The Beauty Around Us

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A Boob-Squishing Morning

My baseline mammogram screening was performed in 1999. I was 43 years old at the time, 3 years past when it is suggested that a baseline scan be performed. It is recommended that a mammogram screening be performed each year after the age of 40. My second mammogram screening was performed today. I offer no excuse for my lack of regular mammograms. From this day on, though, I will make a yearly mammogram screening a priority in my life. Shucks, a yearly mammogram might just be the ticket to my having a long life.

My mammogram was scheduled for 8:30 this morning at our local hospital. I arrived at the hospital at 8:00 AM and registered in the Outpatient Department. From there I walked around the corner and into the Screening Center. Prior to the mammogram I had an ultrasonic heel scan performed, at no charge. The heel scan is a screening test that assesses fracture risk. The heel scan took less than 5 minutes. I placed my right foot on top of a small machine and two little sensors on either side of my heel pressed against my heel and read the bone density. I didn’t feel the pressure against my heel; I felt no pain at all. The results of my heel scan indicate that I have normal bones; therefore, my fracture risk must be low.

After the heel scan I was asked to undress from the waist up and put on a blouse-like gown, opened to the front. Then I headed into the next room and saw the boob squishing machine.

The radiologist placed markers on each nipple, and the screening began. Both front and side images of each breast were taken (two pictures of each breast). Overall, it was pretty easy. I experienced some discomfort from my breasts being compressed and stretched; however, it didn’t hurt. It wasn’t bad at all. I got dressed, remembering to remove the nipple markers (OUCH!). I was on my way back home by 8:50 AM. Now I just have to wait for the results.

11 Responses to “A Boob-Squishing Morning”

  1. Esme

    When I had mine this year-it was so cold that I was wearing mitts and a scarf-I am sure the tech thought I was a freak-it was a freezing day-and I could not get warm that day.

    Reply
  2. Denise

    I applaud you Linda and this is a great post. Never heard of that heel test before. I do remember lying on a bed and having a machine run up and down.

    Reply
  3. Ciss B

    I do it every year, but I dread it because I usually end up in pain for 24 hours afterward. But like you, I think it is very important!I have never heard of the heel test either. I had a bone density test that had to lie down for. I wonder if they are the same tests?

    Reply
  4. Corker2

    I feel for you, as well as other Ladies out there, that have to have this procedure done. My Wife has the same thing done, once every year. She hates it. Sometimes she comes back sore from that infernal test. However, it beats getting breast cancer.Us Male's don't have to have that done for us, but the one thing I hate every 5 yrs, is that darn Colonoscopy!

    Reply
  5. Linda (PA_shutterbug)

    Denise and Ciss B – I believe the heel test is the simplest scan for bone density. The heel test did not cost anything. A quick search on the Internet tells me that other bone density tests cost money, and there are tests that require you to lie down. Corker2 – We women undergo that Colonoscopy IN ADDITION to the boob-squishing scan!

    Reply
  6. Debby

    Nicely done, Linda. One of my biggest complaints is hearing women go on and on about how excrutiating a mammogram is. Uncomfortable? Yes. No denying it. But to go on and on dramatically about the pain does a disservice to all women out there who might be tempted to put off a mammogram. Little secret? Your mammogram is probably fine. When it is not fine, the radiologist comes right into the room immediately. Still, it's scary until you actually hear those words.

    Reply
  7. Peggy

    Thanks Linda you remind me that it is time for my annual checkup and of course the boob squish. I had bone density done last year (the lie down kind). I am wondering if this will be my first year for the Colonoscopy dreading that, I have to admit.

    Reply
  8. Tes

    I have not done this test yet (but need to). Congratulations on completing this test! Praying for wonderful results for you, dear Linda! 🙂

    Reply
  9. Cynthia

    IMHO, each person should decide their own schedule for medical tests and various scans, based on their own health and inherited traits, rather than listen to doctor recommendations. Medlineplus.gov is a good source for consumer health info. If you want more detailed info, search the medical literature at PubMed. The Annals of Internal Medicine published new guidelines for mammograms in 2009 and it was reported in the New York Times 16 November 2009. In a nutshell, it states “fewer and later” as a rule.I had a baseline mammogram in 1999 (age 47), and have had one every 5 years since. With no family history of breast cancer, I do not worry about the pain of boob squishing as much as the effects of too much radiation.Make informed choices about your health.

    Reply

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