Friday, August 13, 2004

Medical Office Woes

It's not just RE offices that I hate.

In late November, at my annual visit with my OB/GYN, my OB found a lump on my left breast. I had a mammogram and ultrasound the next day. The lump on my left didn't show on the mammogram, although it was identified by ultrasound and able to be felt (palpable). The mammogram did show a lump on my right that cannot be felt, but is most likely a lymph node that is out of place. The recommendation for the right was a repeat mammogram in 6 months to make sure it is a lymph node, not growing or changing.

For the left, the lump could not be removed by FNA (fine needle aspiration), and considering that I was wanting to go through fertility treatments and get pregnant, we decided to remove it. I had a lumpectomy on the left in January. All was good.

In July, I received a note from the hospital reminding me to come in for the repeat mammogram for the right. I called my surgeon's office because I needed a physician's note. The nurse told me that they would be sending me a note for a mammogram in August, so to wait until then so that it would longer time from surgery and have both done. I explained that hopefully I would be pregnant then. She said that if I was, they could properly shield me. She then said, "I thought you told us in January that you were going to trying then." Yes, we did, we've had 3 failed IUIs since then, we're now going on to IVF and I'm currently on birth control pills to surpress me. But thanks for the reminder.

So today I got a note in the mail from the surgeon's office to come in for my follow-up visit. I called and set it up, but noted there was no physician's note for the mammogram. Wouldn't they want me to have that before the visit? This nurse (different than before) looked at my file and said that it says that I'm to have my next one in December. I go through all the stuff on the difference between the issue with my right versus my left and how the right still needed a 6 month follow-up. She didn't get it. She told me she'd talk to the surgeon and get back to me on whether or not I do. I told her that if she didn't think I did, despite what the radiologist's report said on the right, I would go back to my OB and have her write the order.

Do I love this surgeon? Yes, she is very kind and wonderful. Is her office staff clueless? Most definately. Why oh why do they hire these people? They give them the power to affect your health, but not the information to go with it. Why is it so hard to understand that I have two breasts that can have different needs? They aren't really twins you know.

Point is, I should have had that mammogram in July before I was pregnant if they weren't going to do it on the left, but I trusted the damn nurse. Now I will have to have it while I'm pregnant, whether it's now or in December. Why should I then wait until December?



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