The Results Are In

4 12 2008

Well, as often happens in the real world, life got in the way of my blogging, so now I need to catch up and get back on track. Waiting for test results can be unnerving; I am not a particularly patient person when it comes to health related “stuff” so this was a good lesson on learning to make good use of the time in the interim.

As you may recall, I learned through my radiology clinic, not my GYN, that I had an abnormal mammogram. The fact that the group that I use didn’t contact me after having the results for 3 weeks was upsetting; as I have said, it is a great lesson in remembering that we all have to be assertive with our personal health care.  I also learned how wonderful it is to have a husband who will help you with that health care…when the radiology clinic told me that they couldn’t reschedule the tests for another two weeks, my husband went to the clinic in person and arranged a walk-in appointment for the following day…I was at work when he called to tell me. To say that I was happy to be getting it over with is putting it mildly. Long story made short, yesterday I received a letter to confirm that all is well and, yes you guessed it, the referring physician NEVER contacted me. I am very thankful that I am okay, that I now will have a breast specialist who knows who I am and can do procedures based on knowing my history and that I will never go back to the practice that didn’t contact me.  God is good!

On the humourous side of this, I have to say it is always an adventure to be a small woman having a mammogram. There are just parts of me that will never stretch in the direction that the mammographer would like to have it go…at one point there were 3 mammographers in the room trying to figure out how to get the best picture with very little to work with…maybe when I grow up I will be more flexible 🙂

Again, I want to encourage anyone who reads my posts to please be assertive with your health care;don’t assume and don’t let anything “go”. You are important!


A Personal Story: Taking Charge of Your Health as a Woman

13 11 2008

Because so many of my clients are women, I wanted to share an experience that happened to me yesterday. On October 28, 2008, I had my annual mammogram, planning it so that it would coincide with my annual appointment with my gynocologist. The mammography clinic indicated that the results would be faxed to my doctor the following day.

I had my appointment on November 4, 2008. I asked the doctor specifically about my mammogram as I had micro calcification in a scan in 2007. She said it was sitting on her desk, she hadn’t looked at it but was sure it was fine. Being a trusting soul, I didn’t push her further.

Yesterday I received a letter from the mammography clinic indicating that my latest scan was abnormal. I was LIVID that the doctor hadn’t contacted me and had led me to believe all was well. I can’t get a re-scan until Wednesday of next week and, of course, I have some heavy duty worry about what the problem might be; I don’t know if it is the same problem that has worsened or a totally new problem. Of course my prayer is that it won’t be a big deal, but I wonder what would have happened if the mammography clinic had not sent me the letter…I could not depend on the doctor, obviously.

My reason for sharing this experience is to encourage you to ALWAYS ask questions about your health and NEVER just assume all is well. Be sure that you go to a really reputable mammography clinic, too. Thank God that they are more organized than the doctor!  I will be changing doctors as of today, but what really is amazing that the doctor’s office offered no apologies or explanations. You also can’t assume that a woman physician will be more attuned to your needs; this particular doctor was clueless and, scarier still, came highly recommended.

We all have had friends who have dealt with breast cancer. I will never just assume that any doctor has my best interest in mind ever again; I will ALWAYS ask questions and do a followup to be sure everything is okay. A good recommendation isn’t necessarily a guarantee; ask me, I know!