The Mammogram #TheMMLinky 

By | November 27, 2017

A couple of weeks ago I had a mammogram.  

It wasn’t the first time I’ve had one, my first was about four years ago, after I’d been to the doctor about my wellbeing and she booked me in for a full “MOT” (mammogram, smear, blood tests) to check me out as I had neglected my health a bit and she wanted to make sure that my fragile emotional state wasn’t due to anything physically.

The truth was – and still is – that I was worn down emotionally and as any parent will know, the needs of our children come first.

Anyway, the letter came through for a mammogram check up, coincidentally in the same week as a smear reminder!

I was sent a questionnaire to complete and take with me for the appointment, it had questions on my general health and whether I had implants (I wish!), the latter would affect how I would be screened.

As there is a requirement to strip to the waist at the appointment, it’s best not to wear a dress, stick to trousers/a skirt so at least your bottom half is still covered.  Any long necklaces should also be removed.

The mammogram took place in quite an impersonal room, just me, an operator and the machines.  Quite a cool room too, temperature-wise.   There isn’t a gown given to cover you up, you just have to roll with it, as it were.

The actual mammogram isn’t pleasant but is over relatively quickly.  Your upper body is put into position by the operator and yes, your breasts have to be handled to be put into the optimum place for the machinery.

And then you have to stand there, watching the plates come down as the pressure increases on your breasts, they become flat and it hurts – but only for as long as the pressure is on them.  I had a frontal and side squish on each side.

After that it’s over.  The operator wouldn’t give me any information as to whether everything looked okay, I was told I’d receive a letter in 2/3 weeks if things weren’t okay, I’d like to think that I’d hear sooner if there were any abnormalities.

After my previous one, I was recalled and received an ultrasound on my whole upper are, which proved to be okay, they had been concerned about a blemish on my side.

The initial embarrassment of standing topless and having your breasts manoeuvred by a stranger is over quickly and worth it for piece of mind that an all-clear brings.

I wanted to share what happens, because – a bit like a smear test – it’s  embarrassing but all over quickly.

There’s more information on the NHS website as to the mammogram procedure.

My motivation for this week is to book that smear test because, like the mammogram, it’s nothing that the operatives won’t have seen before and it’s reassurance – all being well with results – that everything is okay.

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