Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mammogram Day

Seen-it-all-and-call-it-as-it-is, ready-to-retire-and-counting-down-the-days nurse, with the broad Irish brogue, and the "don't-you-even-think-to-give-me-any-trouble-here" stance: So, well now Carol, just check a few details first? Date of birth?

Me: Twenty-five, twelve, (hold up, avert your eyes here fellow bloggers ) fifty-nine."

She (sad shake of the head): Ah, a Christmas baby, and as if life 'aint hard enough as it is, eh? Any recent breast problems? Pain, lactation, surgery?

Me: Other than when I breast-fed, you mean?"

She,(Lips pursed): I meant recent.

Hmph, Charming eh? Might as well just call me an old bag and be done with it.

Me: (peeved) I had a breast reduction four or five years back."

She: Where?

Me (pointing): Here.

She (long-sufferingly): No. Where??"

Me: Oh, right, sorry - in Liverpool.

She: Any implants?

Me: No, it was a reduction.

She: And any problems?

Me, (head tilted, eyes skyward and getting ready to launch into one): Oh my, yes, yeah, oh boy and how! Loads and loads.. Sheesh, you have no idea - "

She: Okay then, strip off to the waist for me.

(A wee bit put out at being cut so short in my lamentations, I reluctantly proceed to disrobe.)

She, (still filling out her chart): If you would just step forward to the plate, please?

(I do as bid.)

She (stopped short, eyes wide): Has your breast bone always gone in like that?

Me (puzzled, staring down at it): Yes.

We both assess my newly offending breast bone for a few moments.

Me: Well, the surgeon never seemed to notice it, no one has ever mentioned it before.

She: Aye, well, that's men for you. Maybe it's that that made the operation more difficult?

Me (indignant): Um, doesn't every one's breast bone curve inwards?"

She (scrutinising me more fully): Oh no, no, not at all, nowhere near anywhere like this.

Me (in defence of my now allegedly freaky breast bone): There was nothing at all wrong with the surgery, that was all fine as it happens, it was the nasty infection I got afterwards that posed the problem.."

She (lifting my right breast up and tugging it to the plate, almost yanking me off my feet as she does): So, are you prone to infection then?

Me (Giving that fresh boil on my bum urgent thought, worried I might need to further strip): Er, well yes, maybe, I suppose I could be.

She: So there you go then, no one's fault, just luck of the draw, eh? You most likely have that bug up your nose.

Me (WTF??): Eh?

She: Strephicilitus. It's nasty if it enters the bloodstream. You should always wash your hands.

Bloody cheek - as if I'd admit to picking my nose, and that's even if I do - which I don't, at least not as far as you lot are concerned, okay? Before I can draw the breath to refute these spurious allegations, she slams the top plate down hard on to my poor, tenderised breast, firmly mashing it against the matching holding plate beneath, successfully nullifying any semblance of conscious thought from my brain.

She (swiftly pressing a tightening button to better capture and mangle me all the further): Stay put, now.

Well, 'scuse me, being as how I am so firmly now pinned by the tit, am I likely to be running off anywhere soon? I allow myself a fleeting mental image of half of her ladies ripping their right breasts clean off, as they make a desperate lunge for the window..

As she steps behind a screen the seconds span out. To fill up the silence, I raise my voice slightly to share a reflection (no, not the last fleeting one, credit me with some sense).

Me: Wonder how the menfolk would like to have their John Thomas's slapped between one of these..?

She: (reappearing with a frown): Oh now, they don't have it that easy with their prostates, no, not at all. I mean, you know how homophobic most guys are.. they need to take a full two fingers up their arse, so's they do, it's not a very pleasant experience at all, y'know. Well, it's not for the most of them.

She thankfully unlocks my numb boob, and I take a deep breath as she repositions me to repeat the process on my left breast.

Me (squirming): Um, that's a bit too tight..

She (feigning deafness): Stay still now.

She scuttles off again. Ow, ow, ow, this hurts, I mean, it really hurts, it's slicing into me now. My poor little sisters are gonna' be returned home all bruised and squished by the time we get through.

She (re-entering the room): There now, that wasn't so bad was it?

It obviously isn't for her.

She unlocks me from her contraption and tells me to wait, she needs to check that the x-ray's haven't blurred. Scuttling into my best "doctor's-visit", A.K.A. "if-I-ever-have-the-good-fortune-to-get-lucky-with-Johnny-Depp" bra, I feel a sharp prod in my back.

It's her.

She: Where do you think you're going? I am not done with you yet, get that thing off again, I'm not even half the way through.

(Apparently, you need to have a full set of vertical as well as the horizontal pictures taken.) I thought it might be worth venturing I have absolutely no history whatsoever of breast cancer running in my family..

