March 17, 2006

More Tests

I called the doctor’s office again on Wednesday. The nurse called in another prescription for me, then told me to talk to the scheduling desk and tell them I had to have an appointment Thursday or Friday.

The only appointment they had available with my doctor was at 4 p.m. today. I was his last patient of day, and I’m sure that he is now at home enjoying a big glass of wine. Heck, he’s probably drinking straight from the bottle at this point, trying to recover from spending the last hour of his work week with completely-freaked-out me.

I had gone in the first time and talked only about the stomach pains. I didn’t go into any of the rest of my concerns, for fear that he would really think I was a hypochondriac. That, and he seemed busy and in a bit of a hurry, so I didn’t want to keep him.

This time, I went in there with a long list of things I wanted to tell him and have him check, and I didn’t care how long it took. I have worked myself up into such a state of worry that as soon as I started to talk, I began to have dry heaves and he had to go get me a glass of water.

I brought up my concerns, literally from head to toe. He managed to convince me that the little extra padding in one of my armpits is simply fat and not a deadly enlarged lymph node; that the red and white streaks I have on my hips are stretch marks from my yo-yoing weight these past couple of years and not an innocent-looking-but-fatal form of skin cancer; that ultrasound really truly is a good way to check for ovarian cancer and that I don’t appear to have that; that muscles can ache or be tender without it being a sign of anything awful; and that my suddenly-sore ankle does not mean something ominous has spread from my stomach to my foot.

I did request additional blood tests for H pylori bacteria, which can cause serious stomach diseases, and CA 125, even though I know it is not necessarily a good early predictor of ovarian or peritoneal cancer. However, given all the infertility drugs I’ve taken and will be taking, I’d feel better monitoring that number on a regular basis. And my doctor apparently figured it would be easier just to write out the bloodwork order than to argue the merits of those tests with a dry-heaving, half-hysterical woman, so he did.

He also told me to stop poking at myself, because I’ve been poking often enough and hard enough at the places that hurt to create small, finger-tip size bruises. He thinks my symptoms, though real, are probably likely caused by stress. But he’s ordering a CT scan just to make sure there isn’t something else funky going on, so I will hopefully do that on Monday. The office was dark and pretty much closed up by the time I left, so they have to wait until Monday morning to call the imaging center and schedule it. Oh, and I have to put poop samples from three different times on a special card they gave me to test for blood in my stool. How could I forget that – what fun it will be.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to stop frantically googling every search term combination I can think of, continue taking generous amounts of anti-anxiety drugs and hopefully enjoy the weekend a little bit.


sube said...

Good for you for being assertive about your care. And try not to let Dr. Google scare you too much. Hope the anti-anxiety meds are doing their thing.

fisher queen said...

I do the worrying about my general health thing too- I just recently insisted that a doctor assure me I wouldn't die of skin cancer this year. He looked at me like I was a little over concerned.

I think all of this IF stuff is so stressful and so out of our control that we will do anything to exert control over other areas of our lives. I am also always waiting for the other show to drop, and am battling my tendency to obsess over everything. It is a very difficult way to live, and I don't like it at all.

Please tell me if I am out of line, but while I think you are right to be assertive about your care, it may be worth it to take a step back. Maybe you'll feel a little better. (Said the kettle.)

TiggleBitties said...

Hi Rebecca, this is my first time at your blog. I hope everything works out for you health wise.

A word of advice - As a past "googler." I know that sometimes it can be overwhelming. Try to not google everything. For me it led to anxiety meds and a breakdown of sorts. Thankfully everything turned out to be ok, but it was only after about a year of testing and putting myself through some really unnecessary stuff.

I understand the fear though, so if you ever need to talk, I'm here. Good Luck with the testing.