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May 04, 2009

The Joy of Mammograms

-11 Ridiculous title? Of course it is. Where is the joy in the dreaded mammo visit? 

Me? I try to entertain myself through all situations. Sometimes the only way to get by is to keep yourself amused. Let me give you an account of my recent visit for this very necessary screening.

"Feel free to put the gown on with the opening in either the front or the back, whichever is more comfortable for you", said the young women who showed me in. How lovely, I had a fashion choice. 

As we all know, it does not matter how you wear this item, it opens to reveal some part of you that you would rather not share with the rest of the women sitting in the holding pen, I mean waiting room. And the belt never seems long enough so you are convinced you are the fattest woman to set foot in this Center... EVER. 

I will mention at this point that the gown was a lovely shade of indigo which was a big improvement over the traditional sick pastel gowns that are usually provided. This did not, however, make up for the 3 hours I had to spend at this appointment because my doc has switched to a place that overbooks!


It is always concerning when the TV is on. This is a sure sign that you will be waiting awhile. Without a doubt, no matter where you are in the country, I am sure that every diagnostic waiting room has a TV with Regis and Kelly blasting away on the screen (not a fan, sorry). The heavy dose of syrupy morning drivel is the last thing I want to hear at this moment. I don't care that Kelly can pack a family of five in three suitcases nor do I know why that is impressive. I have a book. I want to read. I do not want to hear this banter. It cannot get much worse until...

Rachel Ray and the Groomzilla intervention episode comes on. Anyone catch this show? The bride loves her man! And the groom? He is the scariest control freak I have ever seen. He prompted one of the many women waiting with me to shout, "Run sister, this guy is a psycho". All sorts of funny commentary ensued there on the 'stress bench' of women waiting for their turn to have their breasts squeezed flat as a pancake. Are we having fun yet?

Finally, my turn!

The technician's name was Celeste. No I am not kidding. I went to a Center that actually had a woman whose name rhymed with breast doing mammograms all day. Was I the first woman to see the humor in this? It was like a Seinfeld episode. When she introduced herself I was inclined to look around the room and see if there was a camera. A found myself starting to compose a limerick in my head: "There once was a woman named Celeste, who spent all day with a machine that squeezed breasts..."

Alright, sometimes I behave like a child, I can't help myself. 

Seriously, there is nothing funny or joyous about mammograms. Screening is a necessary part of our lives and we march into that dreaded appointment every year because we know it is the right thing to do and we are fortunate to live in a time and place where we have access to early detection that saves lives. 

Still, there is no reason to not try to have a little fun while you are suffering through it all. The next time you have to go, note the little things that you find amusing. It just might help to pass the time and makes for a great story later on. And if you meet Celeste, send her my regards.

Original 50-something Mom Blog post. Posted by Amy Zimmerman. Amy also blogs at i could cry but i don't have time and leaving the zip code.



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