She: That's nothing to get smug about, only five per cent of breast cancer is down to it being hereditary.


I grit my teeth and endure the (wo)man-handling as best I can, hugely relieved when I'm finally dismissed.

She: It'll be next year when we'll write you with the result.

Me (as eager for the door as a kid for Christmas): That's fine! See you again in five years time..

She (nailing me with a stare): No, it'll be in two years time, all being well.

Me (surprised): Huh??

She: The over 50's are at a higher risk.

Sheesh, yeah, and a very Merry Christmas to you too, you little ray of sunshine! And to think, I actually had the temerity to wake up quite cheerful this morning.

(Can hardly wait to see what my Gynaecological appointment with Mr. Divers holds in store for me, next week..)


Leslie: said...

I have another year to wait for mine...but in the meantime, you've given me SUCH a good afternoon reading about your experience. Tears running down my face, not in horror, but in hilarity!

Anonymous said...

*knock-knock* [land shark dressed in white at your door] Mammogram... er... candy-gram...

I had black and blue marks on my right "sister" after my last torture routine.

TechnoBabe said...

Did you save all the horror shows for the end of the year?

BRUNO said...

John-Thomas's, eh? No wonder we REAL men call 'em DICKS---sounds much more "studly"!

And, TWO-fingers? Is that simultaneously? Or a left-an'-a-right, like a boxing-move?

Why can't the human body be more like engines? You know, with replaceable-parts. I mean, with an engine, you can order, or even make a new part that's BIGGER or SMALLER, to compensate for excessive wear.

Boy, could I ever abuse THAT option!

For BOTH sexes....!

Shrinky said...

Oh thanks, Leslie, but it was the all to the nurse's credit, she was a true character, I couldn't help but smile.

Chewy (yelling through the letterbox), I'm not in, and even if I was, I'm more of a savory girl myself, so there - go on, scoot, off with you!! Did you really get all bruised? I was sure I would be, but I didn't get a mark for all my pains, after all.

Technobabe, hmn, I dunno', depends - I'll keep you posted (grin)!

Bruno, are you telling me you've never had your prostate checked out, then? Shame on you (giggle).. As for the term "John-Thomas", I guess it does kind of render him a wee bit ineffective, doesn't it? (Teehee) And yeah, if only we were as easy to service as machinery, eh? I'd definitely up-grade if given the choice..

Mickle in NZ said...

Ahh, so that is what I can look forward to. Here Women qualify for a free annual mammogram from age 45 to 70. And I turn 45 in January.

Confess I have low tolerence for blokes complaining about prostate checks. After 8 colonoscopies for Crohn's colitis (and a colectomy that has left me with about 25cm of colon) I still think a smear test is worse than a digital rectal examination. But try telling them ........

Shrinky said...

Hey Mickle, welcome aboard! I'm with you on the bloke front. As for you, girl, considerig all you've already endured, it can only be a breeze when the time rolls round!

i beati said...

yipes how very deflating haha

Mickle in NZ said...

Dear Shrinky - many thanks for the encouragement. I'll be putting up a couple of 18DDs with a "wide base".

I promise to share the experience!

In the meantime, have been reading here for a while, am in awe.

Care and huggles, Michelle and my Zebbycat

Nancy said...

Ahhh the joys of the mamo and gyno...

Mushy said...

Good example of socialized medicine...waiting a year for results that a year old! My wife gets the results in a couple of days. Geeze..can't wait for Obama's plan for us all.

BRUNO said...

Oh, I couldn't just walk outta here without a fight, now, could I?

Why, in re: to your questioning my "bodily-invasions": Thus far in my life, I've been prodded, poked, bled, "digitally-examined", fiber-optically probed, and just downright violated so many times---why, if I could've gotten it on tape, it'd have been the BEST documentary on masochism and sadism ever created...!

Suldog said...

Excuse me for being such a guy, but that's just downright hilarious stuff. I would HATE to have to endure something similar, of course. When you got home, did anybody kiss them and make them better?

mrsnesbitt said...

Oh the thought of another one soon! Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Akelamalu said...

Mammograms are EXTREMELY uncomfortable! Unfortunately they're necessary. Fingers crossed that the results are normal. x

This remark of Bruno's had me in stitches!

And, TWO-fingers? Is that simultaneously? Or a left-an'-a-right, like a boxing-move?

~Babs said...

Oh, the dreaded mammo-masher! I've read that one can learn to build tolerance by lying on the driveway and practicing with the garage door opener,,,but I've not tried it,,,,

Anna said...

Hi Shrinky, I cannot write much right now as my little one is driving a red car all over my keyboard, but that was one good story. The real conversations are the best, especially from you. Happy Holidays if I don't see you before. Anna :)

Anonymous said...

