Like many people, my inbox gets cluttered with plenty of bad jokes, most of which I delete soon after they arrive. This one, though, a list of practice exercises women can do to prepare for a mammogram, always brings me a chuckle:
Exercise #1: Freeze two metal bookends overnight. Strip to the waist. Invite a stranger into the room. Press the bookends against one of your breasts. Smash the bookends together as hard as you can. Repeat with the other breast. Set an appointment with the stranger to meet next year and do it again.
Exercise #2 Open your refrigerator door and insert one breast between the door and the main box. Have one of your strongest friends slam the door shut as hard as possible and lean on the door for good measure. Hold that position for five seconds. Do this again in case the last time wasn't effective enough. Then repeat with the other breast.
Exercise #3 Visit your garage at 3 a.m. when the temperature of the concrete floor is just perfect. Take off all your warm clothes and lay comfortably on the floor with one breast wedged under the rear tire of the car. Ask a friend to slowly back the car up until the breast is sufficiently flattened and chilled. Turn over and repeat for the other breast.
This morning, I went for the real thing and, as usual, it was no big deal. My appointment at the radiology center was for 7:30 a.m. and by 8 a.m., I was finished and headed to the office. Sure, it’s uncomfortable for a few seconds, while you get squished between those cold metal plates, but when you consider the life-saving potential of those plates and the images they capture, it’s really time well spent.