T And A+

You may recall that, a few week ago, I got a congratulatory letter in the mail regarding a certain colon test that I’d had. This week, I got ANOTHER letter, again giving me kudos for taking good care of my health. “Thank you,” it said, in fact, “for taking good care of your health. Your results are amazing.” OK, it didn’t actually say ‘amazing’ but it should have, because that’s how I felt when I read that my results were normal. And what test was this? This was the test that makes every woman cross her arms over her chest and sigh in painful anticipation. Yes, I had a mammogram. Now, there’s nothing to be alarmed about—this was just a routine check, unlike several years ago when I had to have one because my doctor thought I had an ‘anomaly’. THAT was scary, but I came away with a clean bill of health. I hadn’t had a mammogram since, but Linda Rabenek, the Chief Cancer Care Prevention Officer in Ontario seemed so pleased with me last month, and I didn’t want to let her down by ignoring the numerous notices that I’d been receiving in the mail. So I booked the test, along with a dental X-ray and a massage. No, they weren’t all at the same clinic, although that would have been convenient, but I had carefully mapped out the day so that I had enough travel time between each event. So I scheduled the x-ray for 2, the mammogram for 3 and the massage for 4, realizing that I was going to NEED a massage after having my B cup assets in a clamp. I won’t bore you with the X-ray, which took approximately 2 minutes and gave me plenty of time to go shopping.

Then I headed over to the medical centre and again, lucky me, they took me right away. “Just put this gown on,” said the nurse, “and come on back.” I never know if those things are supposed to tie in the front or back, so I slung the gown on and just kind of clutched it around me as I made my way to the mammogram machine (by the way, I just googled “what do you call a mammogram machine” and the answer was ‘mammogram machine’ or ‘special x-ray machine’. Also, the plastic plate you have to lay your boob on is called a ‘plate’ and the paddle that comes down and turns you into a human pancake is called the ‘paddle’ and I thought it would all be fancier than that BUT IT’S JUST NOT).

Anyway, she made me drop the gown and stand in front of the machine, then came a series of manipulations that were highly personal and I won’t discuss them at all except to say that I wished I was a little taller and maybe a man because then she was like, “OK, hold still” and the paddle came down. For the first fraction of a millisecond, it wasn’t so bad but then the paddle KEPT COMING DOWN. And I kind of screamed, and she said, “Oh, does it hurt a bit?” but I couldn’t answer because the breath had literally been sucked out of me, so I just whimpered quietly.

After a few more seconds—or was it an eternity?—of torture, the paddle released. “Good job you didn’t pass out,” she said, and she kind of laughed when she said it, and I’ve never wanted to throat punch someone so irrationally and so badly in my life. And for the men reading this who can’t fathom how a mammogram must feel, I’d like you to imagine that you’re sitting on the floor of your living room with your legs spread apart, and your pet elephant walks over and stands on your testicles, compressing them between his foot and the floor. Then your elephant laughs at you and tells you not to pass out. That’s what a mammogram is like.

(Slight tangent: the above analogy engenders more questions than it does answers, I realize that. For example, why are your legs spread apart? Why do you own an elephant? Why is an elephant’s foot simply called a foot and not something fancier, like a verhoofen or a gargantupaw? Do elephants really talk, and what’s more, do they mock people who are screaming in pain? They always seem so friendly on Facebook.)

And as if that wasn’t enough, then she did the other side, which, unbelievably, hurt even more, and I was additionally terrified, thanks to her bringing it up, that I MIGHT pass out, but if I did, I wouldn’t be able to fall to the floor because my boob was in a f*cking vice, and I would just dangle there like some kind of bizarre, Trent Reznor-esque performance art piece. Finally, and to my blessed relief, the whole ordeal was over, and I don’t have to go through that again for at least 2 more years and by then, I will have forgotten how much it hurt.

But it was all worth it in the end, because now I can advertise myself as being high quality, and I have the papers to back it up. Like say I apply for a new job or something, and they ask for special skills and qualifications, I can proudly put “Certified healthy from top to bottom by the Province of Ontario”. Or if something happens to Ken, and I start online dating, I can include “A-Plus T&A” on my Tinder profile.

Seriously though, get a mammogram when you’re supposed to. Don’t let it be the elephant in the room—that job belongs to the mammogram machine.

Also, I just found out that my flash fiction piece “Magpie” was nominated for Publication of the Year (Non-Poetic) by Spillwords Press. If you want to vote for me, you can go to this link. If you’d like to read the story, find it here !

57 thoughts on “T And A+

  1. Oh this made me laugh and you have probably traumatised all your male followers 😂 it is uncomfortable I agree, perhaps next time you should ask for sedation and a frame to hang from. 🤔😁😬

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh gawd I had forgotten about the pain because I’m scheduled for my mammogram on Thursday, lol. Although the place I go to the tech that runs the machine is actually very nice. She’s not sadistic like the one that told you, you might pass out. Ugh. Congrats on your nomination!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I know exactly how you feel because although I don’t own an elephant I own a Marvel who is about the same size but who thinks of himself as a 3-pound kitten and he walks unceremoniously over me, Mrs C, Moxie, Ludo, gramma, and couches all the time. Sometimes in the middle of the night. Congrats on the A+ and the T+, too. And, yes, I registered and voted. Magpie!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Way to bury the lede here, and also, isn’t it weird that journalists have a fancy word like “lede” for their opening line but mammogram machines don’t have fancier terms for their parts? Heck, we have fancy terms for our parts so a machine that compresses your mammaries until you pass out should have fancy terms for its parts. Also with more women pursuing careers in engineering I bet a better mammogram machine that doesn’t make you pass out has to be in the works, because obviously the current model was designed by a man
    Anyway congratulations on your nomination! I really should have led with that, but it was so exciting I was afraid I was going to pass out.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Hey there, Suzunne!! There’s much to be proud of, in this post… First, congrats for the excellent health grades 🙂 You’ll have these framed, right? I’d hang them in the living room, for everyone to see and get inspired by!

    I visited Spillwords and really enjoyed your deliciously strange story. Well done, my friend! I voted, and really hope you win… When will you know? 🙂

    Have an awesome week! *big hugs*

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I must be incredibly lucky ( or just have super small breasts?) While mammograms aren’t fun, I won’t call them painful in anyway. Maybe I /they are doing it wrong? Miss my vein for a blood draw more than once I’m on the floor….
    Loved your story….I do hope he stops crying…lol

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Congratulations on… well, everything, Suzanne. Surviving, and staying healthy, and living to write about it. Not sure I could have handled what you described. And congrats on the Spillwords nomination. Best of luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Your colorful illustration for your male readers of what it’s like to experience a mammogram had me laughing and wincing simultaneously, an incongruous combo previously only elicited from Ricky Gervais and Larry David, so you are in good comedic company, Suzanne!

    I know from my wife a mammogram is a deeply unpleasant procedure, but bless you for sharing your experience and encouraging others to do likewise. That’s what I tell my middle-aged friends who put off their annual prostate check: It’s ten (long) seconds of I wish I were dead misery once every 365 days — just f*ckin’ do it. Glad you got a clean bill of health!

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s