Lulabelle’s Guide to Surviving Your First Mammogram

Originally posted in Anxiety and Old Age, Humor, Lulabelle’s Anxiety Free Friday Humor by Lulabelle-a-bloggin.

**Please note that most of these tips are written for humorous purposes and shouldn’t be taken seriously. To be honest, I’m being overly dramatic—having a mammogram is not all that bad, but a necessary endeavor to maintain good physical health.

One legit tip I can give you is if you’re worried about pain, take some Tylenol before your appointment.

Also, for some reason, the doctors want you to avoid using deodorant, or any powder products under your arms on the day of your appointment.

My third tip is to try and schedule your appointment for a time where you know your breasts will not be tender due to your menstrual cycle. This will most likely cut down on your discomfort with the mammogram process.

My last legit tip would be to not wear a bra or wear a soft sports bra to your appointment. Your breasts will be a little sore afterwards and an underwire bra could make things a bit more uncomfortable.

Okay, now on to my ridiculous tips…

Guys, I’m getting old.

Specifically, I’m around the age that a yearly mammogram is recommended. After thinking I felt something a few weeks ago (the doctor didn’t feel anything on the follow-up exam), I decided to schedule a mammogram, just in case, because I’m about to be 40 in a few months, and at least once in my life, I want to be on time or early for something.

My mammogram was today and I lived through it. As nervous as I was about it, I decided to make a guide for getting through it:

  • Don’t worry about the pain and discomfort. Honestly, on a scale of one to getting hit in the face with a brick, it’s really not that bad. You’ll be fine.
  • You’ll be shocked and amazed by the way your breast can contort into about 50 different shapes during your mammogram. Those cirque du origami boobs are yours, and you should be quite proud of their feats of stretch and foldiness.
  • It’s a good idea to take with you a small spatula, because inevitably one of your boobs will become adhered to the imaging surface (especially if you have it done on one of the hottest days of the year like I did, where even in the air conditioning you can feel the heat). And no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to get it elegantly lifted off the tiny table with just your hands. The imaging tech tugged so hard, my left boob almost flew up off the imaging surface and hit me in the face. Next time I’m putting a small spatula in my purse. Just in case.
  • Have an uncomfortable anecdote ready to share with the imaging tech as payback for squishing your boobs flat as pancakes. I decided to go with the story of how my husband Chad’s great-grandma was treated for breast cancer in the 1920’s with acid.

It definitely got the desired result and made me feel like we were even. 

I hope these tips help you prepare for your first or next mammogram. Have any questions? Leave a comment below!

Laura Steenerson

Laura Steenerson

Laura Steenerson is a business owner, writer and humorist from Terre Haute, Indiana who writes to encourage and inspire her audience. She writes on various topics including mental health, disability, humor, faith and lifestyle.

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