Mammograms and Feeling Heard

The Nightmare

Standing there completely naked from the waist up, the mammography machine has me prisoner.  In a device that was probably designed from torture equipment, two large plates hold me firmly in place compressing a portion of my anatomy like a pancake.  Not able to move at all and instructed to hold my breath, I comply because well, what else am I going to do.

All of sudden, screams fill the corridor, and smoke seeps under the door into the room.  Alarms sound.  My technician frantically runs from the room to figure out what is going on, leaving me in my undressed, trapped state.  I try to remove myself from the vice that holds me fast, but to no avail, and I’m no lizard that can separate from its tail and and flee (Though, wouldn’t it be amazing if you could!  I’d detach from these ladies and order the first pair that included the word pert in the description.).

Moments later, rescue arrives in the form of firefighters who then congregate around said machine discussing on the best ways to release me from my prison.  While I wish that gravity hadn’t been so cruel, discussion ensues about one of them operating the machine, but the risk of further compression versus release leads to the decision to employ the jaws of life.

Cue Wakeup

After coming to (I think a combination of breath holding and hyperventilating has led to a brief blackout), the exam is done for another year.  In a moment of candor, I ask the technician what would happen if there was ever an emergency…earthquake, fire, power out, machine malfunction.   She responds immediately with “I would never leave you!”  I’m filled with relief.  She’s got my back…or rather my front…covered.

The Takeaway

Sometimes, expressing your fears to complete strangers can result in surprising validation and relief.  I now thoroughly endorse confiding in people who hold your parts in their machines.  It can make the experience if not more pleasant, at least a little less cold.

One of the best feelings in the world is to be truly heard. – Me

What’s your wacky fear? Have your expressed it to anyone lately? Did you feel validated?

PS: If you’re overdue, go get your mammogram done. It’s a lot more fun than I make it sound. If you’re in British Columbia, Canada, go to BC Cancer Screening for more information.