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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stop Pressing on My Nipple

Under any circumstance poking my nipple is going to cause pain.  So, during an extended mammogram today, I just had to ask for/demand relief. "Stop pressing on my nipple. You are hurting me."

second waiting room

After I sat in a small, nondescript waiting room, I was called back by a beeper. Then, I went into the spa area. This waiting room above is four times as large as the first waiting room. And, it is much better appointed, besides larger.

The changing room and my stuff--clothes and purse

I am standing with my back to the door, taking a picture in the mirror to get the full length of the room, about 12 feet long. Maybe you think this is small, but it is all mine, a place in which to change. The room is about again well-appointed. The trunk in the back of the room is their hamper where I threw my gown for the laundry.
Formerly, I changed in a closet-sized cubby.
The fun part is mostly over. Then, I went for the mammogram. The woman kept pulling on my breast and pushing a thumb or finger on my nipple. Finally, I told her to stop pressing on my nipple. She did, thankfully.
I have a mass in my left breast that is sort of on the part going under my arm, but not under my arm. So, she had to pull my breast and push me this way and that. To complicate things, I told her I could not stand that long. So, she got a chair that rolled. Poor lady. That made it hard on her. The woman was on her knees on the floor part of the time. I felt really bad about that.
Finally, she asked me if I were an xray tech. No, why do you ask? She said I seemed to know lots about the process and what to do. No, I was not telling her what to do. But, I knew when she was not getting the mass in the picture.
After all the pain and stress, she finally let me out of her own private torture chamber. Oh, there is only pain where the rounded but hard corner of the machine presses into my collar bone and ribs. I suppose the breast is squashed and maybe it is hurting, but the pain in my collarbone and ribs renders me incapable of feeling pain in my breast that is being squashed. Maybe that is good. Tomorrow, I will be bruised.
Above is my reward. I was shown into the small room to wait to see if the pictures came out okay. There were Cokes, an ice bucket, and a basket of snacks. Of course, there was coffee, cream, and sugar, but it was of no interest to me.
Formerly, no one fed me or comforted me. It is strange how hungry one gets when stressed and how food, any food, is comforting and relieves stress.
Two women in this room today reminisced with me about other establishments and the past at this one. The last time I went here, I got a long, white, terry, spa robe. Today, I got a short, cotton top. But, it was modest. Both of us had mammograms in places that were not so nice. We sat in our hospital gown, clutching them closed and people from all over the hospital passed us where we sat in the hall.
All of this was in a suite. No men were there. It was comforting, not utilitarian like former places.
only for the women and the last stop
During my first ever mammogram years ago, the left breast had 8 xrays. They called me back 8 times and frightened me 7 of those times. When I was sedated to take the star shaped mass out, I was roused and put in a wheelchair to have another four xrays of the same breast. It was not so evident, and remained. No surgery, but I slept 10 hours once I was driven home.
So far, it is "just and inflammation/mass in lymph node" that they are watching. "Watch and wait" does not suit me. 
Your turn
Have you had a mammogram to save your life? Are you aware that it is cheaper and less painful than breast cancer? Did you have a utilitarian room and experience? Or, was it a little more lush and comforting like my suite of rooms?


  1. I have been in a holding pattern for 7 months now. The last mammogram showed a "dense mass". The next one showed a "dense mass". The follow-up ones for this January were forgotten about. Now I have to go the entire route due to THEM missing the SCHEDULED follow-up. My changing room in Indiana used to be soothing. Now, it's a small cubicle with a short curtain. I keep being reminded that my health seemed to be more important in Indiana than it is here.

    1. Why do they just keep looking at a dense mass? My results came back as being okay. Now, tell me, how can a knot that hurts be okay? I guess it is silly of both of us to look for luxury, but somehow it just tells me I matter. I can tell you that the diffence in the distance here is only about 20 miles, not like the distance from Indiana to Florida.

  2. I go each year. The place I currently go to is not as spa like as your place but still very nice and soothing. At my place we undress in the same dimly lit room that the x-ray machine is located in, so there is no sitting around or walking around in a gown. In fact I usually ask the technician to stay and I just skip the whole gown thing. I have never had a painful mamo but my sister tells me that she dreads them as they are always painful to her.

    1. I know how the tech wants to rush away. Gee, it is not a problem her seeing me since she is just going to pull the top off and see everything anyway. I had to force a nurse to accompany me into the bathroom when I was lugging an IV and dizzy and afraid I would pass out.

      Some people say it hurts the breasts. I think they deliberately inflict pain elsewhere so I will not feel the breast being squashed.


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