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Post mammogram pain so high I can't sleep

(10 Posts)
AnnieOnnieMouse Fri 12-Aug-16 05:47:32

Went for a mammogram today.
Struggled up the stairs of the lorry trailer thing, as the handrail on the right is so loose, it traps your hand between the rail and the side of the unit. I've had words with them before, and it is not fixable.
I explained I'd need to undress in the xray room, as the effort needed to remove my top, take bra off, put it back on, take it off again, put it back on again, take it off again, put bra on, put it back on again was too much - had explained this on the phone in advance - got catsbum face.
Explained to person using the machine about medical conditions, spinal injury that means I have poor balance, shoulder injury, ME, fibromyalgia. Got 'the look'.
She didn't seem to understand that my balance is poor, and I have to hold on to something, some part of the machine, or I'll fall over.
She wound the plate down, and seemed irritated when I said it needed repositioning, as it was pressing directly on my clavicle - I sure as hell didn't want that broken.
Then came the crunch, and she lifted my left arm up. I hung on for dear life, and almost passed out with the pain.
Afterwards I managed the 2 steps to the chair, and sat there. I said I needed a few minutes before I could walk. She tried to get me to go to the cubicles, but I knew I wouldn't make it. In the end I told her it would cause a longer delay if I collapsed on the floor, rather than her waiting 5 minutes. I reiterate, I had phoned and explained I'd need extra consideration, and had been promised it.
Once I made it to the waiting area I got more catsbum looks, as I think the state of me was alarming other women arriving.
Even now, 16 hours later, I am in so much pain I can't sleep, despite taking all the painkillers that I can. My shoulder hurts and my boobs hurt appallingly.
What experiences do other women have who need special help/consideration when having mammograms?

sashh Fri 12-Aug-16 06:13:34

Bloody hell.

I have my first one on Monday. They originally booked it for the mobile unit but I phoned and asked about steps and they have changed it to the main X-ray department.

I have just got my letter and it says they cannot accommodate men in the department - my carer is male. They do day to call if you have a disability or cannot stand so maybe I'll call them again.

I'll let you know how I go on.

TeamGBsometimes Fri 12-Aug-16 07:54:29

Annie I would also ask for your future mammograms to be done at the hospital. I don't think the mobile unit is suitable for people with disabilities, even if you are able to walk. The people working in the mobile unit will be qualified radiographers so they should be used to dealing with disabled people - or was the cat's bum face from the receptionist?

Sashh I'm astonished that men cannot go to the unit. I know it's rare, but men can get breast cancer too, so some men would need to be there as patients themselves.

PotteringAlong Fri 12-Aug-16 08:12:24

It's ridiculous that men cannot go to the unit - what about people who want support from husbands / partners? Men who get breast cancer?

AnnieOnnieMouse Fri 12-Aug-16 20:49:49

Thanks for replying. I've had mammograms before, rarely anything as bad as this. They can't allow men in ordinarily, as there are women stripping off behind curtains, etc, and there really isn't room for more than the patients themselves. DH was in the car at the bottom of the steps.
I have discovered that the main breast care department does have better facilities for the disabled, and that is 25 miles away, but more importantly, isn't at the main hospital, so there is a chance of parking. Anyone in Cheltenham knows what it's like trying to park at the hospital.
I've never thought about how men, or women with more elfin figures are dealt with. I'm horribly large.
I'm surprised that there would be no 'work around' for women who need their male carer present, as opposed to men who happened to be providing transport.
I slept about 6am to 10am, then stayed curled up until about 3pm, and have taken the rest of the day very gently. The painkillers are now keeping it bearable.

Spam88 Sat 13-Aug-16 00:11:10

I'm sorry you had such an upsetting experience OP sad I hope you're feeling better soon.

Things vary between different areas, but it's worth asking next time whether they run special access clinics? My local screening program runs these (some in the static centre, some on mobiles), and they have more staff on during those clinics and allow a lot more than the standard 6 minutes per patient.

With regard to men being allowed in screening departments, this is generally just for the comfort of the ladies being screened. I wouldn't particularly want men strolling about while I'm sitting there bra-less and feeling a bit vulnerable. There's not a lot they could do to comfort you anyway - they wouldn't be allowed in the x-ray room and you shouldn't be in the waiting room for more than a few minutes anyway. And yes, of course men can get breast cancer, but they aren't screened for it, so they would never need to attend a breast screening clinic for themselves - symptomatic services are delivered totally separately from breast screening. Sashh, it's a totally different situation having a male carer and I can't imagine they wouldn't be happy to accommodate that, just give them a ring in advance of your appointment smile

TheFirie Sat 13-Aug-16 06:52:35

Report it in written, go to your GP for pain management so next year instead of a mammogram you have the ground to request an MRI. No pain involved at all.

TheFirie Sat 13-Aug-16 06:53:57

More info here

sashh Mon 15-Aug-16 07:48:03

I know it's rare, but men can get breast cancer too, so some men would need to be there as patients themselves.

I actually used a theoretical example of that as a micro teach in an interview.

I wouldn't particularly want men strolling about while I'm sitting there bra-less and feeling a bit vulnerable.

But I've been for chest X-rays and had to sit bra less, in the waiting area.

Incidentally years ago my local hospital employed someone to walk people from the changing room / waiting area to the X-ray department - it was an old Victorian hospital so although they were close there were a few turns. The person they employed was blind.

sashh Mon 15-Aug-16 17:57:59


They were lovely, some discomfort and I think I will have a bad night tinight but very understanding.

They had a zimmer frame for me to hold on to for the first 2 and then hand on machine for the second.

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