2008-01-14

Just Place Your Tit in This Vise

Well, I am back and I am SORE! I am also not joking in the title.

I went and had the biopsy done on my calcium deposits in my left breast today. The clinic decided that the best way to do this was to use stereographic x-ray. At least I am pretty sure that is what they called it and from the description of stereographic I found, I think I am correct.

They took me into a room with a table that looks like it came from Torturers - R - Us, but because it is a breast clinic, it is that wretched dusty rose colour that was popular in the '80's. It is vinyl but has only enough padding that the sharp edges don't cut through the vinyl. If this is not bad enough, there is a depression and hole in the centre of the table. Either end has a padded bar between metal clamps. I found out later that this is so they can accommodate various leg lengths.

Underneath all of this is a contraption that you just know is going to cause you pain! Oh, it looks somewhat benign at a glance, but when you look closely, there are small metal protrusions that look suspiciously like needles in between the moulded plastic parts that look like the pieces found on the regular mammogram machines. The nurse explains that you will be lying face down with your breast hanging through the hole and they will x-ray it from various angles in order to locate the deposits. The Dr. will come in and freeze the area and then they will make a small incision and insert the needle that takes the core sample. After this they will x-ray again to make sure the needle is positioned properly, then take 5 samples, x-ray again and then x-ray the samples in the other room to make sure they have got the calcium.

Whew and that is just the explanation! So, I climb up onto the table, take off the wonderful designer gown and turn my whale-like mass over onto my belly. I am so accustomed to having anything done on my right breast that I tried to put that one in the hole first. Once I got sorted out and the pillows placed so I was somewhat comfortable, she raised the bed to about head height on her. Makes sense, I wouldn't want to try to milk a pig, a cow looks to be hard enough on the back. With humans they can raise the bed enough to not injure the nurse, I say go ahead. Oh and yes, you feel somewhat like a cow, especially when the nurse starts to tighten up the vise. Can't have the udder moving on you now!

Well, the Dr. comes in and sticks the needle in to freeze me. She did this so badly that my back tensed up and went into spasm! I can't move! I'm not sure which hurt more, my breast or my back. Well, I got my back to relax, the freezing took effect and they made the incision. Stuck the needle in did the x-ray, took the core samples and missed! So, back comes the nurse, we have to try again! X-ray, move the needle, x-ray, core sample. Of course, she is now moving the needle beyond where the freezing is. Not bad, I can handle it, after all my arm is hurting more right now because, like an idiot, I put my right arm up over my head!

Missed again! I told her that this had to be the last time as I could no longer feel my right arm and my back was spasming again! Repeat above steps, again moving beyond the freezing. Three times is a charm and 13 is not an unlucky number! That is how many samples they took! I think they will be able to tell if there is anything happening in the neighbourhood!

Then I was able to move - woohoo! That was fun too! Inching up on an arm that has no feeling while the nurse is holding onto my breast trying to staunch the bleeding! Well I managed to get over onto my side (yes the one with the dead arm) and the nurse managed to not let go. Feeling returned to my arm about the time the nurse gave up and stuck a bandage on me and I was free to go. My appointment was at 10.30, it was probably a few minutes late getting started and I walked out the doors at 12.05. I would guess from that, that I spent about 50 minutes on my belly with my tit in a vise, unable to move except my fingers and toes.

I wish I had taken my phone with me, so I could have taken a picture of that table. Oh well, you will have to use your imaginations. At least now, you have an idea of what to expect if you ever (God forbid) have to go through this yourselves.

I am going to have a nap now, because of course, I didn't sleep again last night. I won't know anything about the results until Friday at the earliest, I will keep you all posted.

Good afternoon all.

12 comments:

Leah J.Utas said...

So, was the table a relic from the Spanish Inquisition?
Ye Dogs, Reb. What an adventure. Glad you've got a sense of humor about it.

the Bag Lady said...

Sheesh, Reb - sounds like a real torture device. Sorry you had to go through all that - bet you're glad it's over!

Reb said...

Leah, it actually looked fairly new, but I think it did say Made in Spain ;)

Sis, yes, very glad it is over, now if only I would stop bleeding.

Hilary said...

Aw, sorry you had to deal with that and I sure hope you'll hear excellent results. Fingers and all other body parts crossed for you.. even breasts! ;)

Reb said...

Hilary, wow, you can cross your breasts? You're my new hero!

Thanks, I am sure everything will be alright.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Reb,

Are you sure you are not a writer? You managed to mix comedy into a trying and upsetting situation and still convey the seriousness. Very nicely done.

I don't have to imagine the table. I had a core biopsy (benign) a few years back. Except for the extra mishaps--all was as you describe. Still, I prefer it to the two surgical biopsies I had previously. (also benign)

Terrie

Crabby McSlacker said...

What an ordeal! You managed to keep your sense of humor about it, which I'm not sure I'd be able to do. Hope all checks out well and you're done with torture devices for good.

Remind me not to whine next time I get a mere mammogram.

Reb said...

Why, thank you Terrie! Yes, I am sure I am not a writer. Horrible thing to have done though isn't it? Glad yours were all benign.

Crabby, you go ahead and whine about your mammograms they are no fun either. The whole time I was on the table, I was thinking about how I would blog the experience. It took my mind off of it.

soapbox girl said...

Holy Crap. That sounds awful, Reb. I would have taken one look at that machine and made a run for it.

I'll keep you in my thoughts for a good report. Don't forget to post as soon as you hear.

Reb said...

Soapbox Girl, you can bet I will post as soon as I hear.

Geosomin said...

Good lord...sounds like you got the full tisquish. Eeps...Sorry it was such an ordeal. I think the doctors and techs who do something should have it done to *them* before they do it to others.

Geosomin said...

I meant titsquish.

I feel odd correcting the word...:)