September 22, 2009

Trust Issues

It seems infertility has made me something of a paranoid freak.

I'm having a hard time remembering what life used to be like - you know, before 90% of my waking thoughts were consumed with infertility, thyroid issues, and R's rare heart condition. And an even harder time having faith that there will again be a time when life isn't so much about all of that stuff.

I think a large part of it is because I don't have a lot of trust anymore - not in our health care system (I won't get started on all of its problems), not in doctors (hello, missed diagnosis for at least 7 years), and sadly, not even in our own bodies (all the miscarriages, R's Brugada syndrome). I keep waiting for more loss, for the next horrible diagnosis, to be right around the corner.

What's put me in this mood is that I've scheduled my first baseline mammogram.

Though there's no history of breast cancer on either side of my family that I'm aware of, and though I do BSE regularly and have only discovered one suspicious thing that turned out to be nothing, a part of me still can't help but think "What if they call me with bad news, and we can't do a transfer in February because I have to do chemo instead?"

I know the fear of cancer is common - it's not like I'm the only one who's ever had that thought. But I think I've reached a point where I'm a little more of - like I said, a paranoid freak - than most people are.

I plan to have a discussion soon with my family physician about regular screenings for ovarian cancer, even though there aren't really any great options, because I'm at higher risk since I have PCOS and haven't had any kids. I make R check for testicular cancer. (We have a friend who had it; he survived, thankfully.) I'm constantly checking him for signs of skin cancer, even on his scalp, since he's very fair skinned and burns in the blink of an eye.

And since I don't reside in his body and therefore can't notice any abnormal symptoms he may be feeling, I ask him every couple of weeks if he feels okay, because I'm afraid he's just going to blow off some random symptom that results in fatal consequences. (You can imagine how thrilled he is with all the questioning and skin examinations.)

Not that my paranoia in that area is entirely unjustified. He told me he wanted to be in charge of his doctor's appointments for his defibrillator, and I agreed. He was supposed to have appointments every 3 months for the past year, alternating between over the phone and in person, then it's supposed to be every 6 months, again alternating, forever.

I hadn't heard about an appointment in a while, so the other day I asked him about it. When was his last appointment? He doesn't remember. When is his next appointment? He's not sure he's scheduled one, but if he has, he doesn't remember what date (or even what month) it's for. When was the last time he actually went in for an appointment? He's unsure, but his best guess is December. (If the first-year plan had been followed appropriately, it should have been May...)

I guess it's no wonder the paranoid one is in charge of all the medical stuff.


DAVs said...

I'm glad to know it isn't just me! Especially being in the health care field, I find myself especially obsessed and wanting to make sure we're all screened for everything.
I'm sorry that there is that distrust, but I think it's only natural.
I'll be thinking good thoughts for your mammogram--be prepared for some major squishing action :)

MrsSpock said...

Being a nurse, I've seen way too many "exceptional" cases of bad luck, and am utterly paranoid now. Falling into a small minority as far as my infertility, son's cord accident, and recent Neuro scare, it has only heightened by anxiety.