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The Women's Torture Chamber




My day began Tuesday with a trip to the ultra sound monster. The phlebitis was confirmed, however, as the tech reported to her support person "she couldn't tolerate" checking the deep veins under the surface veins in the usual way. Not tolerate was un understatement. I wanted to strike her - and strike her HARD when she even looked at the enflamed vein.


In the end she said she thought I'd be an excellent candidate for vericose vein surgery, and I agreed with her.


Yesterday I spent most of the day in bed (Bill didn't complain, I didn't bug him to get him going) with a warm wash cloth on my leg wrapped in saran wrap with the heating pad on the leg. Let me tell you, that's the cure - moist heat. It isn't gone, but it sure gave me relief.


Tuesday evening I walked into a beautiful office, obviously decorated with us women in mind. The French doors were welcoming and not the usual heavy doors we deal with in office buildings. Above the door, in pink letters "The Women's Breast Center". You may have already guessed it - it was time for the mammogram.


I filled out the necessary paperwork and looked over at a placard on the table. "New digital mammograms are here!" That sounded exciting. I mentioned it to the young lady at the desk (it was late and I was the only "guest" in the waiting room) "oh, at last, they won't have to use the vice". She smiled coyly and replayed, "well, you won't have to hold your breath any longer". As I remember, I did that in place of screaming - but oh well, I'd see for myself, wouldn't I? (Poor choice of words.)


I was called to the next step - nothing is ever said, but since this lady verifies ones address and insurance information I think I know what she wants - to ensure they will be paid for my "experience". These ladies so far are so laid back and welcoming. I hope you all enjoy the same experience!


I just got back to my seat with the clipboard, armed and ready to tell my family's life breast history when the WOMAN came to the door. Sweetly, Ann Rogers? came from her mouth. She appeared to be a nice lady. Everybody here is dressed in pink in some way or another. Soothing. Don't we all love pink? She assured me that I could come with her and "we'll just complete this together". She escorted me into a changing room. 'Any talc or deordorant?' Are you kidding? I know the dangers of those two substances.....I'm not going to put myself through this again - I'll just not get close to anybody. We finished the paperwork. Her eyebrows only raised slightly when I told her my dad's mother and two sisters had all had breast cancer. I told her that's why I felt guilty because it had been a year and 11 months since I'd used their "services". She directed me to change into the pink smock, closing it in the front. I could lock the door I came in to and we'd go into her room from the door on the other side of the dressing room.


It is never as bad as I imagine it will be. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to do it monthly as a night out with the girls....ok, maybe it was a pun....but it wasn't TERRIBLE. And no, you don't have to hold your breath anymore. Guess what she explained to me.....She explained to me what the black area is. Can anybody guess? She explained that as we get older the breast tissue that keeps us "perky" is replaced with fat. That doesn't keep us as perky, and in fact, she said that's why we see old ladies with breasts that hang. Well, I remember moaning to my doctor when I was 40 that my breasts were suddenly turning into my mom's - and I'd NEVER expected that. My doctor looked at me and ever so gently said, "that's why underwire bras were invented."


It's over and I dind't get any calls yeterday. To be honest, they looked fine to me. Well, they looked ok to me. I won't say "fine". They looked like two black blobs of unequal size (yes, I guess that's normal too) with a few little lines and alot of black.


Now you know it all! Achandra - just what will you do with me????



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Last time I had a breast "squeeze" the gown was white, the atmosphere clinical and the results ok.


Hope the other surgery is scheduled soon. For most of the people I know who have had it the results are worth it.


((Hugs)) from Sue.

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your mammogram was too much information for me, but at the same token I am looking forward to getting older gracefully, I am not worried about hanging breasts anymore, after my stroke, i guess these are some of the positives of the stroke.




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Guest lwisman




Good you had the tests. Hope your surgery goes well.


I want to take the opportunity to urge every woman who reads this to take Ann's lead and get a mammeogram. If you are male urge the women close to you.


A couple of years ago they found a lump in my left breast. Immediately I was told because the edges were smooth it was actually probably a cyst. They scheduled an ultra sound. It was not a cyst, but a lump. They assured me that because it was smooth edged it was benign.


I had the lump removed and it was benign as they suggested. Now I go every year without fail to get a mammogram. They are no fun, but are insurance.

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The remark your Dr. made about the under wires sort of made me smile. I refuse to wear any wires and would rather have my waist with neighbors. I know it's wrong but I wonder if they could be dangerous - but now it's hard to get bras without them.


BTW, when I was in my late teens and early twenties (oh ancient times) we used to talk about girls who have their booobs up to their chin under their cashmere sweaters..........not nice but true. I find though that todays kids are really stocked. I had a friend who was a home ec teacher and said that it was difficult fitting the dress patterns and she believed it was from the hormones the cows were getting. Could be.


Glad all was well for you Ann. As for the veins, believe they have a different way now- I have a friend who had it done a long time ago. In her case, I believe it was heredity. Is it?

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HI Well whhewh glad that is over for now. Glad you found the moist heat helped. And be sure and let us know, when the surgery is scheduled so we can send warm fuzzy thoughts for you.


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Hi All,


Yes, Phyllis, the surgery is different now. I need to wait until the phlebitis is healed, so that will be awhile I think. I come by the varicose veins honestly. My Grandpa, Dad, and both Dad's sisters had them. Of course you know the "new" surgery is used with a laser. I've seen so many ads for the surgery on TV, used for cosmetic reasons of course. That makes it more difficult with insurance since they always question the real "need" for surgery now anyway. I'm sure it will all work out.


I have a theory about girls getting bigger on top these days. I think many, many teenage girls are now on birth control pills and they certainly increase breast size. That's just my theory though. You know each generation, in general seems to be taller and bigger than the past. I've thought alot about the fact that each generation of women is encouraged to take vitamins during pregnancy. I guess I'm not sophisticated enough in my reasoning to blame it on the hormones cattle take, but I know lots of people do view the whole food chain in a different way than I have in the past.


Anyway, yes - do get the mammogram done. Sorry about the TMI, Achandra! It's just a fact of life for us women that we really shouldn't ignore. I'm really mindful that breast cancer can be detected early and it's our responsibility to take care of ourselves. This is one non-invasive test that is available to us all and we need to take advantage of it!

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I find it terribly sad that you are absolutely right. In this day and age of so-called "enlightenment", with the days of "womens lib" a mere memory to us and ancient history to these girls when I see the hyper-sexualizing of young women it almost makes me sick to my stomach. Mine was the generation of "bra burning" - supposedly a way to make things "better" for the next generation. I didn't believe it would work then and I sure don't believe it worked now.


The whole body image is so much an inside job - and unfortunately with videos and movies and media in general all the talk isn't making half the impact as the walk these kids see. I sure would hate to have a granddaughter have to fight the fat demon the way I do, but on the other hand, I'd hate to have one fight the images that are supposed to equal perfection too.


Enough ranting and preaching, right?

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