Smooshing the Girls

I had my mammogram and ultrasound today -- it makes me nervous every single year. I am so afraid that the years of pumping myself full of estrogen are going to bite me one day. I feel like all my lady organs conspire against me in one way or another. 

The mammogram itself wasn't too terribly bad -- the smooshing is not the best feeling in the world, but it doesn't seem to be as uncomfortable as it was the first time. Although, I do wonder if it would look different if men had to stick tender bits into the smashers. Why must everything women's health be squashing and poking and stretching and undignified? 

The technician asked me if there was any chance of pregnancy, and I said an emphatic NO, and she said "okay then," and so I said "no uterus." And then I was able to talk about that without any sort of sadness at all. Which felt insanely freeing. I said it didn't do anything for me, and so good riddance. She said, "but it says stuff about IVF in your notes," and I said, "yes, and that did nothing for me, not really, and damaged my organs in the process, and so I gladly said goodbye to my uterus." She didn't press, she didn't ask me if I'd adopted, she didn't do any of the things that can be possibly well-meaning but also ill-advised. It was awesome. 

Then I had my ultrasound after a wait, and had the stress of that transducer going over the same spot over and over and over again. I have a bunch of cysts near my armpit on both sides, but man it makes me scared when they push, click, push, click, push, click, all in the same spot. 

One more year of breast imaging done, one more year of "everything looks good." May it always be this way! And if you are over 40, please make sure to get your boobies checked. It saves lives. 

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  1. Squishing the girls is never fun, but damn, it feels good when it's over and all clear, doesn't it? Glad you had your boobies checked! It's an act of self-love, even if the process is never fun - physically or emotionally.

    And I always say, "no uterus" now just to stop any further questioning. (It's frustrating that they ask me in my 50s, though they tend to phrase the question differently these days!) Glad your technician was so professional.

  2. In my country the boob checkup is from age 50-75, every 2 years. I'm apprehensive about it, still a few months to go for me. It does sound almost medieval to have boobies squashed in a machine. Preeeeetty sure it would be different if men had boobs!

  3. As Mali said, it's not my favourite way to spend an afternoon, but hey, it's over with relatively quickly, and once you get a clear result, you don't have to think about it for another two years! I just got my reminder letter from our provincial breast health program... my last one was two years ago in late February 2020 -- just as covid was descending upon us. I've always gone to one of the downtown hospitals to have mine done -- they have an excellent clinic there. But it's a hospital, during covid, with the provincial legislature a block away & anti-vax protesters all around :p (plus it's not as convenient to get to as when I was working downtown). So I've called my family dr to see if I can get a referral to a clinic closer to home. It's important not to put these sorts of appointments off for too long... my dad procrastinated on seeing the dentist because of covid, and now he has thousands of dollars of dental work ahead of him...! Ugh!

  4. I'm glad you got checked and I'm glad you're good for another year! These appointments are so important, but, as we know, they can bring up a lot of undesirable thoughts and feelings. I'm proud of you for taking care of yourself and thanks for encouraging us to do the same.

  5. I had my first mammogram at age 40. Started sooner because my mom and an aunt had had breast cancer. It was kind of weird but not a big deal. We are lucky to have access to all this modern medicine and technology that can help us stay healthy (though its hardly the only factor in health, of course.)

  6. Mine was last week, and I took the opportunity to let my son know this part about what it's like to be a woman. Of course, I had him imagine manly tender bits getting smooshed as the equivalent. He was very kind to me the whole rest of the day.