Free to a Good Home.... Part 4
I began the next week calling on all my resources to help me find a new gynecologist. I asked my GP, my friends, and my customers. My customers from work ended up being the best resource. They all had someone to recommend, but one name came up a few times, Dr. Renee Cotter. She was spoken so highly of by three of my customers, I decided to give her a shot. Worse case scenario, she'd tell me the same thing as my other doctor. At least I wouldn't be any worse off then I was, right? So, what the hell? I made the appointment.
I didn't know what to expect when I walked into Dr. Cotter's office. My experiences, thus far, hadn't led me to very high expectations for this one. What struck first, was how kind her eyes were. And what a good listener! I told her my ridiculous story and she never interrupted me. When I finally finished, the first thing she said was, "I am so sorry you've had to go through all this. You must be miserable."
I was stunned! She didn't have anything to apologize for; I just met her!
And then she said, "I promise you we're going to figure this out but first, I want you to know I would never turn a patient away for not being sick enough for me to treat her. That is the single most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. A 13/39 result from a blood count tells me your blood loss was significant enough for someone to pay attention." That was the last thing I expected to hear. I was prepared for battle. I came ready to fight, but instead I burst into tears. I wasn't even sure why I crying, but I was full on ugly crying.
And as I was crying, I got embarrassed to be having a nervous breakdown in a doctor's office and I cried a little bit harder. Then I thought, "Get a grip, Bitch! If she has to sedate you, your insurance company probably won't cover tears of joy. Plus, you'll need a ride home."
She was very patient and waited for me to calm down. Then, she began to tell me her take on things. She said from my story, she felt pretty sure I had either Endometriosis or Adenomyosis. Given my family history, she was surprised my other gynecologist hadn't mentioned either condition to me. I told her I had mentioned my sister having endometriosis but, we never discussed it in length. She said she was 90% confident everything I told her, that we were dealing with one of these two conditions. Her best educated guess led her to believe I was dealing with Adenomyosis because of all the bleeding. However, she wasn't gonna rule out Endometriosis because of my propensity for ovarian cysts. Then, she outlined the procedure. She told me she is a specialist in Advanced Gynecology (fancy!) and had full privileges at the hospital where she was affiliated. She wanted me to understand that no one has to approve or sign off on her surgeries. If she feels the patient needs surgery to improve the quality of her life, then that's what she's going do. She made it a point to say that the Endometrial Ablation was actually a good idea but, in cases of women with Adenomyosis, the procedure rarely worked. Also, she found it amusing the other Gynecologist mentioned only one way to perform the Abalation because there were several different ways to accomplish it. For her to say my Uterus was too small for the procedure, told Dr. Cotter that she may not have much experience with it. She agreed with my decision to stop taking the birth control. It was clear to her my body was rejecting the combination of chemicals in it. However, she said just couldn't see the connection with Soy. In her opinion, I was better off not having any Soy in my body at all. Because 90% of the Soy in our country is genetically modified, she was having to counsel many patients away from it. Apparently, there was direct link between Soy and breast cancer. I didn't know that. She felt it the timing of my situation was just a coincidence.
Lastly, she walked me through what she thought was my best option: a Hysterectomy. She wanted to take the laprascopic approach which would make shorten my recovery time. She would remove my uterus, cervix and fallopian tubes. Did you know that 90% of ovarian cancer starts in the fallopian tubes? Neither did I. The ovaries she would leave alone unless there was a very good reason to take them out. The only thing she asked of me was to obtain my records from the previous gynecologist. I told her I had tried getting them before my appointment with her. I called the other office twice. Once, I left a message and the second time, it rang and rang and rang with no answer. She asked for the phone number and she'd get them herself.
I left feeling elated! Lighter than I had felt in weeks! My surgery had been scheduled! A medical professional agreed with me and didn't make me feel like a hypochondriac. I was actually excited about having a surgeon rip a major organ out of my body! How f*cked up is that?!
About a week or so later, Dr. Cotter called me and said she had gotten my medical records from the other doctor. Everything looked good as far as my surgery but she wanted me to come in for an Endometrial Biopsy. She wanted to have a current tissue sample. We got that scheduled and ended the call. Immediately, my mind went to worse case scenario. What was wrong? What did she see in my records to make her want to run a tissue test? And of course, I did the exact wrong thing. I went on WebMD and did a search for Endometrial Biopsy. It confirmed what I already knew; I was minutes from dying and I would never sleep again... (Author's Note: I certainly hope y'all get this new millennium joke about WebMD searches always leading to cancer and death. It would totally kill my writer's mojo.)
The following week I go in for my biopsy. I'm a nervous wreck but anxious for it to be over with. It wasn't until I got there I found out Dr. Cotter wouldn't be performing the test. Her nurse practitioner would be doing it instead. I was a little surprised and tried not to be disappointed. I was really comfortable with Dr. Cotter but honestly, as long as it was over with quickly, I didn't care who did it. I'm taken into the procedure room and told to undress, put on the gown, and the NP would be in shortly. I did as instructed and a few minutes later, in she came. She was very pleasant and had a very calm demeanor which was a good thing since I was wound as tight as a drum. She talked me through the whole procedure but it did little to my nerves. The whole time she was talking she was also setting up the instruments she was going to use on a little tray next to the exam table. One look at them and I was convinced I was about to be tortured. I couldn't identify any of the tools on the tray except for one seriously demented twisty looking thing that I'm pretty sure a Roto Rooter Guy used on my toilet last spring. Oh, and one that looked like Jeffrey Dahmer's melon baller. I think I blacked out for a few minutes after seeing that one.
She started the procedure the way any normal pelvic exam would go; legs up, slide down, closer, no,closer, and then, the speculum. She felt my uterus and she too, remarked how small it was. What was with these medical professionals and their size-bias on tiny uterui?! If I lived through all of this, I'd put it on display in the f*cking Smithsonian for all to see!
She then took the Dahmer melon baller thing and inserted it. With her other hand she pressed down on my stomach and told me she was going to count to 10 and wanted me to start taking deep breaths when she did. She explained there would be pain, but it wouldn't last long.
Then, she started to count and I started to breath. She hadn't even made it to the number 3, when it felt like she was trying to peel a grape inside my vagina. Except it wasn't a grape, it was my uterus or intestine or something else equally horrible in that region of my body. Out of pure instinct, my legs almost clamped shut and she damn near lost her head. And P.S. the breathing shit didn't help. I felt like she had found the one ingrown hair on my body and was pulling it out from the inside. And it was same size as the soap on a rope that hangs in my f*cking shower. Seriously, I've head actual surgical procedures that didn't hurt as much as this did.
But, I lived and she said I did really well. She was thrilled with the sample she took from me and I told her it was a good thing because there was no way in hell she was going back in there.
I was glad I had planned to have the whole day off because there is no way I could've gone back to work. For one thing, my body took the biopsy as an invitation to open the flood gates back up and I was bleeding like I had played a sick game with Jigsaw and lost. And for another, I hurt. A lot.
I couldn't wait for all of this to be over.
To be continued in Part 5