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Last updated: August 13. 2014 3:17PM - 24 Views
Caroline Stevens



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On the big day for the last of the tests, the dexascan and mammogram, I received two letters from the IRS, again confirming I’m a victim of identity theft. I knew that but did the person who took my identity show up for either of those tests? Not even a phone call.


I used to believe that once a doctor was subjected to an objectionable test, he’d see that the process was studied, improved, and made tolerable. Well, the colonoscopy proved me wrong on that one. And I’ve always believed that once a doctor had a mammogram, he’d examine the equipment and process by having the test himself, thereby creating improvements. I guess I was wrong about that, too, but I’m dead certain the doctor(s) presented the wrong sensitive parts to be compressed. It’s just a theory.


Boobs were never a big thing with me. (Excuse the pun.) I literally grew up with those appendages and as they developed, by the 6th grade, I entered into a small, new social group. The lucky girls wore blouses, never sweaters. Not me. I had to wear my older sister’s hand-me-down sweaters. Worse yet, she was smaller than I. The little group of “budding” pre-teenagers, the trail-blazers, learned how to twist, turn and dodge (and swat) the pre-pubescent boys who were unsure about what to make of those things.


In retrospect, history has depicted clothing styles that revolve around and accentuate the female bosom. Look at our movies! And look at our art! Even the Bible! Did you ever see Eve portrayed with more than one fig leaf? Well ,on mammogram day, I wasn’t allowed one leaf of foliage, a single piece of support or even a swipe of deodorant I was to expect that my old records would be there. Although my scans have always been negative, I’ve had too many cousins with breast cancer. That last time when I promised I wouldn’t be back, one tech. begged me to reconsider. I didn’t. My doctor did. Isn’t it wonderful to have non-family folks who really care so much about you?


During that early 2000 scan which I declared would be the finale, there was quite an excess of my body tissue to be checked. In fact, the tech had to (politely and discretely) get another “plate,” the flat Xray part on which the breast is placed. What she meant was that my breasts had enlarged so much that my plate had “runneth over” and we needed to advance to a platter- size plate. Today we were down to a saucer. I didn’t intentionally lose weight; it left as a result of the kidney disorder. I’m rarely hungry and even favorite foods don’t taste right. That’s not altogether a bad thing but it came as a surprise when my body didn’t adjust quickly. With a lot of fat gone, I lost a great deal of insulation, I’m cold much of the time, and my boobs are gone. Putting this old cranked-out- of- condition body up against that machine (or not), it’s a tough job to “assume the position” and force the body into the stance required, plus lifting the arm/shoulderof each side to search the breast for anything that doesn’t belong in there. The technician told me the mammogram photo xrays were “beautiful.” Since she located a boob on each side, I should have asked her for an 8 x 10 for RB and a few billfold sizes.


If I had to do it again, I would. I trust those people. And I only ever heard of one who didn’t quite make muster: an RN acquaintance who fainted in the middle of it. Try to visualize that. I know the tissue in that area will shrink but I don’t know how well it stretches.


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