Any day that starts off with a mammogram has got to be bad. There is just no getting around it. From the time the technician called me into the little room with the breast crusher I was angry, and I think she was too. She barely said anything to me except stand straight, lower your shoulder, look toward me, look away from me. Take your right arm out of the gown. Take your left arm out of the gown. And when I complained that it hurt she asked if it felt like it was pulling from above. I said, no, it was pulling from below. So much so, that the underside of my right breast was red and sore when I was finished. Why is that that once she got me all in place and locked in she had turn the crank one extra turn before she took the x-ray? Was she afraid that I would somehow get out of her vice? No chance. I was already in there so tight I couldn’t move.
And, what’s the deal with her attitude. I keep hoping every year that someone else a little more pleasant will be there. But no. She’s always there. What did I ever do to hurt her? She’s the one doing the hurting. Maybe that’s it. She doesn’t like her job. And if that’s the truth I wouldn’t blame her. Can you imagine squeezing women’s breasts into that torture machine all day long?
The other thing she asks me every year is if I’m on hormones. And I always get the feeling that she disapproves that I am. If I continue to have normal breast exams why does it concern her? I would think that’s an issue between me and my gynecologist and my internist. I’m on a low dosage and have started to take them less days a week, but I’m not about to stop cold turkey. Some of my friends did when the Women’s Health Initiative came out with the news that HRT caused heart disease in women. But, my gynecologist was wary of the results and so was I. It only tested women over 65 who had never taken hormones before, not us younger women who started hormones with the onset of menopause, so we decided that the results weren’t pertinent to me. As is turns out, we were right.