TRIGGER WARNING: GROSS STUFF
Today I had one of the more bizarre experiences of my life: the stereotactic biopsy.
It was ordered after a routine mammogram revealed microscopic calcifications that were not there last year. Women over 40 should have a mammogram every year for this reason, even though it is about as fun as the first level of hell to have your girls squished between two glass plates, especially when your girls are as small and difficult to squish as mine.
Do it anyway, ladies.
So today I took the day off work and went in. I'm going to describe it because hell, someone might benefit.
You lay down on this table. They told me the table can only be lifted if you weigh less than 300 pounds, and boy, would you be surprised at how many people these days are more than 300 pounds, and then since the table can't be lifted, the doctors have to work on their knees. I'm going to assume a doctor doing a biopsy on his or her knees is a cranky doctor, and you want anyone shooting needles into your lady bits to be in a GOOD MOOD, so note to everyone, make it to 299 before the biopsy.
The situation is in a stereotactic biopsy they raise the table and drop the offending area through it and smash it between two glass plates and pump it full of a numbing device that also contains some sort of ephedrine. As I lay there in a really uncomfortable position, the breast care consultant or whatever her title was put a warming blanket over me, put her arm on my back in a most comforting way and led me through a series of questions clearly designed to get me to not concentrate on the fact the doctor was extracting six tissue samples from my breast by the means of a hollow needle.
This woman was very good at her job.
I was pretty much okay until I saw the tray of the tissue samples, which they ran through the X-ray. I saw the calcifications (if that's what they are) that had been removed. And I realized I had a hole roughly the size of a pinhead that went down to the chest wall of my breast.
They congratulated themselves for getting most of the calcifications on the tissue samples and gave me some band-aids. I was feeling really weird at this point, which they attributed to the pain medication and my fairly young age (I don't get that except maybe psychosomatic feelings of immortality). We went into the mammogram room again, where the mammogram machine was LED-equipped and gave off a trippy range of LED colors while I was being smashed again and worried the bandage would not seal the hole in me.
I asked to see the metal clip they left behind to identify the area. It is really small, but it is another piece of metal in me, just like the plate on my leg, adding to my cyborg-ness.
I had a panic attack after the last mammogram. The nice lady said that wasn't so uncommon, to freak out at the end.
Then I went home. I forgot there was a hole in me and pulled in the cat cage and ended up needing a butterfly bandage to rectify the situation.
And tomorrow I go to work. Like everything is normal, except maybe with an Ace bandage wrapped around my chest.
I hope I don't bleed there. God.
I hope this is the end of it, but I'll take whatever comes next. What happened today was the most bizarre thing outside childbirth I've ever experienced. At least everyone around me at the time was willing to say, yeah, this is cray, we hear you. Because sometimes that's all you need, like, OMG, this is happening now, right? Right. Oh, well.