February 03, 2017

Sarah and the Carbon Fiber Tit-Squisher

At my last physical, the doctor recommended I start mammograms early. Most women begin them at forty, and I’ve heard some horror stories from these ladies. Not painful enough to lose sleep over, but painful enough to be uncomfortable.

“Uncomfortable” gave me pause. Ladies know that uncomfortable, and its cousin discomfort, are code words for pain. As are pinch, poke, and in one memorable instance, “the not-fun part.” * Luckily, the tech was a riot.

ME: Do they have these for dudes? Like, for testicular cancer?
TECH: That’ll be the day.

If you’ve never had a mammogram (I hadn’t), my advice is to not look down. The plastic on top of the hydraulic press is clear, giving you full view of your flattened boob. It’s like someone accidentally put a Pyrex dish on top of the raw chicken breast instead of the other way around, but with veins.

ME: (held in place by the machine) Oh, well that’s not so bad.
TECH: I just have to go a little bit deeper...
ME: ARRRGH... (like a war-grizzled champion)
TECH: Yeah, that’s good. Just breathe.
ME: You’ve got half my lung in there, ma’am. (wincing)

Boob is numb for a moment before blood comes screaming back into it. I re-shelve it and take out the other one, imagining them crossing paths in the interrogation hallway. Just tell them anything, left soldier says.

TECH: Wait... it’s not working, hang on hang on...
ME: Hang on?!
TECH: I know, I know... (comes back to within punching range to reboot machine) okay, now just hang on. (machine buzzes for literally fifteen seconds, then releases me) Okay, done!
ME: (glowers with one boob on full display, terrifying as an amazon)
TECH: I know, I’m sorry.

It’s not the most painful thing in the world, but it’s troubling. Like, if you had accidentally shut the door on your your finger, or maybe on your gentleman’s junk. In that moment, everyone around you should be helping to free you. There is no job that is not opening the door. The pain is coupled with your inability to move even a micron. You are, in a word, vulnerable.

HIM: How’d it go?
ME: It was... extremely pinchy.

I have more to say about the events of the week, but later. My goddamn tits need ice cream.

* The “not exactly a picnic” IUD appointment.

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