mostly of fat, while others are comprised of more connective tissue. It’s impossible to tell by feel (though you’re welcome to give it a shot) and it’s not until you stick your paw patties in a mammogram machine that you have any idea what they’re made of.

The problem is that dense mushmelon tissue is white on a mammogram, which is the same color cancer appears. In other words, if your bikini biscuits are dense, you won't always spot cancer on a mammogram. Not only that, but cancer turns up five times more often in women with dense jahoobies than those with fattier milk fountains. Those of us with dense skin snacks are encouraged to get regular ultrasounds in addition to mammograms to avoid missing anything important.

Consider that your public service announcement for the week. Now go out there and grope your sweet rolls. Or someone else’s. It’s the right thing to do.

8 comments :

Skye said...

I'm glad your exam wasn't painful. I have smaller fun buns and my mammograms hurt like the devil! The technicians always have to remind me to breathe (which helps one tolerate the pain). :)

And it sounds like your gentleman friend should practice doing mammograms on you, to keep you in shape for your next one! :)

Chudney DeFreitas-Thomas said...

I've had to get mamograms and ultrasounds, since I was 24 (early family history). The first time the tightened that torture contraption untill it readjusted my back. SInce then it's been a piece of cake, at least physically.

Linda G. said...

You missed my favorite: sweater puppies. Though you do use sweater potatoes and hush puppies, and maybe a *cough* mash-up IS appropriate, considering the subject matter of the post... ;)

Mencara Mitchell said...

This is the funniest public service announcement for sweater yam care I've ever seen. I'm glad your gazonagas are cancer free.

Kimberly Sabatini said...

*grin*

Maggie Jaimeson said...

Laughing while drinking a beer is dangerous. I have this post to thank for that.

Glad it was not painful for you. With all your comments to staff, you can be guaranteed you have a big sanity questionmark next to your name. :)

Having had breast cancer at age 28 (also a dense breast person then), I believe that the pain of a mammogram is well worth it to learn of cancer before it spreads too much.

I must admit, the one machine I miss from the old days had a giant balloon that pressed down on the breast instead of the vice grips they now use. Unfortunately, that soft balloon did not do enough compression for most women.

Sonograms on the other hand are truly painless. So, if you need the sonogram follow up, you may find it actually fun. :)

Jessica Lemmon said...

I'm not sure which of those nicknames for your globe trotters I like best, but this post made me LOL!

mmarinaa said...

I've never heard so many different names for boobs.

Also, if you're into mammograms, you should read this article by Malcolm Gladwell. He talks about how they're mostly useless, heh. http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2004/12/13/041213fa_fact