Pressing Flowers

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I went to the doctor a week ago to get my knee checked because I’m having a lot of problems with it, and I don’t like being in pain all the time.

She scheduled five tests for me. Gave me a physical, I suppose, and advised me not to get surgery on the knee. Well, duh. I wasn’t thinking about surgery, I just want it to stop hurting.

I finished the third of the five tests today and canceled number four because I am not taking off a day of work to recuperate from a test when I will need that day later to lounge around Colorado drinking beer.

Most of the time I am eternally grateful I’m a woman. I like being feminine. I’m delicate, like a flower. I like men who are men, and think the roles are just as they should be. There are a few times, however, I’m not crazy about being female. Today was one of them.

I had to go get my boobs pressed. Not that they needed it, they aren’t that wrinkled, but the doctor insisted. If you’ve ever pressed flowers, you know the mechanics of a mammogram. Place delicate object on flat surface. Place another flat surface on top. Tighten thumbscrews all around until delicate object is completely flat. Tighten a bit more just for good measure.

I went to the hospital of my choice to get boobs pressed and had to park a block away. Remember I went to the doctor to begin with because I twisted my knee and it is still in pain? Yeah, I did. Then I walked around the hospital looking for the boob presser. I always look for signs, symbols, little objects that represent places and normally I’m successful in my search. I didn’t find any signs, symbols and I’m really not sure what the symbol for smushed boobs would be anyway, or little objects. Of course, if you had a little imitation boob on the wall to denote the place, you might not be able to see if for the guys walking by to check it out.

I finally asked a nurse. The mammogram place is two blocks away in the professional building. Of course. Why didn’t I think of that?

I walked back to my car, remember why I went to the doctor in the first place? Luckily, there is a parking garage across the street from the professional building so I parked and walked (hobbled) not quite so far.

There was a little old lady with a walker sitting outside the boob place. I wondered if they were so busy they were spilling out into the hallway and had second thoughts.

Inside, there were only a few ladies, so didn’t have to wait long to register. I quickly filled out reams of paperwork and turned back around to finish reading my magazine. Someone had stolen my magazine I left lying on the table, open to an article I was reading. What the heck? There’s a whole stack of magazines. Did you really need mine?

I, being kind and delicate, like a flower, sat down and smiled at her. She put the magazine down and moved away from me.

“Julie Weathers. My name is Adelle.” The technician at the door had a bright smile on her face and my charts in her hand. All right. I didn’t have to wait long.

She stopped at a metal cabinet and pulled out what I assumed was a gown, then led me to a dressing room. Holy crap! The gown is warm! How awesome is that?

“This doesn’t have any sleeves like a gown. It’s a cape. Just take off your blouse and bra and put the cape on. The snap goes in front at your throat.”

Even better. I get to sashay around in my warm cape and pretend I’m a paladin or a super hero or something. The back of the cape came past my waist, but the front was longer and reached mid-thigh. It reminded me of those goofy wigs the British judges wear. So I went down the hall with my cape flapping against my legs in front and the back waving behind me jauntily.

I’ve forgotten how much fun mammograms are. I think it’s something like forgetting events that are really painful.

One nice thing was she put a foam pad on the bottom plate, so it wasn’t so cold this time. I tossed the cape over my right shoulder as if I had been wearing a cape all my life. It would have been a lot more natty if it were longer, but you work with what you have.

“Step closer, Mrs. Weathers. Closer. Closer. There you go.”

Good. This plate is firmly lodged between two ribs now, so that’s about as close as I can get.

My delicate boob rested gently on the plate, but oh, no, that’s not good enough. She was determined to make it look two sizes larger than it was and grabbed and wadded half my rib and shoulder skin to add to it, then clamped down with that contraption. Then came the thumbscrews. I guess in this case it would be boob screws. She had to twist that twice and then thought about it a bit and gave it another twist for good measure. I was pretty sure this doubled as some kind of torture device. Marquis De Sade Medical Devices.

“Don’t move.”

Pray tell, where do you think I’m going? You have a valuable part of me clamped in this thing.

She studied the picture a bit, and then decided it was satisfactory and released me.

You know those pasta making machines that you shove a ball of dough in and then crank out lovely, flat lasagna? Yeah, that’s kind of what this reminds me of.

She wanted another picture from the side, so I folded up my boob neatly and stepped back while she repositioned her machine.

“This is going to hurt a bit from this angle.”

Lovely. I suppose the last position was a gentle massage?

I got tired of fighting with the cape and tossed it away. Seriously. Women wear these things in there for modesty, but what the heck hasn’t she seen? From various angles, no less.

We finished at last and I put my cape back on. Now I understood why the front tails were so long. You go in there with your boobs pleasingly arranged on your chest and you come out with them flattened out and hanging down somewhere past your waist. It all makes perfect sense now.

So, I have undergone the third of my tasks on my journey to a painless knee. I feel like this is something akin to Hercules and his quests. I’m not sure what pressing my boobs has to do with alleviating the pain in my knee, but at least I wasn’t thinking about it during the procedure.

All kidding aside. To all you ladies out there, if you haven’t had your annual mammogram, please do it soon. A very dear friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer a while ago. She is doing well, but the story could have been tragic.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Tara Parker

    Haven’t had the pleasure of this experience yet.

    Now I’m positive I don’t want it.

    Hope your knee feels better soon. And be prepared to be stalked while you drink your beer in Colorado. I have to live vicariously through someone!

  2. writtenwyrdd

    “Now I understood why the front tails were so long. You go in there with your boobs pleasingly arranged on your chest and you come out with them flattened out and hanging down somewhere past your waist. It all makes perfect sense now.”

    Hahaha! I hate those, especially the side angle shot, where they try to get have your back in there with the boob. When you are small like me, they aren’t satisfied until that reach some basic level of ‘boob’ in that film!

    I know a couple of guys who have had to have mammograms (men get breast cancer too) and I think it’s really bad for them!

  3. JES

    Amen to the all-kidding-aside conclusion.

    As to what came before, it would be unchivalrous to comment. But I should point out that there is indeed an international sign for a mammogram clinic, although its use isn’t widespread yet. (Although, yet again, it’s so simple you’ll just clap a palm to your forehead, as in Now why didn’t *I* think of that?!?)

    You can see it here.

  4. lotusgirl

    Owwwww! Nicely described. I need to go in, but this does not make me want to go.

  5. Julie Weathers

    Tara, it isn’t much fun, but it doesn’t last long. Plus, they have warm capes now!

    I’m not really stalk worthy, but we will have fun pretending to be interesting.

  6. Julie Weathers

    Oh, I hadn’t thought about poor men who have to do this. That has to be awful.

  7. Julie Weathers

    LG, yep, it’s something we should all do faithfully. They ought to give us suckers or chocolate or something afterward though.

  8. CJ Raymer

    Had my first “smoothie” this year. Registered somewhere in between “Ouch!” and intense discomfort.

  9. Beth

    I’m jealous. They never gave me the foam pad or the warm cape.

  10. Deleyna

    I’m going to try the new and improved special fancy clinic where you get a massage afterwards this time. I’m not sure it’ll help… I’d scheduled it during the winter but we had a blizzard and I had to cancel. Darn. Need to reschedule that. Gee…thanks for the reminder…

  11. Julie Marie

    Massage afterward, now wouldn’t that be lovely?

    Get it scheduled soon, gal.

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