Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Chamber of Compression: Is That a Butternut Squash?

My girlfriend shared with me a comparison she recently read of, that likened the Mammogram Experience to running your boob over with a car. Although I imagine people do have some discomfort, today, after my second-annual “sandwiching,” I still felt fine. I compare all physical pain to what it was like delivering my son, Jonathan. This was no where close.

January 2008 was my introduction to “The Chamber of Compression” and I raved about it for weeks. I even wrote a blog about it entitled “Mammo-wipes.” Our local hospital has private waiting rooms, pleasant people, and most importantly, results while you wait.

Today, however, I was a bit more blasé.

The first attendant I met (a male) led me to a changing room. He went in one room, “Looks like we’re out of gowns,” he said. He went in another room, “We’re out here too.” I started to wonder how prepared they were for incoming patients, when, “Here we go.” I closed the door and lifted the gown to put it on. It was the largest, most humongous, mongo-spacious gown I’d ever, ever seen. I could fit my entire family in it…after a Thanksgiving dinner. They weren’t out of gowns in those other rooms; they were out of size “Elephant” gowns. My well-meaning attendant had done his best to be discreet, but the proof of his opinion of my size versus their standard garments was the flowing, flowered tent presented to me. At least I was covered up…

…but not for long.

When I was in the actual x-ray room, a female technician “positioned” me in the “Transparent George Forman Panini Flattening Iron” and squeezed--tight. I looked at the daffodil border near the ceiling (wretched color, my inner-interior designer judged). I avoided eye-contact with my technician (that would be too personal). Finally, I had the guts to look down and saw that my boob was the size of a big foot. I decided that mental snapshot would make a good “WHAT IS THIS?” picture in some book.

“Is it a butternut squash?” someone might guess.

No…it’s not a squash.

“The Flesh Nebula?” someone else inquires.


In order to encourage more women to have this necessary x-ray, too bad they don't have drive-thru Mammograms. Some fast-food establishment could affiliate itself with a hospital radiology department. You’d roll down your car window at private Station 1, insert (like into one of those bank roll-a-drawers), flatten, repeat, then proceed to Station 2, grab some fries and a drink, and then your results (and cashier) would be ready for you at Station 3. Benefits of this idea would include being able to listen to car music, wear your OWN gown and have a little lunch too. There’d have to be some strict screening in terms of hiring, of course. I wouldn’t want some sweaty, untrained teenager handling my ‘merchandise.’

A sweaty untrained teenager could definitely hand me my fries, though.

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