So a while back someone sent me an email which described, in vivid details, exercises that a girl could do in order to prepare for her first mammogram. Or even her second mammogram. Or her thirty-seventh.
Although I didn’t dream up these exercises on my own by any means, I thought that I would share them with y’all.
Open your refrigerator door and insert one breast in door. Shut as hard as possible and lean on the door for good measure. Hold that position for five seconds. Repeat again, in case the first time wasn’t effective enough.
Visit your garage at 3 AM, when the temperature of the concrete floor is just perfect. Take off all your clothes and lie comfortably on the floor, with one breast wedged under the rear tire of your Suburban. Ask a friend to slowly back your vehicle up, until your breast is sufficiently flattened and chilled. Turn over and repeat this with the other breast.
Freeze two metal bookends over night. Strip to the waist. Invite a stranger into the room. Press the bookends against one of your breasts. Smash the bookends together as hard as you can. Set up an appointment with the stranger to meet next year and do it again.
Oh, people! I laughed at these exercises several months ago, when I found them in my electronic IN BOX.
And then I lived it today, and I had to come home and frantically do a Google search for them, so that I could share them with y’all.
Apparently anyone who is old enough to grow a one-inch-long gray hair out of her chin OVERNIGHT is old enough to get her first mammogram, hearing aides, and her first pair of knee-high pantyhose, which will sag down around her ankles and scrunch themselves into her orthopedic shoes. I made the appointment a while back, thinking to myself that women survive this procedure all of the time, and I’d get through it with thrown confetti. I guessed that it would be a breeze.
Then, as November 3rd actually got closer and closer on the calendar, I had some nervousness start to settle in. I was a little worried on what I should expect, and about how badly it was going to hurt, and I experienced some adult-sized stress.
Amy told me yesterday, “Sister, we are meeting for coffee right before your appointment, so that I can encourage you about this and give you a hug before you go in.”
God loves Amy. He truly does. She’s always looking out for me.
At the little cafe table this morning, Amy told me, “Honey, I’ve already had my first mammogram, and I’m going to tell you this in love. The radiologist is going to manhandle your boobie and press it in a vice, so that it’s the shape of a rectangle and as thick as a sheet of paper. I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you at all. You will gasp, you will curse the day you developed boobies, you will dribble in your pants, and you’ll want to slap someone when it’s all over with.”
I thanked Amy for her vivid description and realized that my nervousness had increased, twofold.
And then, because we were slurping our caffeinated beverages in the cafe at the hospital, where the radiology department exists, we had a visitor walk by our table and say hello.
It was CB.
He lived in our subdivision while Sister and I were growing up. He threw snowballs at us in the winters. He stopped and said hello this morning, and he asked how Amy and I were doing, and then…
CB’s occupation hit me like a full-sized Chevy truck on the interstate.
The guy is a radiologist.
After CB left, Amy looked at me and said, “Oh mercy! Heather had to endure HER mammogram with CB! She actually wanted to slap THREE people when she left, just because…you know…AWKWARD!”
Eventually, Amy walked me to the reception area of the radiology center, squeezed me good-bye and said, “Call me, Baby!” And, with that, I was on my own.
I filled out the appropriate paperwork. I answered questions about my medical history. I showed my insurance card to the receptionist. And the entire time I kept wanting to say, “If CB comes to get me so that he can smash my boobies and take photos of them, I will scream a scream the likes of which y’all have never heard in this office before.”
But I didn’t.
I simply chanted in my head, over and over, “Please, Jesus, not CB; please, Jesus, not CB!”
And guess what? I totally got some lady technician today who manhandled me just fine.
My boobies were squashed down to the width of a sheet of paper, just like Amy predicted, and I gasped, also like she predicted. Just when I guessed that the dang things couldn’t become any flatter, I was dead-on wrong. The gal would crank the handle on the vice, and we’d go MUCH FLATTER. I wanted to laugh, had I been able to, when she told me to hold my breath while she took the pictures, because I WAS COMPLETELY UNABLE TO BREATHE IN THE FIRST PLACE.
(Are any of my male readers even still with me here?)
I walked out of the radiology center this morning in desperate need of nothing more than an AA training bra, instead of my normal B.
And I gave them my phone number so that they could call me again next year, so that we could do the same thing over again.
Without CB, of course.