Mammogram madness: a funny tale of shock and horror

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In March of this year I had a hysterectomy (that’s a story within itself and one for another day), but my ovaries were not removed.  I recovered well after +- 2 months of bleeding and discharges and wearing very unflattering stockings.

The stocking prevented blood clots, but, they did cause my toes to swell up to resemble cocktail pork sausages. 

This, however, was soon remedied after being informed that the “oh so very capable and caring” nursing staff had put them on incorrectly.  The same, I might add, that gave me an enema without a lick of lubricant, leaving my bottom raw and sore and causing my hemorrhoids to flare up.

Anyway, I digress……

I was informed by my gynecologist that it would not be necessary for any hormonal treatment at first. So, my ovaries, still intact and happily continuing their part in the scheme of things, were producing estrogen and they will until they eventually shrivel up and dry out, like raisins. Sies tog!

Approximately 6 weeks into recovery, I started suffering from sore boobs.  First the right and then the left – just to balance things out you know. But it progressively got worse.  So bad, that they woke me up at night and I could not fit into my biggest size 36DD brassier.

Heaven help me! I decided to consult with my gynecologist, but not before contemplating wrapping the ladies in heated cabbage leaves, like the old people used to, for relief.

It seems that the estrogen levels in my body were too high, seeing as the ovaries, at no fault of theirs, continued doing what they were created to do. Sadly without a uterus, it was playing havoc with my body. My gynecologist prescribed medication (Danazol) and referred me for a routine mammogram – my first.

Read more: What it's like to go to the gynaecologist for the very first time

I scheduled the mammogram and in the interim started with my 10 day course of medication. Now, being the way I am – inquisitive (my Chinese star sign is the monkey) I had to read the pamphlet that comes in the box the medication does. Well, let’s just say that it conjured up all sorts of images in my mind, such as growing chest hairs, standing taking a wee and speaking in a very deep baritone!

And then the day of THE MAMMOGRAM arrived. Let me just add at this point, that I was not afraid of the procedure nor the results. It was just routine. I just did not know what to expect, even after speaking to some lady friends who had had a mammogram. They weren’t very helpful.

(First of all, they could have informed me not to wear any perfumes, talcum or body lotion on the day, as it shows up on the x-ray.) I was called through to the back and given a cubicle, a hospital gown and told to remove all upper body clothing and put the gown on, but to wash all lotions etc . from my chest and under arm areas.

So, here I am, walking along the corridor to the powder room, with nothing on but an ill-fitting, unflattering hospital gown to conceal my buxom bosom which acted seemingly happy, albeit not perky, to see everyone I encounter along the way.  It’s winter and cold for goodness sakes.

Now before we continue I have to ask: Have you ever tried getting two painfully sore DD boobs into one of those basins they, as an after thought, squashed into the guest loo and prevents you from opening the door all the way?  It kind of bounces back ricocheting off the basin and flattens your nose in the process.

But, finally I conquered and made my way back to my designated cubicle and started counting the spots and cracks in the walls that surrounded me, waiting to be summoned, which I was about 20 minutes later.

Down the passage again and into a room with a machine in the centre that resembled something out of a Star Wars movie. I snuck a peek around the room to see if Mr. Spock or Darth Vader was about! Was told to sit on the chair in the corner, which I promptly did like an obedient puppy. 

The radiologist, (a young girl really) then proceeded with a question and answer tirade. Once satisfied, she told me to take off my gown and move over to the machine. I still was not nervous or afraid at this time.

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