Mammogram today - OMGosh!

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Date Joined Jul 2008
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   Posted 1/31/2009 2:36 AM (GMT -6)   
They keep asking me to come back every 6 months because whoever reads the mammograms cannot make up his or her mind about me.  I made an appt at a new clinic because they have a digital  machine.  I supposed they would be a little easier on me.  Sheesh!  The woman was yanking and pulling: stand straight, come forward, turn slightly to the left, tilt to the right, tilt your head back and off to the side, hold the other breast out of the way, grab onto the machine with your hand, squeeze, squeeze squeeze squeeze, a little more squeeze squeeze squeeze, relax, take a breath . . . They had me practically standing on my head! Take a breath?  Ok, I am smashed so far into this torture machine, I can take in a teeny tiny little breath and hold it  . . .  
A friend once to me, "Mammograms are no problem.  You  just need to practice: stand in front of the refrigerator and slam your breast in the door."  No kidding!

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Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 1/31/2009 2:55 AM (GMT -6)   
If they have trouble interpreting your mammograms, they can always do an ultrasound or even an MRI. That has to be stressful.

The squishing parts are basically the same no matter whether they use the old style or digital machine. I always expect my parts to look flat like old record albums after a mammogram. My friend has implants and she is terrified they'll pop one.

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Date Joined Jun 2008
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   Posted 1/31/2009 3:30 AM (GMT -6)   
UGH!!!  I hate mammograms.  They are so uncomfortable.  I would like to stay as far away from them as I can but they are necessary.  You do have to be a contortionist in order to get it right the first time & not to have to have a retake.  Now that would be really terrible.  I went with a friend of mine to the hospital last week & she had a mammogram.  She was so upset when she came out because after doing the right side the technician realized her insurance had not sent in a form so they had to just throw the xray away.  She will have to have it redone.  She said basically "over my dead body".   Hugs, Denise

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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 1/31/2009 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh yeah, I got my yearly letter a couple of weeks ago so I better get it scheduled before I go to the doc. I have a rib under my left breast that stays sore and I always tell them this but it doesn't seem to help. I'm sure after we are all dead they will figure out an easier way to do a mammogram.
luv and hugs
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Irish Babe
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   Posted 1/31/2009 12:22 PM (GMT -6)   

I had mine done in Nov, a little later than I had planned, but I waited till I switched my PCP. I usually get deathly ill, to the point of almost passing out. That vision always haunts me. shakehead   They had a new set up w/ the digital, it was actualy better than I thought it would be. It still isn't my idea of  fun day out, but I did it. My DM had breast cancer AND has survived for over 10 yrs. now. She never wanted to go for the mammo, finally the pain sent her! She was so lucky, and so were we! I took her for her chemo and radiation treatments, I was afraid I would lose her then, it was tough. BUT, so is she!

I hope someone finds a better way to test, it will have to be a woman that comes up w/ it. Men don't seem to design things w/ real women in mind. Just think about all the tiny stalls in the ladies' rooms. The lay out of the stall, can't close the doors, w/o slamming into a wall. AND only 2/3 stalls to a bathroom, and the line out the door. Many women w/ children. Man, I'm working myself into a tizzy.

Anyway, what I wanted to say b/f I went off on a tangent, Even tho it hurts, pls take the time to test, it could save your life and save your family from heartbreak.

God bless.  Alice.

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   Posted 1/31/2009 1:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm short and they never have that machine low enough so I have to stand on my tiptoes half the time so I don't rip one of the "girls" off!  shocked
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MT Lady
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 1/31/2009 11:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Statgeek, I could have written what you wrote. I went for my mammo yesterday and I swear I had to go through the exact same contortions as you! and the weird thing is, I don't recall it being quite as bad ever before this one...this was nasty. In fact, my "girls" are actually sore today! But, as others have said, it is a necessary evil.

hugs to all,

Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, back problems, hypothyroidism.

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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 2/1/2009 12:12 AM (GMT -6)   
This is funny but it's NOT funny. I have found over the years that mammograms do NOT have to be horrifically painful if you have a properly trained operator. For several years I went to one place and the last time I went the gal was worthless. So, I changed where I went and was happy with them. They knew what that hand screw feature was and were compassionate.....until I got some war horse who had no clue what she was doing.

