One of the perks of turning 40 is getting a mammogram. I say perk because I’m lying to you. I recently had my first mammogram and I feel it is my duty to tell you two things. Because before going to get my first exam, I’d only heard women reference the uncomfortableness of having your breast squished between two bits of machinery. That’s it. No one clued me in on what to wear to my appointment and as a person who likes to show up as prepared as possible it would have been super helpful.
Listen to me now, hear me later: A) You should wear pants or leggings to your appointment.
I was brought back to a changing area with dressing rooms and lockers. She handed me a gown and directed me to a room, looking at my bare legs, boots, and dress saying, “You can remove everything but your shoes, bra and underwear I guess.” I disrobed and donned the gown, leaving on my shoes which created quite a fashion statement. I secured my stuff in a locker and headed to the back waiting area where women sat reading magazines, waiting their turn to get their boobs
squished examined. I sat down and immediately noticed that every other woman was either wearing pants or leggings under their gowns. OH! So by wearing a dress without leggings to my first mammogram appointment I had completely outed myself as a newbie. Or an exhibitionist. Ooops. I sat, feeling their eyes scan my bare legs, as I tried to read up on the latest celebrity gossip.
Sitting among the clothed-legged ladies wasn’t the biggest embarrassment of the appointment though. Because when they called my name and took me into the exam room, I realized that I would be standing for the entirety of the appointment in boots and underwear with a robe off one shoulder like some kind of sick stripper.
Important to also note: B) If you’re going to go bare-legged, at least have the decency to wear cute underwear.
Luck for me, my radiology tech was a smooth operator probably used to such rookie mistakes made by patients. And while the exam itself is uncomfortable, it wasn’t terrible. All those appointments with my gynecologist examining my cervix made the boob smooshing a relative breeze. I’ll take the boob machine over the stirrups any day. The exam basically consists of the tech taking your breast and sort of (wo)man-handle it into place on a cold, flat piece of machinery and then positioning your arm so they can clamp down the top of the machine onto your breast, making a boob pancake.
Side note: I did not want to eat pancakes after this experience.
It’s relatively quick and soon, you and your boobs are getting changed out of your robe and you’re off to enjoy the rest of your day where hopefully your boobs will get a rest from being handled. Unless you like that sort of thing and have sexy plans for the evening.
If you haven’t had a mammogram and you’re in your 40’s or have a family history of breast cancer: GET YOURSELF AN APPOINTMENT. Early detection is key and you know how I feel about early detection. And wear some pants to your appointment!
**My mammogram results came back clear, thankfully, because my cervix is problematic enough. I don’t also need boob problems.**