Friday, September 29, 2006

Dense boob and spotty skin

Thinking I was being proactive and wise, and finally in a financial position where I could actually afford two co-payments, I decided to schedule my doctor's appointments all in one day. You know, get it over with and pat myself on the back for having been so responsible.

So yesterday I left my apartment at 7:30am and set off for my yearly gyno checkup, coffee in hand, waiting-room book in purse. 45 minutes later I was laying on the table chatting with the doctor while she was feeling me up.

"Hmmm... have you ever noticed this dense spot right here when you do your self-exams?"

"Uh... no." What I failed to articulate was that I rarely do self-exams because I have no idea what exactly I'm looking for. Apparently, it's dense spots.

She started talking very quickly. "Well, I'm going to have my nurse call you later today to set up an appointment for an ultrasound just to make sure that this spot isn't something we should be keeping an eye on. Don't worry, I'm sure it's absolutely nothing since you have no history, you're still so young, yada yada yada. The reason we're not going to do a mamogram is because it's often hard on women in their 20's since their breasts are still so firm."

She was smart to end the speech with that. I was so happily distracted by the fact that my breasts are still firm, I honestly didn't think much about the dense spot. Ultrasound? Sure, why not?! Sign me up.

8:30am and I'm in my car off to my next appointment, the dermatologist to get a few moles checked out. After waiting for just a few minutes in the exam room, clad in a paper gown, work pants and heels, my new doctor breezes in.

"Wow! You're spotty!"

Uh-oh. At this point she'd just seen my face and neck.

"Um, yeah. Always have been."

"So which moles were bothering you?"

I showed her my upper arm and stomach.

"Oh yeah," she declared after about .2 seconds of looking at both, "Those are coming off. Today."

Now, I've already had two moles removed (hot, right?), so I know that it's no big deal. But today?

"Today?"

"Today. I'm pretty booked with surgeries, but I'm going to beg my nurse to squeeze in another. This one doesn't worry me so much, but this one... yada, melanoma... yada, 5mm all the way around it... yada, if it's cancerous we'll shoot ink all up your arm to make sure it hasn't spread... yada yada yada."

GULP.

"Um, ok."

"Oh, and by the way, the scar on this one is going to be big and ugly. And you will be coming to me every 6 months for checkups from now on."

We ended up not doing it that day, but scheduling it for a week and a half later. So at 9:45 I was in my car, headed off for a full day of work. I'm not really worried about any of these things, I know all of this is just precautionary and all. It's just that that was a lot of information to take in before 10am. I had barely had my coffee, for Christ's sake.

Maybe next time I'll stagger my doctor's appointments a little bit.

2 Comments:

Blogger ubergirlelijah said...

Grrrrrrlll! I am very glad you are getting those things checked out. VERY IMPORTANT. VERY VERY. I am speaking as someone who has to get her moles checked out and who feels herself up as much as possible :).

Also, women everywhere need to be aware of this stuff--sorry for the public service announcement. My 40 year old cousin felt some lumps and went to the doc--the doc was dismissive (can you believe it?!) and said, "Come back in 6 months." My cousin INSISTED they get checked out and sure enough, cancer. If she has waited 6 months, untold damage would have occured. Early detection is KEY.

As women we sometimes aquiesse to authority figures too easily. DON'T DO THAT. Erin, I know you don't because you're a studly Aquarious, but I'm just giving a shout out to all the girls out there and all the men (and girls) that love those girls--don't back down, don't accept "no", keep fighting if you are usure/uncomfortable about an answer from a doctor--or anyone for that matter.

Mmmmmmmmmmm waaaaaaaaaaaah!!!

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Beth said...

Health scares are just the worst. You know going and getting checked is the right thing to do, but its the waiting around for results and the nerves that go with it make you wonder!

I hope the next appointment goes well and your results come back fine. I'm sure they will!

1:21 PM  

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