Thursday, December 17, 2009


I've always been good about doing the basic health care thing. I get my annual, I take my vitamins (mostly), I eat my veggies, I wash my hands. I guess I've always figured that there were enough things out there ready to kill me without my assistance, so I should do my part to stave off the preventable.

I turn 40 next month which of course you'd know if you were paying attention. My birthday is a national holiday in 17 countries. I celebrate it for a week at least because- hello- IT'S MY FREAKIN' BIRTHDAY! There are many thing about turning 40 that I'm happy about and some that suck. Today I got to experience another on the ever-shrinking list of rights of passage- the mammogram. Now I had one back in my 20's which was uncomfortable but no big. Maybe it was because I was perkier then- both in flesh and in spirit. Maybe the machines were different. Who knows.

My first clue should have been the smell. The pink flowery waiting room (which, sidenote, I don't get. Just 'cause I have boobs doesn't mean I necessarily love pink or want to ready back issues of Ladies Home Journal. Can I get an amen?) didn't smell flowery or pink. It smelled like a locker room. Actually, like a locker room outside a vet's office. I was surprised but just figured that the person before me must have been one of those New England granola types who eschews bathing in the winter months. I now know the truth: that smell was fear. Those who had waited in that chair before me knew what was lurking behind the pink (no joke) door and their individual fight-or-flight responses were kicked into overdrive. They knew what was coming- the squishing and massive ouch and the totally "whatever" attitude of the chick manhandling the Girls. The knew, but just as I did, They Went Anyway. 'Cause that's what badass chicks do.

I can't help but think it's irresponsible to come right out and say that the mammogram is my newest (and # 1) entry in the "sucky" column on my list of pros and cons about turning 40 because that might inadvertently convince someone *not* to get their mammogram and then, when this random reader succumbed to cancer, her family would sue me and I really don't need that. So let's put it this way- it sucked, but it sucked less than a mastectomy or chemo or radation or, you know, DEATH.

So get out there and get squeezed ladies. Flat is the new badass- hadn't you heard?


  1. I've got a couple years and I'm STILL hoping they'll have something gentler by then!

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  3. Did you know this was on my mind, too? Question is, can they even give me a mammogram? I mean, I didn't grow much UP THERE after age 13. Maybe I can get a deferment. Kinda like being too flat-footed to go to war. I admire your bravery!