On Monday, when I thought I would get this missive written and similarly posted, I had a major boob moment. Ultimately all that boobing around caused me to not write this post or pretty much anything else. Boobs can be such a distraction.
In case you are thoroughly piqued and/or confused, on Monday I had a mammogram. It was my third one since turning 40, five years ago. Yes, if you are mathematically inclined and up on your recommended schedule for preventative maintenance, er, medicine, you probably noticed an issue with those numbers. As in if I’m 45, I should have had 5 of those mammary mashing moments so far. Instead, this was my third mammogram.
For the record, I dutifully had my first mammogram not long after my 40th birthday. I figured it wouldn’t be a party, but not really a big deal. Afterwards I felt like I’d been lied to by all the boob-owners I know. Good grief, it was painful. All the women I knew poo-pooed my boo-boob complaining. It seems that none of my fellow boob-owning friends or family were bruised from clavicle to hip from having a mammogram. I was a party of one.
I always knew I was a lucky girl.
A year passed and back I went, this time to the brand-new “breast center” at my clinic. The breast center may have had fresh paint and nifty changing rooms, but it was basically the same mashing machine that left red welts and faint bruises on me as the previous time.
Let me tell you, I’m all for ways of increasing my boob size, but bruising doesn’t last long enough for it to be a truly viable option. Plus, the pain factor makes it a bit less than desirable. (Those must-must-increase-my-bust exercises don’t do diddly, FYI.)
By now, I was a little leery about having another one.
Yes, I know that mammograms save lives and that when caught early, breast cancer has a much better prognosis. I totally understand and believe in preventative medicine. But all that tissue damage made me question whether I wanted to keep doing it. After all, when boobs are my size, there aren’t a lot of places for cancer to hide. On the plus side, they look basically the same at 45 as they did at 18. Gravity can’t find them, it seems.
So when the clinic sent me my reminder card just before my 42nd birthday, I recycled it and just did my monthly self-exam.
And the same for my 43rd. And 44th. And 45th.
However, as much of a pain avoider that I may be, I’m more of a conflict avoider. And my doctor can be very persuasive in her delivery of “encouragement” so I really didn’t want to go to my annual physical on Monday and hear her questioning my health priorities about my boobs as well as everything else. So I made an appointment in radiology.
And you won’t believe it. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t as fun as [insert favorite fun fantasy here] but it wasn’t bad. Not painful, no bruising, no scraped skin. Sure, there were those odd contortions I had to place my body into while wearing that goofy robe-shirt thing and there’s nothing quite like having a stranger pick up your boob like it’s an inanimate object, but whatever. The procedure didn’t hurt.
Here’s a crazy notion: technology keeps advancing. And in the case of mammography, some smarty-pants finally realized that boobs are triangle shaped, not rectangle shaped, and made enough changes to a mammogram so as to reduce the discomfort the machine inflicts. (By triangle, I mean the breast tissue is wider at the chest wall than at the nipple. Duh. You’d think this would have been obvious to the machine-makers. But perhaps the technologically-advanced are a bit unexperienced with boobs – either their own or anyone else’s.)
Which led me to a fascinating conversation with my lovely radiology technician. (By the way, in case you didn’t know this, I talk a lot when I’m nervous. And I apparently get nervous when a stranger puts my body parts into machines. Who knew?)
Did you know that boobs don’t bounce up and down? Well, they do bounce up and down, but they don’t only bounce up and down. They also bounce in and out and from left to right. In fact, Dr. Joanna Scurr researched the whole biomechanics of boobs and found out that boobs (including man-boobs) move in a figure-8.
Or to put it another way, boobs are infinity, dude.
Which, if you think about it, is really cool and not really all that shocking when you keep in mind the fact that we are mammals, after all. And if mammals didn’t have mammaries, they couldn’t mam so then the mammals wouldn’t mammal either. Dude.
So, next time you decide to go for a run, do yourself a favor and put on a compression shirt if you’re a dude, and a well-fitting sports bra with individual cups if you are a woman. And don’t put off having a mammogram and your monthly self-checks.
Because the infinity of boobs only works well if the boobs stay healthy.