Well, being that I'm 42 and should have started getting my breasts squished in a vice-like contraption for two years already, I went for my first mammography today. I must say, overall, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be--but it was close.
The first half (two pictures, one of each) wasn't too bad. For those of you still waiting to go, the technician places your breast on a cold metal shelf. This plastic tray-like device slides downward, impaling every micro-ounce of flesh from your shoulders downward toward the cold metal shelf. Then the technician turns a knob, thus flattening the breast into even more of a pancake. She walks away, presses some buttons and voila! Magically the plastic tray-like device releases it's hold and moves upward. The same procedure is repeated on the other side. I think, this wasn't so bad--Yippee--I'm done, but NO!
Next, the whole top of the machine turns to it's side on a 45 degree angle. Now, you get to stand sideways, with your arm above the machine, and the technician squishes all fleshy parts from under your arm (then turns you towards the machine) and your whole breast onto the cold metal shelf. Down comes the plastic tray-like device and a turn of the knob and you're now stuck, trying to breathe to calm down the screaming nerve endings, but you're worried about moving too much and having any kind of pull going on. This lovely procedure gets repeated on the other side, but when the tech goes to look at the picture, she realizes my chin was in the way of the slide.
Knowing that my sister-in-law, Theresa, has been through much worse, I bravely say, "It's okay if you have to do it again--I'll survive!" Back into the torture chamber again, staring at the ceiling this time, making sure my chin is not in THIS picture. I must say the angled pictures hurt much more than the sqishy downward one!
I can only conclude that some man must have invented this procedure and about 100 years from now, they'll be comparing it to some form of torture inflicted on women similar to burning at the stake, or the 'rack'. OVERALL, though...it really wasn't so bad...nothing near that nerve pain from August...I guess it helped knowing it would be over soon...now it's just the paranoid feeling you get while waiting for results.