Today was my appointment for my annual gyn exam. Eventhough my doc is an ob/gyn, I don't see him for the OB side of things anymore because I don't have my uterus to be on the reproductive side of things. I think I really need to find a doc that deals only with gyn issues... know of one?
I get there at 9:20 hoping to get in and out with a pass for the boob pancake smasher later next week. Well at 10:10 am still no doc. 10:25 am I overhear the receptionist tell a newly entered patient who's appointment was way behind mine, that "oh, doc T had to go do a delivery at the hospital (next door) and he will be a while. 10 minutes later she opens the window and yells at us patients of his and said Dr. T wants everyone to reschedule. WHAT? Yes, my luck. Well, I had tried for 2 months to get this appointment and lately with a scare of finding a lump up under my arm and very much tenderness in both breasts, I insisted I stay and see someone else. I was not going to reschedule when Dr. T was available (which would have been after July 9th). So I was asked to take a seat and they finally said that the nurse practitioner would see me. nearly 45 minutes later the nurse came to get me, weighed me (down 8 lbs from 2 weeks ago, YEA me!) and then set me up for the NP to come in. Drape over the lap and smock over shoulders that opens in the front, you know, Those lovely paper items that make you feel oh so comfortable! NOT.......
Lowandbehold, I know the new Nurse practitioner. She attends the local adoption support group. She immediately asked me if I was ok.... Ummmm NO.. and I began sobbing. OMG... I did not realize that sitting in that lobby of the docs office with all these pregnant ladies would bother me so much now that I know I can never physically have a baby (read: partial hysterectomy in May 2005). She grabbed my hand and just squeezed it to let me know she GETS IT, She UNDERSTANDS my pain. God I just wanted to grab her and give her a hug for listening, caring and being there for me and NOT shedding one tear either. Bah I felt better and then we got down to the business of everything. Several different positions to have her take her time for each breast to examine here I am having pain. I did not have apparent lumps in my breasts, but pain... lots of it. Caffeine? Maybe too much, hormones... MOST LIKELY cause of the pain and plus she agreed that with carrying Julia around, who is nearly 18 lbs by now, could be making the muscles of the breast sore and thus symmetrical pain setting in. BUT she did feel the lump in my right arm pit lymph area and agreed it needed to be looked at by Mammography and if needed, ultrasound.
Next area of concern was that my abdominal pain is back and hurting bad at different points of my cycles, Yes, I still go through a hormonal cycle even though I don't have my uterus. So she did my pap exam and said she can't feel my ovaries by manual exam. She asked me to go have an ultrasound today too. She wants to make sure my ovaries are visable and maybe they are adhered to the wrong areas of the abdomen, thus causing some pain. She agrees the endometirosis is most likely back so we know the answer to that one.... surgery. No, I don't want that right now and I'll deal with the endo pain for a few more months before I have to consider surgery.
Abdominal ultrasound was scheduled for 1 pm so I left and went to the St. Luke's gourmet cafeteria. Did I mention that I have done this routine when I was back doing fertility treatments with Dr. Pearlstone? I would go in for one procedure around lunch and then have to stick around for another ultrasound or something after lunch so I made the track to the cafe several times over my years of treatments too. Fun. NOT. Yummy food.... NOT.
I went to go into the exam room around 1:20 pm for this internal ultrasound and I found Dr. T coming out of his office. We briefly caught up and I showed him my proud pictures of Julia. I could tell he was happy for us and relieved we had finally reached our goal of becoming parents. He told me to call him after the mammogram next week for results. He also said to think about surgery for the endo and lets see what this Ultrasound results for the lost ovaries. Bahhhhh.
Mr Wand (as we called the probe all through our treatment years) was not so gentle to my vajajaja.. OUCH. The US tech winced with me. YOUCH.. it still makes me cringe thinking about that pain. She did find both of my ovaries after some digging and I told her I was pre-ovulation so I could see all the follies growing. Dang, I had at least 5 on the right side and 4 on the left.. NO BIG CYSTS. YEAH. No other signs of troubles in there so I was given the pass to go.
NExt stop was the breast mammography center. Thank goodness this was all the same hospital campus. I got a good walking exercise going to a few different offices. I waited maybe 20 minutes before I was taken into the boob smashing machine room. Even with much newer technology, dang, it still hurts to get them smashed views like that. and now they can get your inner arm pit in the view too so that is even much more uncomfortable .. YOUCH again.
The tech told me she would have the radiograph tech read them ASAP to know if we needed to go to ultrasound too. I waited maybe another 10 minutes and they said I have the all clear and if the pain persists in the boob tissue to consider seeing an internist for possible symptoms of muscles and tissue disorders. Oh fun. Yes, yet another thing to worry about. At least the films on initial view were clean of any possible cancerous spots or a need to biopsy. I do have very fibrocystic tissue breasts so they said that this pain can happen and maybe find the internist to help with pain management. I will do that. As far as the lump in my arm pit, they thing it could be a inflamed ingrown hair. EWWWWWW, but I'll take that any day over a lump that needs to be removed!!!!!!! they told me to keep a close eye on it for any growth or change in size.
Ok, I love my body as it makes life possible, but man I hate these worries like this since there is such a persistent result of death in my family on both sides from differing cancer diagnosis. Can you tell why I freak out now at the slightest thing?!
Ok, if you read this whole thing.. .I commend you.
If you are a woman and are reading this novel, PLEASE DO YOUR SELF BREAST EXAM tomorrow!