Saturday, March 19, 2011

All things personal...

Fair warning: I am on a "rant" today! A "Sharon fit" the size of at least a Category 4--ok, I'll be honest-a 5.  Or more.  There's no art project involved here-it's strictly health-related today.  After I finish this, find my hormones, I WILL be scrapping. For now, I need to vent!

I also believe we go through things in life (pleasant and not so) in order to share them with others-to help them along their journey. (This is also the premise of Stephen Ministry but I won't go there for now).  So-for what it's's my world today...

In Jan. I had my annual physical.  All was well, so my doctor said. Until she called late one afternoon and told me my pap smear was abnormal.  I needed to see an ob-gyn and have a colposcopy (which is basically looking at the cervix and, if abnormal cells are seen, then a biopsy is done.  "Hold on." I said. "How does that biopsy compare to an endometrial biopsy?" to which she said: "Oh, it's not nearly that bad. And they aren't going to do the endometrial biopsy. That's not what's needed" (her words!)  So I chose a doctor out of the three she offered.  I spent the next two months going around with them.  There was an entire litany of incompetent mess ups with just trying to get an appointment where I finally decided that, no matter how good the doctor may be, they weren't touching me. If they can't get information and appointments right-how were they going to (competently) care for me? 
 I called my doctors office. I asked for a second referral to an ob-gyn who had been her third choice and a number of women spoke highly of.  I also asked that a copy of my pap smear be mailed to me. No problem. They did. When I got it, I realized I had been told "half of the story". My doctor did not reveal the entire contents of the report.  I was LIVID.  To her credit, she did return my call the same day. She did apologize: "I was more concerned about the part I discussed with you than the part I didn't-but I should have mentioned both.  I'm sorry."  Come to find out, however,  either she didn't pass pap smear report reading 101, or simply didn't want to tell me, but when I made it to the second ob-gyn on Monday she was all prepared to do TWO BIOPSIES. The colposcopy on the cervix due to the squamous cells that were seen, and the dreaded endometrium biopsy due to the abnormal glandular cells on the pap smear (my physician had told me about the glandular cells-therefore she  SHOULD HAVE KNOWN that the endometrium biopsy was what they were going to do!)  Even though I had to wait 2 weeks for my appointment, NO ONE bothered to tell me that they were going to do both biopsies. NO ONE took the time to call me and say, "Hey, and ENDOMETRIUM BIOPSY hurts like h-e-double hockey sticks-take something STRONG" or, better yet, call something in. Nope. Nada. Nothing.  The first time I had that procedure, it was a male physician. I waited 2 hours in his waiting room. No one said anything then, either, and I was in extreme pain to start with! This a FEMALE. When she mentioned those two words --her next words were "You've had one before, haven't you? I can tell by the look on your face"  I said yes, I have, and it hurts like h-e-double hockey sticks.  SHE AGREED and yet...she was ready to do it anyway without anything for pain??????????????  I don't get it.  We rescheduled the procedures for yesterday.  I had taken two Aleve and asked for an rx of Halcion (an anxiety med I take prior to dental treatment-works like a charm).  My husband went with me.  When he started toward the door with me I was told "HUSBANDS ARE NOT ALLOWED BACK HERE. WE WILL COME AND GET HIM WHEN SHE TALKS TO YOU."  I informed the nurse, very calmly, that yes, he was coming with me or I was walking out.  Plain and simple.  "I HAVE TO ASK THE DR." Ok-fine! Do it."  Before I cleared the exam room door, in came my husband!  And yes, the procedure hurt EVERY BIT as much as I had remembered.  Personally, I think it is an inhuman one and should not be done in an office with an alert patient. It will NEVER be done on me again, just sayin'!

So---why do I say all this? Simply that:

1) DO NOT TRUST YOUR DOCTOR TO BE YOUR ADVOCATE.  Get copies of ALL your reports, records, etc.  READ them. RESEARCH. Then ASK QUESTIONS until you are satisfied.

2) REMEMBER-THEY ARE THERE TO SERVE YOU! You hired them- YOU CAN FIRE THEM.  Don't want to let my husband be with me to offer comfort and support? Fine. My old ob-gyn never had a problem with it-my dentist doesn't---I will find someone who CAN MEET MY NEEDS! 

3) "MD" after their name does not mean "GOD".  They are not the know all-end all.  They are human.  They do make mistakes. YOU KNOW YOUR BODY.  You live with it 24/7.  They are simply PRACTICING medicine (yeah-ever wonder why its called "a practice?!"  AND IT'S YOU they are practicing on--if lucky, they'll get it right! If you're not comfortable, go with that gut feeling...and remember Item #.

4) IF THEY AREN'T LISTENING...FIND SOMEONE ELSE!  For two years now, I have been saying I've had a hormone imbalance.  I'm tired, achy...yada yada yada.  No one listened.  I've been told everything from "You're depressed" to "it's just pre-menopause and it's only going to get worse before it gets better..." (yep-that was the answer from my current md. ) I went to a new practitioner for retesting of food allergies due to the onset of the on-going gall bladder issues (I discovered (translate: drs. didn't know-food allergies and gall bladder issues go hand in hand).  She actually READ her intake forms.  She ASKED about my being tired, achy, yada, yada.  She said, "Let's test for hormone imbalance, Vit. D and thyroid since we're taking blood anyway." Fine by me.  Lo and behold...the food allergies are great-yeah, wheat, gluten still an issue, but low issue. Lots of used to be allergies GONE  : )  --- the hormones--are all messed up! Vit. D way low...and thyroid out of whack because the other two are! DUH?! What have I been saying for two years?  And, guess what? Hormone imbalance leads to....GALL BLADDER ISSUES!!!! Try the homeopathic remedies for 2 mo.---the gall bladder will most likely settle down.  Ok.  In one week---I am seeing improvement with the gall bladder.  Of course, the "new" ob-gyn doesn't like the word "HOMEOPATHIC"--(natural remedies) wants to give me the synthetic crap.  Nope. I was on no less than 6 rx's from the other idiot doctors not listening. I stopped. I felt 1,000 times better---because---their so-called magic medicines were, when I read the side effects---simply EXACERBATING the symptoms I was taking them for! I padded their pocket with co-pays, the drug companies were making a killing and when I complained, they just wanted to give me another rx?! VICIOUS CYCLE.  I am not playing no mo'.  I hope you can *hear* what I am trying to say and that my suffering will help someone else struggling.

So-what's next?  From my reading, if one or more of the biopsies show anything, based on my research,  it's "try this procedure, watch and wait and then, if something else pops up, try this and watch and wait...." Not this girl.  It's going to be get it out and get it gone so I can go back to LIVING a normal life!
Thanks for letting me vent!  Now, I am off to find my hormones!  Until next time, happy stamping and scrapping! Blessings, Sharon

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