So, despite my lack of blogging about it, my 40th birthday did actually arrive on schedule last December. I’m now officially a middle aged woman – with all of the inherent glory and special treatment that comes along with that.
i.e. I had to get a mammogram.
I totally didn’t remember about the dreaded ‘gram when I first scheduled my
biennial check up (can’t quite muster the fortitude to schedule them annually but I guess that will have to change now that I’m on the decline), so it was a fun eureka moment on the way when I realized that I’d be told to get one. Nothing adds to the thrill of an upcoming pelvic exam like knowing you will also have to have your breasts mashed between two plates.
Being a woman is so amazing.
In general the exam itself was painless and relatively humiliation free – although I did manage to make it extra awkward for the poor nurse who came in at the end to take my blood by not getting dressed again and just sitting there in my open front hospital gown and lap robe like some sort of off duty flasher. Not sure why it didn’t occur to me to put my clothes back on when the doctor left, but apparently the “I’m 40 so I give no fucks” attitude extends to semi-public displays of nudity. Fortunately for her, everything censored by instagram was covered, but she did get a lovely eyeful of my fish white pudding belly, which I inadvertently exposed while trying to better secure my gown. Socially awkward AND clumsy – I’m such a catch!
Wardrobe malfunctions aside, after my appointment I returned to the front desk to make the appointment for yon dreaded mammogram only to be toldl “hey, what luck! there’s an opening RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE! Do you want to just go upstairs and do it now?”
And yes. Yes I did.
I mean, of course I didn’t, but if it has to be done and I can avoid another trip out to the hospital for a 5 minutes appointment, then why the hell not? Also, not having a week to think about worst case scenarios for an unpleasant procedure is always a plus. And I’ll be honest – it really wasn’t that bad. The imaging equipment has gotten so much better that the squashing was really fairly minimal – uncomfortable but not painful. In fact, it was actually fairly amusing, and the most difficult part might have been trying to keep myself from giggling when I was supposed to me still. From the bizarre “soothing” images on the televisions screens (am I supposed to think I’m in a spa because there’s a picture of a pond?) to the nurse who wordlessly wrestled me around by the bosom, the entire situation was pretty ridiculous. She told me she has to remind herself to be gentle with the older ladies and not just yank them around, and I kind of wanted to mention that she could very easily ask people to stand in the position she wanted without using their ta-tas like a tow hitch.
Who knew Boob Wrangler is an actual job?
But now I’ve passed this milestone. I’ve run the gauntlet and come out the other side unscathed, with most of my dignity intact no less. And now I can be all wise and mysterious whenever I hear the younger girls out there complaining and say “just wait. Just wait until you have to have a mammogram.”