Monday, October 19, 2009

Douche Canoe Side Step. Pa dump bump.

Part Two. If you missed part one, you might want to start here.

Have you ever noticed when you try to focus on your intuition, your insight, your gut; clear thoughts evaporate? It’s like when you are having a dream (especially a really great dream) and you realize you are dreaming and once this happens you either wake up or the dream morphs into something comically inadequate.

Well. Maybe it’s just me.

I’d like to say that the second I sat up prodding that lump under my finger, I just KNEW. Because I did. For about a second. Then I convinced myself I was just being paranoid. Negative. I recalled the other close calls I’d had. This wasn’t the first lump.

I have fibrocystic issues going on in my tatas and gynecologists, radiologists, and all their buddies have scratched their heads and pondered the significance of densities since my first mammogram.

In 2002 I went in for a mammogram and while I waited in the stylish little hospital frock for the powers that be to make sure the films were readable, someone came out and delivered the dreaded words.

The radiologist sees something suspicious and would like to do an ultrasound.

The ultrasound tech was an idiot and while he glided the ultrasound over and around, up and down, he talked out loud about whether or not what he was looking at was potentially malignant.


Since he could not decide, he went and got the radiologist. Another idiot.

The two douche canoes discussed how high the cancer possibility rating should be while I was lying there listening to the whole thing. Almost like they thought I was under anesthesia. It took every ounce of strength I had to hold myself together.

If I had it to do over, I would have turned into a blubbering, wigged out mama right there and then and made them deal with the mess they had created. Or channeled my inner bitch and gave them a lesson on bedside manners. Ah, if only we could go back.

The way it actually went down was the radiologist finally released me with the assuring words that my doctor would probably want to do a biopsy and would be calling me as soon as she got the results.

And then I lost it once I got to my car. It was ten minutes before I could drive. And I never went back to that hospital for a mammogram. The passive aggressive approach.

To keep this side story from outshining the lead story, that particular lump turned out to be fibrocystic tissue; however, it kept getting bigger and after “keeping an eye on it” for two years, the doctors agreed a lumpectomy was in order. The medical reasoning was not that a fibroid would turn malignant, but that it had gotten big to the point that had a malignancy developed underneath, said malignancy might go undetected.

So. Anyways. In February 2006, I more or less calmly got up off my couch, called my gynecologist' office and made an appointment. I actually asked to schedule an ultrasound (I knew that this was going to end up there), but apparently insurance companies do not like patients to call their own shots. Her receptionist explained I needed to let my doctor cop a feel first and then the doctor would schedule the ultrasound.

I would spend the next two weeks doing the mahi mahi (that means flopping back and forth) between KNOWING this lump was different and therefore not good; and convincing myself that the lump was just another weirdo little fibroid thingamagig.

Part three tomorrow. I think it will be the final chapter. Don’t forget to click the little pink ribbon in the sidebar for mammograms.

27 comments:

Erin@TheLocalsLoveIt said...

Intutition is a crazy thing...

I'm anxious to read more about your experience. I had my first mamogram at 29 due to "lumpy tatas" and every few years my doctor requests a followup.

Mary Anne said...

I also have "lumpy tatas" and have had to have one lump removed. So far, nothing bad, but enough that I go for a mammogram every 6 months. Even when they tell you "it is most likely nothing, but we need to keep looking at it," it is very unnerving. It helps me that I have the knowledge that lumpy tatas run in my family on my mom's side, and we have so far not had a breast cancer diagnosis.
And I can't believe you held it together as the "douche canoes" (I like that term!) discussed you like you weren't even there. I know I couldn't have, and they would have deserved every bit of whatever they had to deal with from me. I know they have their jobs to do, but have a little compassion people!

Jeff D'Antonio said...

If it were me or someone I love lying there while the utrasound tech and radiologist were having that discussion, I would have grabbed them both by their shirt collars and thrown them up against the wall. I have zero tolerance for medical people who don't treat their patients like human beings with real fears and emotions. Zero. When they're discussing a potential diagnosis of cancer, how can they not know that those words are LIFE CHANGING for the person hearing them? How can they not know that? Ugh.

I clicked the ribbon. Again.

Yo is Me said...

ah, jimminy. wow. i thought they weren't supposed to speculate? isn't that what the looking at the results, saying "oh", and then making you wait for 20 agonizing minutes so the doctor can tell you it's nothing is for?

douche canoe indeed. i love that word. douche canoe. family guy?

mo.stoneskin said...

