Friday, February 5, 2010

I have never felt so stupid...

So I don't really know if this is appropriate to blog about, so maybe just don't read it, its my blog :) But if you do choose to read, especially my sisters, moms and girlfriends, tell me what you think.

I have had this lump under my arm since I was pregnant with Hugo about 3 years ago. When I was prego they sent me to get an ultrasound to check it out. They said that they were slightly concerned about it but since I was pregnant they couldn't really do anything about it and to come back after not being pregnant if it gets worse. Well at first it was this hard marble like lump with no feeling really. I only noticed it shaving my arms. I didn't really want to go back though because that place was awful! They had me topless on the table for about an hour with doctors in and out. I think the technician must have been new and didn't know what she was doing, but still it was so embarrassing and I was scared the whole time. Well anyways, the lump grew bigger and softer and I was going to bring it up again to my doctor but I got pregnant again pretty fast so I pushed my concern away and left it alone. I know too sometimes with all the hormones and milk, etc. it probably wasn't a big deal. Well I had Jack and it was still present. So I went it for my yearly exam a couple weeks ago and brought it up to the Dr. He recommended I see a specialist, so I called the specialist who required me to have films from a ultra sound and mammogram first. So I called to get that, which a needed a prescription from my doctor. SERIOUSLY!!!

Anyways... I finally got in to get a mammogram and an ultrasound (different place from before) and they have me fill out a ton of paperwork and listen to a million risks. They have me scared out of my mind now. They call me back have me change into some tissue paper and come and get an ultrasound. The technician takes a zillion pictures and seems to be getting lots of info??? she then says she needs a radiologist to come in and let her know what she can tell me. My heart is racing. So he comes in and is so irritated and quick with her and doesn't care one lick what the crap I have to say. He looks and is asking her "is that what you see, is that what you see, is that what you see?" He then tells me to get up, tells me that some lymph can get swollen when you have a cold and I can get dressed and leave.
I was MORTIFIED! First off, I don't have a cold, or have at all this season. I have had this lump for 3 years!

I had a friend that had a lump and they stuck a needle through her chest to lift up tissue in order to move it to find the lump better which sure enough needed to be removed. That is not what I want (ouch!), but he seemed to not even give a rats you know what. He didn't ask me to move into the "position" where I can feel it, nothing! I wonder if he thought it was my age- I was clearly at least 15 years younger than anyone else in the waiting room. Was it because I am on AHCCCS? I don't know.... In my heart of hearts I don't think I have breast cancer, but how many times have they been this insensitive and not given patients the attention they deserve. I think of Susan dying of colon cancer in her early 20's. She was a super healthy college track athlete. Its scary!!!

So anyways, My mom and Shawn both think I should write a letter. I'm no good, so actually my mom wrote the majority of it, but this is what I have so far....

To whom it may concern.
I have many concerns about my recent visit to your facility. I came on the recommendation of my doctor after I had found a lump under my arm. I was to receive a mammogram and an ultrasound. I did not receive the mammogram. I filled out all the paper work, read the warnings and I signed the form saying that I understood the risks. I did receive the ultrasound. The technician seemed concerned and helpful. I told her that I could only feel the lump in certain positions and that I have had it for approximately 3 years and that I have been observing it grow slowly. The technician allowed me to move into a better position so that she could get a better picture of the area. After she looked for several moments she suggested that she would like the radiologist to look also. She seemed genuinely concerned. A doctor came in, I told him my same concerns, but he did not allow me to change my position to better view the lump and he seemed very unconcerned. He said that lumps are common and that getting them with a cold is of no concern. I told him that I did not have a cold and that I had the lump for several years and that it is changing. He told me that I could leave and not to worry about it.
I have read several self exam instructions and they tell us to check yourself laying down, with arms above the head, in the shower, sitting, standing, every position except standing on one’s head. I have been very concerned about this lump for some time and feel like I was dismissed curtly, possibly because of my age or circumstances. In any case I do not feel that I was given the best care, I left feeling embarrassed and pushed aside.
I am simply still concerned about a lump in my underarm that I feel still needs attention. Thank you for your time.
Anyway.... sorry for the long rant. I usually try to be such a positive uplifting blogger, but hey, this is life! Tell me what you think. Should I bother even sending the letter? Should I change it? Am I over or under reacting?? Tell me honestly.