This bimbo seemed to be in a wild hurry and only used the foot pedal for tightening. Now, I have more to picture than many women plus they are dense so it's harder to get good pictures but the do not have to be thoughtless about it. I have had many nearly pain free mammo's. This gal had me in tears and she left a small tear spot in the skin. Also, she had to change to larger plates which were stored in a cabinet. Her comment was...oh, it's a shame these are cold, isn't it? Yo dimwit! That's what that heating pad is for. I refused to even talk to her when I was done. I got to my truck, downed some pain meds and went home.

Then I got on my computer and looked up this place, their parent company and the addresses. I composed a letter about the entire event and let them know that I would be using someone else. I also told them at it's women like her that kept lots of ladies from getting their yearly checkup and she could single handedly be the cause of women dieing from breast cancer! Wow, did that get a reaction. I not only received a letter of apology but a phone call from the lady who runs the program. This is part of a large hospital/health care system. They pulled this lady off the job and sent her for retraining! That's what I wanted to have happen and that's what they did. I got another call later to let me know that everyone was getting refresher training more often.

It really does pay to write regular letters if you have a problem. I was polite but honest and something good came of it. Bet that girl is pushing papers somewhere Don't ever leg anyone doing a mammogram treat you with disrespect. I think the punishment should be that you get to do HER mammo...lmbo

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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 2/1/2009 12:32 AM (GMT -6)   

Wowoh wow.  Good for you Chutz for writing the letter.  That woman sounds just awful. You are right - she probably is responsible for women not going for mammograms.  Some women may never go back after having her!  The woman I had was ok except for her making me practically stand on one foot and hang my other leg out the window . . . Sherrine, why don't they get you a stool?  Are they dimwits or what?  What I don't get is why they keep making me go back every six months.  If they can't decide if I have a tumor or not, seems like it would be more cost effective to do a biopsy and get it over with. 


Irish Babe
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1371
   Posted 2/1/2009 3:53 PM (GMT -6)   

Excellent, Chutz! That is just the way to handle it. I try not to be a PITA, but I have had to resort to writing letters, too. I have written when someone has been stupid, careless, etc. and I have written when someone has been kind and helpful. I go up to the courtesy desk at businesses to mention when someone has been especially nice. When I have written letters, I have also gotten responses, letters and phone calls. And the response has always been favorable to my point of view.

I'm glad to hear the woman had to go for retraining. I don't think she would want to be on the receiving end of her 'treatment'. She probably never gave a thought to the amount of women that refused to come back the following yrs for her 'treatment'. She got paid, that's all that was important. Just a bit of sensitivity makes a world of diffeence, in all walks of life.

God bless.  Alice.

Sera Smiles
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 671
   Posted 2/1/2009 6:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I need to get mine done, I had a biopsy May 07 and I should have been getting the followups every 6 months. But I have been bad and not gone, part of it that I have learned in the past 9 months that I belong to a huge and multui- generational BC cluster that apparently goes back to one of my paternal great-grandmothers. Another part of it how my last mammograms went- I had to have so many, the right breast demanded so many takes that I was sore for over a week. I need to get it together. But being told that I was "a budding bloom on the genetic tree of inevitability" has made me want to exhale and just wait for spring [my paternal g'mother died of BC and my maternal g'mother died of lupus] I don't know much, but I know I need to get my attitude in check and deal.
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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 844
   Posted 2/1/2009 9:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh my, girls, I know just what you mean about mamos.  I hate to get them and have found out that some operators are a lot easier than others. 
I'm afraid not to get mine because my dm had a masectomy when she was 42 years old.  That was back in the early 70's.  It was radical back then.  She didn't have it in any lymph nodes so she didn't have to take chemo.  She has always worried about it coming back somewhere but so far she's been cancer free all these years.  I thank God for that.
I am also short, 4' 11'' to be exact, and I also have to stand on tip toe.  Then I have an inverted cyst in my left breast that they always have to take a second shot at even though they have my records from years past.  I've had it for about 30 years and was told not to worry about it unless it changed.
It's about time for my yearly again and I dread it so bad I almost feel like putting it off, but then I think of my dm and push myself on.  Her's was the size of a dime and probably this day and time they would just take the lump. She wouldn't let them do constructive surgery back then and she has such a horrible incission. When I think of that, I always go ahead and make my appointment.
Please do yourself a favor and if your over 40 have them done.  You don't ever know when it could save your life.
God Bless!
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