Today I got the first mammogram I've had in ... three years? Five? It was not so long ago I don't remember how mammograms were.
In the past, the technician would say, "Let me know if it gets to be too painful." I would take this as a personal challenge and I would never say uncle, no matter how much it hurt and how splayed my breast would be.
They don't give that warning anymore. They don't give you an out. The tech today positioned me, told me not to breathe, and cranked it up to 11.
"Oh! Damn that hurt!" I said after the first flattening.
She said, "That's because you tensed up your shoulder." So I became floppy drunk Ellen, dangling by the boob off the mammo machine. Relax. "Don't breathe." Squish. "Now you can breathe."
"No, I was relaxed, that still hurt." But I let it go, because I figure it's my fault for letting my breasts get too large. I suppose no matter your breast size, they have to roll them to a uniform thickness, so a DDD is going to be under more pressure than a AA.
That's a good diet motivation. If I lose weight, mammograms won't hurt as much.
Or am I taking too much blame? Perhaps mammograms just do hurt more than they did five years ago. Has anyone else noticed a difference?