Is it cruel that I giggled at your misfortune?!!

SJ said...

You don't know the risks you are running at THAT age you know (**flees scene**)

Hilary said...

I trust you'll keep us.. abreast of the results? ;)

Shrinky said...

You said it, Sandy! (Smile)

Hi Mickle, I shall look out for that, it promises to be a great read. And thanks for making a big smile appear on my face, it's lovely to hear that you enjoy reading my rambles.

Yeah Nancy, really makes you glad to be born a female, eh?

Oh Mushy, she was referring to the Christmas break - I'll hear back in early Jan - it usually only takes a week or so for the results to come through. And hey, I'm a great fan of our national health system over here - I never need to pay a penny out for any medications, and can see my doctor the same day I call for an appointment - again, all on the house. Having a disabled child, we were also able to see numerous specialists without the need to re-mortgage our house.

Shrinky said...

Bruno, poor baby, reckon you've served your time under the "probe", right enough. And to think, after child-birth, I had the cheek to believe nothing more could ruffle me ever again!

Oh Suldog (swat!), arriving home, that was the LAST thing I had in mind - and, um, yes, the offer was there.. it always bloomin' well is (eyes skyward).

Brace yourself, Denise!

Akelamalu, Bruno is a one off, he always has me in stitches - grin.

Hahaha, oh Bab's, that's just priceless, what an image.. brilliant (still laughing)!

Hey Anna, oh, your little cherub, he knows exactly how to focus your attention (smile), don't they all? I loved the dead pan delivery of this nurse, she had no idea of how funny she was (though I do now have a complex regards my supposed freaky breast-bone now)!

Hey there Eternally Distracted, thanks for stopping by. Eh, if you don't laugh, you might cry - chuckle away, the whole thing was ridiculous (wink)!

Okay SJ, I've booked your rectal probe for 2pm on Tuesday, the nice doctor promised to clip his finger nails just for you..

Oooh, Hilary (grinning) - an excellent request!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Well, dearest's a temporary discomfort to prevent long term pain...but you are very, very funny!!!! I love the way you write the dialog...I feel I am there with you...and I've asked similar questions...;-) Sorry, that you'll have to return so soon... You know what they told me when I was diagnosed with breast cancer...I had the two greatest risk factors: I was a woman, and I was over 40...seems that's all it requires...And I won't tell you how often I go for checks...;-) because I might sound like I'm whinging...and I LOVED this post!! You are a vastly entertaining writer!!! I love your blog! Love you! Janine XO

Artful Kisser said...

Love your wry observation, Shrinky. So it really is that bad, huh? With a family history of breast cancer, I'm looking forward to those tests like a hot poker in the eye!

Shrinky said...

Hello Janine, I did spare you more than a passing thought when I penned this, and I am glad you saw the humour in it, just as I had truly hoped you would. There is so much of the ridiculous in the every day, I am quite shameless in exploiting it at times. I so hope things are well with you - hugs.

Hi Artful Kisser, oh, it wasn't pure agony, that'll come next week methinks - with a name like "Divers", I can hardly wait to meet my new gynaecologist..

Scott from Oregon said...

Thank god men rarely get penis cancer.

(And thank god men usually make the machines for these types of things. I mean, think about testicular screening for a moment...

I'm gonna go lie down now.

Shrinky said...

Hey Scott, having just read your latest post, I have no doubts at all you could design something far more user friendly for us gals to endure.

Anyways, I feel slightly better now, knowing about those two fingers up the arse.. (teehee)!

San said...

HILARIOUS, Shrinky. Reduction, eh? And in Liverpool! And I'm so sorry about that freakish breast bone--no wonder you've been in denial, milady.

Fragrant Liar said...

Well if Mr. Divers asks to pinch your female parts on a plate, you're in trouble.

Shrinky said...

Ah San, the curve-ball's that life throws out at us, eh? (Wink)

Hey Fragrant Liar, how lovely to see you in here.. and, OMG, I had never considered that.. eeek!!!

Merisi said...

Why do I have to think of a sandwich maker??? ;-)

Shrinky said...

Merisi, that image will be forever emblazoned in my mind now (eyes skyward) - yipes!

PRH....... said...

Heck, I haven't been here is a few days and thought I had come upon a soft porn site....damn, no such lukc!


Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Brilliant shrinky...

l bet you came thinkig WTF? surreal or wot??

Now l'm 51 and still havent been called AND it doe shurt like a bastard doesnt it...AND I thought only to fingers up the bum..well how lucky is that..imagine a 9lg human coming DOWN your arse, then you guys can complain...and yes for the record l'm happy to help find a guy who would volunteer to have a mammogram squashing experience on hs penis.....