11 comments:

Nate and Lori said...

I feel like I had somewhat of a similar situation. When I went into my very first exam/pap smear when I was 18 they found a small marble sized lump in my breast. The OB-GYN said that it was probably nothing but to watch it. Well over the years it started getting bigger and bigger and bigger. I had several Dr's tell me that it wasn't a big deal and to just leave it alone. It worried me though because now it was sticking out. I finally had to demand to have it checked further. I went in to get the ultrasound at a lab and they told me they would forward it onto my Dr. I didn't hear anything for several weeks but started getting letter in the mail saying things like "we are sorry to hear about your breast cancer." Obviously, I was freaking out. I had to call my Dr. and demand to go see a surgeon. They finally removed it under general anesthesia and it was the size of a golf ball. It ended up being a fibroadenoma, which is a benign mass of tissue.

Anyways, my point to you is that even if its not malignant, you probably don't want to leave it there because it will just keep getting bigger and bigger. If it were me, I would certainly send the letter and I would be trying to go see another Dr. Sometimes you have to be more proactive about your body then a Dr. would be. They are wrong all of the time. Even with Susan, I think initially the Dr's just thought that she had stomach ulcers. Let me know if you have anymore questions and sorry if this is TMI, but I definitely think that it is something that you should get a definitive answer about. Its always better to be safe than sorry.

Heather said...

You have every reason to be concerned and upset! I think you should send the letter.... regardless if something should or should not come of it. I'm so sorry that you had such an awful experience :(

kj said...

DEFINITELY send the letter! I've heard enough horror stories (some places just aren't about patient care...) and they should know that they are not provide even an ADEQUATE level of care. :-( Besides - I know that if it is a privately held practice they will want to address it IMMEDIATELY. And if they don't care what your letter says, at least they can't claim they didn't know.

Cassy said...

For sure send the letter but it probably won't make much of a difference, to be honest. I've had my fair share of bad doctor visits and have written a letter or two and sent them but whether they read it, or if it helped the situation, I have no clue because they didn't respond. If I were you, I might be on the phone calling a supervisor (if there is one) or owner or something. Good doctor's are getting few and far between. Sorry you had to go through that. I hope you can find someone to help you. Let us know if you need anything.

Clarissa Jo Baxter said...

i would send the letter and add at the bottom, "it was such a bad experience that I don't even want to come back, and I will be seeking other doctors opinions." My mother in law was concerned about the lump in her neck and told the doctor who told her it was nothing, and a few years later decided to have it checked out again and it was cancer.

I am so sorry that Doctor was so rude and insensitive. What a jerk! I hope everything works out and you get the respect you deserve. I love you!

brownymama said...

I think you should send the letter also. It's not okay for the radiologist to be rude to you or the xray technician. When I had the lump removed my doctor said that it would keep getting bigger and it was best to be removed even though it was benign.

Hope it all works out.

Morris said...

you have to pushy and mean, this is something that doctors should take serisouly untill the find out for sure what it is. your not over reacting at all, i think its great that you wrote a letter. you need to go back to your doctor and tell them what happened.they need to send you to another place if they need to. you have every right for them to take care of you and not been missed treated just cause your ahcccs. you need to be strong and make sure they give you the tests and treatment that you need

Kristin Hamblin said...

Oh Jenny! I would go see another doctor and bring your ultrasound results. I have had a small lump too but my DR said it was fatty tissue. It can only be felt when I am not nursing and it hasn't grown. It never hurts to be proactive. YOu know your body better than any doctor!

jeaner29 said...

Jenny, I want to cry for you. Don't feel stupid. Send the letter--it's actually quite mild & nice. This is your life and body that they are so quick to dismiss. Get a second opinion, even if you had a good experience. Many times these things are nothing but you need to know without a shadow of a doubt. Your OB or whoever referred you needs to know about your experience. Radiologists get paid so much and for what? I am so disgusted with his treatment of you. There is simply NO reason for him treat you that way. None.

Clarissa Jo Baxter said...

I agree with jeaner29 it is mild and quite nice. Did you send it? What were the results?

Elise said...

Yes you have every reason to be upset! I would get a second opinion! I had a lump removed in highschool and it was scary so I cant even imagine what you are feeling to have a doctor brush you aside. I am sorry friend!