Tuesday, January 02, 2007
night shirts and nasty doctors
Let me explain the picture first. My Sister in Law gave this to me as a Christmas Present. She had no idea about the story below. I wore the shirt for 2 nights – washed it then was wearing it the night before my test. All of a sudden I woke up in the middle of the night and wondered what was on the left hand side of the shirt. I get up and turn on the light – and see what it is. (Very obvious from the picture) I have done posts about talisman and ghosts, but this really freaked me out. I really did not notice what the whole nightshirt was about until that very second. The significance lays in the following rather long winded story.
On Thursday before Christmas I missed work because the streets in New Orleans were flooding. I was also suffering from a mild case of anxiety.
I would not say that I am a hypochondriac just highly suggestible with a vivid imagination. A headache could be a tumor. A stomach ache an ulcer and an anxiety attack definitely the big stroke or heart attack.
I went for an annual mammogram 1 month earlier and had not heard anything back from my doctor or from the Diagnostic Clinic, so I assumed that everything was fine. As I observed the flooding outside my house and was thinking about moving my car I decided to go through my mail. Low and behold, 4 weeks after the mammogram there sitting in a pile of bills was a letter from the Diagnostic Clinic. I briefly thought about waiting until after Christmas to open it as I was flying to Houston the next morning and could not do anything about the results if they were bad until after the holidays.
I opened it and there was the letter dated 4 weeks earlier (thanks New Orleans postal service) indicating that I needed further imaging. This was not exactly the best news before Christmas. I immediately called my Doctors office and nurse on duty said she simply could not imagine why Dr. Ryan had not called me earlier. She assured me he would call me back immediately.
Whatever, no phone call and when I tried to call the office from my parent’s house they were closed for the Holidays. I sort of thought well, it is not the doctor’s breast so I guess that he is not worried. The whole thing (remember I have the active imagination thing going) ruined my holiday.
When I got back into town on Tuesday I called the Office again – still closed. Finally on Wednesday I get the Doctors nurse. She says – okay I will pull the chart and tell you what the results of the mammogram are. There is a long pause and she says well I can not tell you because somehow the results were placed in your chart and the doctor has not seen them yet. I promise to show them to him after he gets out of surgery and he will call you back. My stomach is churning and I am thinking about the ulcer thing along with the breast cancer thing.
When he calls he says that I have a mass in my left breast, (please make note of the above picture) but it doesn’t look like anything bad to him – so not to worry. Not to worry? I am now bordering on Neurotic. He informs me he will fax the orders over to the Diagnostic Clinic and that I need to make an appointment ASAP.
Good news the clinic can take me at 8:00 AM January 2, 2007. So I am still going to have to go through New Year’s Eve and my Birthday with this edge of unease. If the doctor would have looked at the test results earlier I could have taken care of this before the holidays.
First two things I learn when I get to the Imaging Center is that A. The Doctor has not faxed the orders over and B. Because it is now January 2, 2007 not December 2006 that I have to meet my deductible for insurance and before they will do any testing I have to give them a check for $475.00. Though I have been a patient of Dr. Ryan for many years I am now having a bad attitude about him.
This is becoming a rather long story so I will rush to the point:
Another Mammogram – mass still there – so an ultra sound is needed. After 1 hour of doing the Ultra sound the tech goes outside to get the Radiologist because she can not seem to find the mass with the Ultra Sound. The Radiologist informs me that just because they can’t find it does not mean its not there. Then asks me if I can feel it; NO I can’t feel it – how can I feel it if you can’t even find it with an Ultra sound?
2 hours later my doctor’s Nurse calls me and says – well no need for Dr. Ryan to call you. Just go back in 3 months and see if it gets bigger. By the time I opened my mouth to tell her that I wanted to talk to the doctor she had already hung up the phone.
I am assuming that there is nothing cancerous about this “ mass “ as everyone in the medical field seems to be very cavalier and unconcerned. For the time being I am going to put the whole thing out of my mind. I must say, I really feel for any woman who has gone through this. I always thought that doctors, nurses etc. would employ a better bedside ethic.