Thursday, May 14, 2015
On May 10, 2015, I discovered that I had a bloody discharge coming from one of my nipples. With my medical background, I knew immediately that since I was not breastfeeding & hadn't given birth in just over 18 years at this point, it was very likely some form of cancer. I handled all that came from that point forward very clinically. Knowledge is power when it comes to your health. In order to make an intelligent decision about your choices, you have to know everything!
I had put off my mammogram 4 years as I was dealing with my fibromyalgia and diagnosis of it, not to mention the discovery of a benign brain tumor. The ironic thing was not even 2 weeks before I had told one of my best friends that I felt stable enough and the weather was improving so I was ready to go for my mammogram. Monday morning arrived and I called the hospital to schedule my mammogram since my gyno had already given me a prescription. The scheduler was very nice and handled everything like a consummate professional. I explained the situation and she explained to me that I would need a diagnostic mammogram but she could call my doctors office and get the necessary prescription. Unfortunately, my doctors staff was anything other than professional. It seemed as though they were angry that I was knowledgable and they refused to issue the prescription. The hospital would have done my mammogram that day at noon and then I would have had the results to take with me to the doctor that afternoon. The scheduler went ahead and put me in for the next day and the staff member got very nasty telling us that should the doctor decide that I needed an ultrasound that the hospital wasn't going to be able to accommodate. To which the scheduler responded telling her that if I need if they will make sure I get it because they understand his important this all is. It was crazy! So, it was pushed back a day so I could go in to the office and have the doctor tell me that I needed a diagnostic mammogram.
I went in to have the mammogram and we discovered that I have dense breasts and needed an ultrasound. The hospital called the doctors office and got a prescription to perform it from another doctor in the practice since my doctor was off that day. At this point, the results came in of my testing. They were inconclusive. Basically, they said if I kept bleeding that they recommended further testing.
I tried to get a hold of my doctors office to discuss what the next step was & I couldn't get anyone to call me back. I tried for a couple of days when she finally returned my call. She responded by asking me why I was calling her since she had called in the prescription for an ultrasound the day before. I quickly explained to her that I had had the ultrasound 3 days before. Immediately, her tone changed. She hadn't been informed and had only been given part of the results by her staff. I explained the results and asked her what the next step would be, she said she would find the results and call me back but get most likely, she would be referring me to a specialist.
While she looked for my results, I called Sloan-Kettering and was scheduled with a high risk breast specialist that took my insurance got the following Monday.
The lesson of this story, which will be repeated several times as I tell it, is be your own advocate, even good doctors can have bad staff, listen to your body, normal results or inconclusive results do not always guarantee that everything is fine......To Be Continued .....
Words of Advice
Listen to your body, be your own advocate, doctors don't know everything, seek out all the information you can from reliable sources so you can make educated decisions!