I haven’t posted in awhile; longer than it should have been. I’ve been struggling with my health. For those of you who follow this blog, you’re aware I am less than a fan of the medical profession. Ok, ok, I actually loathe it and view dealing with doctors and health facilities as a necessary evil.
I’ve had multiple issues trying to be seen for an ongoing issue. First specialists were only working when I had to pick my daughter up from school. Perish the thought they work past 3 o’clock. Then, I couldn’t find a native English-speaking doctor. Hold up…hop off that train of thought you are beginning to process. I had a non-native doctor dismiss my symptoms because she didn’t take me seriously. When she finds it appropriate to recommend a banana and drinking more water (without knowing my dietary habits), yup, it justifies walking out and asking for a US-born physician. Heaven-forbid wanting an English-speaking doctor is the sin the medical practice made it out to be. How dare I? Sorry, hiring native Spanish-speaking, Farsi-speaking, Chinese-speaking doctors, for the comfort of the patient is no different than what I was asking. All in all, I ended up being banned for my instance on seeing a female doctor; whose first language was English.
Onto waiting for the first of the month to be seen by another practice. Oh, I’m a new patient and haven’t been “established”. That means my necessary appointment can wait an additional two weeks while the insurance carrier and practitioner discriminate new and established patients and refuse to give them the next available appointment.
Finally! I see a doctor. She regurgitates a peptic ulcer that I was treated for a year ago and I’m there to see her about the same issue as the treatment was effective. She cannot understand my not wanting a scope stuck down my throat to test for an ulcer that I tell her I am not suffering from; that something else is wrong. She tells me I have insurance and can’t see the big deal in my refusal. Ummm…invasive and a 20% copay AFTER a $1500 deductible. Welcome to the real world, Doc. I refill the ulcer meds anyway. I message her for three days in a row: medicine is not working.
I gave up. She was ignoring me because I refused an unnecessary procedure. I chose to look the other way regarding my copays and headed to the Emergency Room (ER). The ER thanked me for coming in. I apparently have Intussusception. That’s being caused by Tubulovillous of the colon.
Needless to say, I am already sick of dealing with the G.I. dept, the oncology dept, as well as constant communication with my surgeon. Yup, next week I go under the knife for a few hours to have a good section of my colon removed. The ulcer, that two doctors said I have was actually a polyp that grew to be 10-15 cm and is blocking 80% of my colon. I paid copay after copay, because I was in PAIN. Let me tell you, the pain is nothing short of being in second to third stage labor, for weeks at a time. I have been trying to resolve this, actively, for over a year. Doctors: LISTEN TO YOUR PATIENTS!!!
I’m glad to have a diagnosis and treatment plan. I’m not happy with knowing, every doctor I have spoken with, while telling me we will have to wait for pathology, believes I have cancer. We have to wait for the mass to be removed and tested.
I can deal with having cancer, if that’s what the test shows. Telling my kids, esp. my older children who watched both my parents get diagnosed and ultimately watched my father and sister lose their cancer battles is scary. Telling my 11-year old, who is basically being raised as an only child is terrifying. She is already emotional with my first hospital stay and my upcoming surgery and longer hospital adventure. She has heard the word, ‘cancer’, but has no idea what it truly means. Children shouldn’t feel afraid for their parents.
While my family, friends and church have been extremely supportive, whenever you are forced to face your mortality, your brain goes into overdrive. I have given this to God. I know he has a plan for me; even if I don’t understand it. I am used to being independent. I don’t want those who depend on me to worry. I just pray for strength for my family.