Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Just Venting

A week ago Sunday I woke up with bad abdominal pains that began on my left side and migrated to the right. They were constant and especially aggravating if I had to bend over or took a deep breath. I had at first wondered if I had another virus but I had no nausea or no temperature. I didn't feel 'sick' at all.

I put up with this pain until Thursday when I called for an appt. to see Dr. M. since it wasn't going away. I couldn't get in until Friday. My Dr. suspected diverticulitis because I do have diverticulosis. She ordered X-rays and blood work and gave me a script for an Ultra Sound. I was able to get the X-rays and blood work right away but the Ultra Sound is scheduled for Monday the 21st.

She told me that she wouldn't have the results of the X-rays until Tuesday the 15th ( yesterday).
When I got home I made the Ultra sound appointment for Monday the 14th at 9:30 AM at the same hospital where I also had a Mammogram scheduled at 12:30 PM.

When Tom got home from work, I told him about the appointments and he reminded me that I had an Echocardiogram scheduled for 1:00 PM and at 1:30 I was to see my Cardiologist.
Back on the phone, rescheduled Ultra Sound for the 21st, had to move the Mammogram up to 3:30 (they want you there a half hour earlier so now we're talking 3:00) which is the last appointment of the day. I was due for this test back in June and kept putting it off so I really needed to keep it.

When I woke Sunday morning, the pain was totally gone. I felt wonderful.

Tom was concerned that we would not have enough time after my Cardiologist appointment at 1:30 to make it across town for the Mammogram at 3:00. He had a valid point because it seems that we always get called in anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes later than our scheduled time.

Monday morning I decided to call the hospital where I was having the Mammogram done to reschedule and explained to whoever I was talking to on the phone about the cross town appointments for Echo and Cardiologist. She assured me that I would have enough time even if I were 15 minutes late. I asked her to make sure she told the tech that I might be late so that they wouldn't think I was a no show.

Sure enough, it was 20 minutes after my scheduled time for the Echo that it was finally my turn. They take approximately a half hour. I waited another 20 minutes in the 'cubicle' for the Dr. to come in to see me. This was the first Echo I've had since my open heart surgery in February last year. I was anxious to know if the valve repair work was holding up - and it is. There has been no more leakage. Of course the Echo shows a very thickened heart muscle - I will always have that, but the surgery procedure to remove the obstruction (septum) and some muscle tissue has been a success, the blood flow is now normal. I don't have to go back again now for 8 months unless I'm having problems.

Tom checked his watch and it looked like we were going to be right on time for the Mammogram. We were, we got there at exactly 3:00. I signed in, filled out the required paperwork and was taken into a room to register. The woman asked for my medical card and script from my doctor. I pulled out all my scripts - some were prescriptions that I had planned on getting filled on the way home. My Mammogram script wasn't there!!!! I must have left it on the table at home with my Ultra Sound script. Thank God for fax machines. The woman called my Dr.'s office and while she isn't there on Monday's, someone was able to fax the script over. Good to go! Got the wristband on and directions to the radiology department. I get Tom, and we head up to the fourth floor to sign in.

When we got to the desk, one of the workers ( I don't know what they are, lol - nurses? Techs? they all wear scrubs, so I just don't know) asked if she could help me. I explained I was there for a Mammogram at 3:30. She said "I'm sorry, we have no mammograms scheduled after 12:30 today". WTH !!! Now I'm getting worked up, it's been a long day, it's Tom's day off and he's spending it carting me around town and sitting in waiting rooms.

I explained that I had called early that morning and told whoever I was talking to ( who KNEW my appt. was at 3:30) to please relay the message that I might be late.......they got that message alright - but for 12:30.........I was NO SHOW.

Trying to explain that I had originally had that time scheduled but rescheduled it (all on Friday) got me nowhere. After 12:30 since they 'had no more tests scheduled for the day' they turned the machine off. WTH !!!

I had two options.....reschedule AGAIN and go home or stick around for another 45 minutes while they turned the machine back on and let it warm up - apparently it takes 30 - 45 minutes to do this. I left it up to Tom and he said "we're here now, we'll wait". It was exactly 47 minutes later that I was finally called in for my test.
The tech kept apologising for the misunderstanding and all I can say is we were all very lucky that Mrs. Hyde stayed home today.

Let me explain that my chest was pretty sore. During the Echo, the tech was moving the 'wand' around and pushing it in to get a better 'view' I suppose. But now I have this scar from my surgery that is still very sensitive and she's pushing this wand on it. I have a somewhat high tolerance for pain and I'll take so much, but it was really hurting. I kept my mouth shut but I know darned well if Mrs. Hyde had been with me she'd have taken that wand and shoved it where the sun don't shine. She's not as patient as I am.

So anyway, this current tech is getting ready to place my left breast on the plate and I ask her to please be careful, that I have a pacemaker/ICD unit implant and this is the first Mammogram since I had that done. I was concerned it would be more painful than usual especially since I was already pretty sore. It wasn't. It was exactly the same. It hurt like hell.
It's a wonder really, that after having one of these tests done every year for 15 years that my breasts don't drag on the floor.

It was 5:00 by the time we got out of there. Two hours. I was really hoping that Tom would want to stop off at Blinkeys for a fish sandwich and beer since it was really too late to start cooking a meal by the time we got home. But, he went straight home and we had hot dogs. Yum.

Yesterday morning Maureen, the nurse from Dr. M.'s office called to let me know that they were going to get the CT authorized. WTH ??? What CT?? Weren't you just at Suburban yesterday? Yes, for a Mammogram. Dr. B. faxed over your script for that but said since you were already there, you might be able to have your CT scan done too, but that has to be authorized first. I was so confused so Maureen started from the beginning.

Dr. M. is not in the office on Mondays, so when the call came from Suburban for a faxed copy of my script, Dr. B. faxed it, but also saw a note from the radiolgist who read my X Rays to Dr. M. that a CT was advised. It turns out that my abdominal pain was caused by a left urethral stone ( kidney). I explained that I hadn't been in pain since Sunday morning so Maureen said she would talk to Dr. M and get back to me. I got that call a short time ago. I can go ahead and cancel the Ultra Sound and as soon as the authorization comes through from my health insurance, I can schedule the CT.
It's possible I passed the stone and if so, I'm sure glad I didn't know it. Must have been small, but the CT is still warranted.

Four years ago Tom had a kidney stone and his was so bad that he had a temperature, vomiting and eventually had to have a stent put in. He was in agony for quite some time.

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