I bet we NEVER find one!!!! willing man that is....

Mental P Mama said...

I think I had her evil twin sister last month. Ugh. And happy birthday next week! You are beating me to the big number by a month;) Congrats on POTW!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Just stopped by to say "Hello," and to see if you'd posted any more hilarious and brilliant writing...and I see reading the comments that you received POTW! Congratulations, dearest Carol!!! Have a wonderful weekend!!! Love you! Janine XO

JC said...

It would be funny if it weren't so true ...

Helena said...


So... how is it all paid for there? I mean, not in the UK... no NHS? Or is there? It's late, ok, I can't work this one out. Anyway, I had one fo these done in my 20s- part of a pre-employment med where they wanted everything done, risk or no. PAINFUL!!! And that was when I was a wee 34a. Now I'm 36EE there is no way a woman like that is coming near me. I might bump into HER, from about a metre away actually, but that is all.


And boy would I like a breast reduction!!!

If it makes you feel any better my brother had a camera shoved up his a**e yesterday. No problems revealed, all clear. Couldn't have happened to a nicer bloke though HAHAHAHAHA see I have such an evil side, I do.

Kathleen said...

owowowowowow...I was right there feeling the pain with you! Congrats on POTW--very well deserved!

Shrinky said...

Sorry to disappoint Pat, I'll see what I rustle up for my next offering, eh? (wink)

FFF - ooooooh, I WISH I had thought of that one-liner to fire back at her (brilliant observation hon, and oh so true) yeah, after birthing a ten pounder, I too have little sympathy about the two finger assult, myself!

Mental P Mamma - Post of the Week?? You sure?? Woohoo.. cheers for that (and welcome aboard, good to see you in here)! I'm off to gallop over now, to check it out.

Hello Janine, oh, and thank you for that (I am in shock to hear I am in the post of the week, it's probably a mistake). I hope to post soon, in fact I've been meaning to for days now. Hope you have a super fab weekend, hon, I am thinking of you - x

Hi JC, how lovely to meet you, thanks for stopping by - and yeah, 'tis indeed a shame, sad but true, huh?

Helena, you have just reminded me I have had worse - I had to suffer through the indignity of waiting for the nurse to rummage up a bigger plate for me, when I still sported my double F bazooka's (eyes skywards). Our government has a recipical agreement with the mainland UK as far as the national health service goes - but - that is due to end come the new year. We will then have the situation where any far flung member of the European Union can come over to receive completely free health-care on the mainland, but none of us British subjects living on our isle will be allowed access to it. (Mumble, mumble..)

Thanks Kathleen (you sure this isn't a mistake??) I'm off to check this out..!

imbeingheldhostage said...

Where exactly was your appointment? I'm trying to make sure I book mine as far away from you as possible (and oceans don't necessarily give me a wide enough berth between my girls and your helpful Miss) :-)

jay said...

"I allow myself a fleeting mental image of half of her ladies ripping their right breasts clean off, as they make a desperate lunge for the window.."


Oh, and then I saw this, and nearly choked -

"doctor's-visit", A.K.A. "if-I-ever-have-the-good-fortune-to-get-lucky-with-Johnny-Depp" bra

Do you know, that's exactly what I do. ROFL!

Shrinky said...

imbeingheldhostage, (laughing) Let's pray she doesn't have an evil twin working at your clinic, eh?

Jay, let's make a pact, if either one of us gets to him first, we'll tie and gag him to post him on? Um.. having another fleeting image here.. pray you get to him first, if I do, I may tie then clean forget to wrap him..!

gaelikaa said...

Mammograms and the rest - gotta have them regularly - you've reminded me about a long neglected appointment I have to make. Thanks.

Congrats on POTW mention.

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

I jus larft so mutch I neerly berst my beeds.

Cheeky Bear!


Sniffles and Smiles said...

Dearest Shrinky,

Just thought I'd stop by to wish you a Merry case I don't "see" you between now and then...Sending you my love and best wishes, my dear friend!!! ~Janine XO

Shrinky said...

Hi Gaelikka, yes, they are a necessary inconvenience, something not all are fortunate enough to have available to them - I just like to moan, that's all (sheepish grin).

Oh Bob, that's a fine Christmas hat you are sporting, it suits you well!

Awww, thank you Janine, yes, Christmas is almost upon us (smile), I sure hope you have one of the best ones ever, my dear friend - MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Anna said...

Hey Shrinky, just wishing you a very merry christmas, happy new year, lots of love, happiness, joy and of course good health. Thanks so much for good year, and laughs as always. Anna :)

Kit Courteney said...

This made me wince!

Sunshine said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family.... Lots of love