As I read I just don't have words to say, I can't imagine the emotions you went through, though from health scares in our family I can perhaps relate to some of those feelings.

Linda said...

My inner bitch is too close to the surface NOT to come out...even with medication:) After my spitty gland surgery the doc cam in and was explaining all the results/facts. I could barely focus let alon understand all the medical gobbley gook he was sprouting. I told him to "come back when I can understand what the hell you are talking about!"
I also asked a (male) gyno what the hell he knew about a "little cramping?" Yea. Good times.

Cristin said...

Didn't get a chance to comment on Part I... yes I feel myself up frequently, sometimes it's the best action I get.

Douche Canoe is the best thing I ever heard.

only a movie said...

I don't know if I would have kept it together with ultrasound tech person. You are a better person than I.
xo

Kristan said...

:\

"It’s like when you are having a dream (especially a really great dream) and you realize you are dreaming and once this happens you either wake up or the dream morphs into something comically inadequate."

Totally know that feeling, though.

Also... what's a douche canoe? I feel like there's some connection I'm missing...

Sprite's Keeper said...

I've got the lumpy boulders as well. Actually had a cyst removed last year because it was so uncomfortable. Can't wait for Part 3!

Sandi McBride said...

douche canoes...thats brilliant...I never knew what to call the Holier than Thou Docs (I've seen a few) now I know. Thanks to you.
Sandi
ps
looking forward to parts 3 thru nth...you write em I'll read em
Sandi

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

That radiologist and tech should be shot. Talk about non-professional and idiotic...
And I agree with the commenter on instict, an amazing thing.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

I am the proud owner of dense tits. They caused me all sorts of anxiety last year when my results came back bad from a mammogram. I'm expecting an even worse experience this year since I've now had a reduction. There will be scar tissue to deal with ... not to mention my super sensitive bionic nipples getting smashed till I scream.

Cairo Typ0 said...

Doctors sometimes seem to forget that their patients are really people. Talking about you like you're not in the room is unacceptable.

darsden said...

Praise the Lord! I love mahi mahi and that was hilarious

Beth said...

First of all, it never ceases to amaze me how UNPROFESSIONAL some healthcare people (can't call them professionals) are when dealing with people and their lives.

Second, I am totally going to do the mahi mahi! Hilarious!

I love your sense of humor!

Jan said...

LOVE the term Douche Canoes. But those two? I'd have eaten them alive. They'd never, EVER have behaved so callously again after I got through with them.

Immediately after reading Part One of this post, I laid in bed and felt myself up, since I've been a bad girl and skipped my mammogram this past March.

Yes, I know. You may take me to task starting now.

otin said...

This is really interesting to me, to see the fear that women have to go through over every lump that they find. Very scary!

Wild Child said...

Thank you for this story. I worry myself about it, though I don't have as close as relatives, both my maternal grandmother and one maternal aunt have died. Thankfully my own mother is healthy, but I constantly think about. I am glad your mother and sister are survivors.

For a little lite reading, pop over here. Some kudos from me, too.

Amy said...

What a mess those people put you through. I think I would cry also. This is an amazing story as I have said. I can't wait to read the rest.

Fragrant Liar said...

Okay, the so-called professionals are not always the smartest tools in the shed, and it's a good thing you had the moxie to take matters into your own, er, hands. ;-)

Douche canoes indeed.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

"Her receptionist explained I needed to let my doctor cop a feel first and then the doctor would schedule the ultrasound."

Well put, that copping a feel. If only that were all it is. Awaiting the next portion of the story.

Captain Dumbass said...

Gah! I should have waited until part three was up so I could have read them all together.

No, I don't read the last page first.

Brenda Jean said...

I have to wait for the rest of the story? Geesh. I am snickering at "douche canoes" though. What horrible people. They should never talk about that in front of a patient. Idiots. I need to make my appt. for my mammogram.

Gaston Studio said...

Intuition is a good thing. Also knowing your body is a good thing. And recognizing stupid so called professionals and getting the hell out of there to seek another opinion is a great thing.

Can't wait for tomorrows read.

Hit 40 said...

When you are not feeling well, you have no fight in you!! I also had a couple horrible experiences that I wish I could redo!! You seriously need some one with you at all times to fight for you when you are feeling down.

sherri said...

douche canoes and lumpy tatas should never meet.