Tag Archives: mammogram

Mass Update Followed By Mass Confusion

“Hello. This is Nurse Ratched from Dr. Hemnhaws office. We have the results from your mammogram and ultra sound.”

She’s not really Nurse Ratched. She’s actually pretty nice. Well, at the beginning of the conversation she’s nice.

“Everything looked fine. But Dr. Hemnhaw wants to know if you’d like to see a surgeon.”

I thought you just said that everything looked fine?

“Yes, I did. But the doctor wants to know if you’d like to see a surgeon. Just in case.”

Just in case what? If everything looked fine, why do I need to see a surgeon?

“To make sure everything IS fine.”

But the mammogram, which was a special diagnostic mammogram, said that everything was fine and the ultra sound that they did just to make sure the special mammogram wasn’t lying said everything was fine. Why does the doctor think I need to see a surgeon?

“I didn’t say she thinks you need to see a surgeon. She wants to know if YOU want to see a surgeon.”

Why would I want to see a surgeon if the tests say I’m fine?

“Just to be sure.”

Be sure of what?

Nurse Ratched is now becoming a little ratched-a-fied.

“To make sure it’s nothing to be concerned about.”

Is Dr. Hemnhaw  concerned?

“Listen. I’m just reading her notes. It says that the mammogram and ultra sound were normal. That the patient needs a follow-up in one year and then Dr. Hemnhaw wrote, ‘Ask if patient wants to see a surgeon.’”

Well, I’m not a doctor. Shouldn’t a doctor determine whether I should see a surgeon or not?

(Exasperated sigh heard over the phone. Make that, over both ends of the phone.)

I’m not trying to be difficult. I’m just trying to understand. The diagnostic mammogram was fine. The ultra sound was fine. But the doctor, with the medical training I lack, wants to know if I want to see a surgeon. Does she want to start up a blog?

(Ok. I didn’t really ask that last question. But I wanted to. I asked this one, instead.)

Could they tell what the mass was?

“It doesn’t say. It just says that everything looked normal and to have a follow-up in a year. I just need to know if you want to see a surgeon or not.”

Uh. Well. I’m going to go right out and get my medical degree.

And then?

I’ll have to get back to you on that.

Jeez.

(To the dear, sweet bloggy friend – you know who you are – who helped me decipher my doctor’s question: Thank you. A million thank yous. You put my mind at ease when the nurse/doctors couldn’t. This blogging community is amazing. I appreciate all of your concern and well wishes. Thankfully, all is well. But you already knew that, didn’t you? You’re all the best! The absolute best readers a girl could ask for!)

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Filed under Observations, Roadblocks

One Little Phrase Is All It Takes To Steal My Thunder

I had a check-up this morning. The female kind. And I was dreading it.

I’m the kind of gal that thinks ignorance is bliss. I hate the necessary poking and prodding it takes to stay healthy. What do I hate worse? The dreaded weigh-in.

Pregnant at 40, my midwife warned me that at my advanced age it would be tough to lose the baby weight. I didn’t believe her. I’d never struggled with weight issues before. In fact, I was underweight for most of my teens and 20s.

Rude awakening #1.

I have struggled and struggled and all but given up on getting back to my pre-baby weight. A weight that I wasn’t that happy with to begin with. But lately, with increased devotion to my yoga and small dietary changes (very small changes because I love to cook and I adore my Coca-Cola) I have slowly, very slowly started to melt some pounds. Yes. Pounds. As in plural. And, and this is a big “and,” it has stayed off. No yo-yo-ing this time for me.

I dreaded stepping onto that scale today, though. I don’t weigh myself at home. I use my clothes as a judge. And I am so self-defeating, the tiny changes I’ve noticed I’ve attributed to: designers creating vanity sizes, drying my clothes on a lower setting, stretching out my jeans.

As I tentatively stepped onto the scale, I sucked in my breath, as if that would create some kind of weightless vacuum.

“You’ve lost another four pounds since September,” the nurse said cheerily.

Did I hear her right? More weight? Gone?

Woo hoo!

This is the second weigh-in when I’ve lost weight. Two doctor visits in a row. And I’m losing. Not gaining. Not even staying the same.

But that can’t be. I cooked like a demon during Thanksgiving. Publix has had buy-one-get-one ice cream for the past 3 weeks. My birthday was this past weekend and I didn’t hold back. Cake. Ice cream. Meals out. All weekend.

I cheer. Out loud. The nurse smiles.

“But you don’t understand,” I say, “I’ve been struggling for 8 years to not only lose weight but keep it off. It’s finally working!”

She smiles again and starts rattling off instructions: take off clothes, gown opens in front, something about a sheet to cover up. But I barely hear her. I’m singing inside.

“Celebrate good times! C’mon”

“I am beautiful. In every single way.”

“It’s going to be a great day!”

The doctor comes in. I barely hear her commands. I’m grinning from ear to ear. Until…

“Do you perform regular breast exams?”

Pretty much. At least every other month.

“Well, do you feel this mass here?”

She guides my hand to the spot.

“I just want to rule anything out. So, I’m going to order a diagnostic mammogram just to be sure it isn’t anything to worry about.”

Pffffft.

Rude awakening #2

The wind was just sucked out from under me.

Rule anything out. Be sure it isn’t anything to worry about. Huh?

Didn’t she hear? I just lost and kept off 4 more pounds. I was having a fabulous day. Ok, fabulous last 15 minutes.

Did she really have to steal my thunder?

Sigh.

This sucks.

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Filed under Lessons Learned, Observations