Having reached the grand age of 50, it is standard procedure for my health fund to send women for a mammogram if they have not had one before. Fortunately we don't have any cases of breast cancer in our family (we've enough of everything else thank you very much!) so the other day was my first experience, at what many women have told me is a horrendous barbaric test. After hearing some ghastly stories I warily entered the Mammography department and waited for my name to be called. It's amazing what one's imagination can conjure up with a little imagery from some well meaning ladies, and I began to wonder who had invented this torturous contraption that sounded like it should belong in the "Chamber of Horrors" at Madame Tussauds in London.
The technician opened the door and called my name, I hesitantly stood acknowledging her but was quickly swept away from my husbands safe arms into the imaging room. I was asking myself, what went through someone's mind to invent this piece of brutal equipment, compressing one's breasts in-between two plates? The technician gently helped me undress, and positioned me, telling me "this may hurt a little". I stood there, my flesh helplessly trapped in the machine. I was waiting for the excruciating pain everyone had told me about, but it didn't happen. The technician took four pictures changing my position for each one, and then told me the mammogram was over. Where was the pain I had been told about? I was expecting something terrible, but it wasn't so bad and quite tolerable.Did I happen to have a particularly good technician? Was it a new type of mammogram machine? Is my pain threshold so high that this test registered low on my senses? I don't know the answer, but was very glad it was not the terrible ordeal I had expected, and hopefully the results will come back clear.
As October is "Gaucher Awareness Month", I have written about the novel campaign of green shoe laces to bring greater awareness of this rare disease in The Huffington Post. Please show your support by taking a moment to read my article.