Checking the Girls

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Ladies, you know you’ve hit midlife when you get your first mammogram. Had mine a couple of weeks ago and, thankfully, it was like nothing I had expected.

My first step was asking my primary physician for a prescription. I followed that up by calling a local radiologist office that does mammograms and made an appointment. Not sure if it was because it was my first time, or that I told the nurse that I am a freelance writer and was interested in writing a story. But the visit was very smooth.

That morning I showered and left off my deodorant and perfume. When I arrived, I presented my prescription and my insurance card to the receptionist.

The nurse, a very polite woman with a soft southern accent took me back to a dressing room where she asked me to remove my blouse and bra and to dress in a blue gown, opened in the front. I quickly changed in the room after the nurse left.

Once ready, I went into a room where a Digital Mammography Unit was placed across from the entrance. The nurse patiently explained what I would be doing and each step of the way.

As a cardiac patient from birth, I was used to getting x-rays every six months to a year growing up. So this was nothing new for me, other than it was a different type of x-ray machine. As the nurse directed, I step forward up to the machine and allowed her to move my arms appropriately for the shots she wanted. She adjusted my breast onto a glass sheet on the unit. She asked me to breathe short breaths as she prepared the top glass to lower and press my left breast onto the lower glass. Once fully in place, she asked me to hold my breath. This breath hold, she explained, was to help make a clear image on the x-ray as any breathing would move my breast out of place causing the image to smear.

The same was done on the right breast. There were two shots of both breasts and I was ready to return to the room to get dressed and apply spray deodorant and be on my way.

I received my results by mail within a week or two. I was negative to all cancers, thankfully. However I was prepared to receive a result with fibroids as I’ve heard that is common in women.

With having had gone through all of this, I knew what my blog post needed to say. I needed to show ladies in midlife how to take a stand and share a calm explanation of checking the girls.

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