This morning Facebook reminded me that six years ago today I posted the following entry on my personal blog, which I then linked to Facebook. This was a trigger, a huge trigger. I’ll explain later.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Why am I doing this?
Why am I writing this blog? Because this past weekend I noticed a large and painful lump in my right breast. It being the weekend and all–and not seeming like a life threatening illness or at least not serious enough to hit the emergency room, I decided to scour the internet for possible diagnoses, pain reducing solutions and/or just plain piece of mind.
What I found, however, were some crazy horror stories which did nothing more than produce a much higher level of stress and anxiety for me while I was waiting through the weekend to call the doctor on Monday morning. Basically all the medical sites gave me the same possible reasons for such a lump: breast infection from nursing (hello, Sammy is 16 years old now!), injury (nope), Fibroadenomas (solid, yet “usually” painless? probably not, but a possibility), Cysts (possible, vary in size and can be “tender”… they may be simplifying things a little here) and Breast Cancer (usually slow growing, not painful and produce other symptoms I do not have so I really wasn’t so concerned about this being the diagnosis although you never know). So, I could pretty quickly eliminate a few options, but not completely eliminate other fairly scary options.
Despite my worrying, Monday rolled around rather quickly and the doctor took me right away (sort of a bad sign as this would mean that she was also concerned by my symptoms). Unfortunately, after her rather lengthy exam and a measurement of the bump approximated at 4cm x 4cm, she could not really give me any more information than I had garnered from the internet. Ugh! Plus the fact that the next step was a Mammogram/Ultrasound. Now, I find Mammograms painful on the best of days so I was definitely not looking forward to this, but I really did want to get it over with. Not going to happen… the clinic could not take me that day so I was going to have to live with the unknown for another day. Now, here is where I admit to being really stupid. Once again, in my desperation I searched out the internet. I found a woman with the identical symptoms to mine… even the same exact size lump. So I read her daily diary style story from discovery (on a weekend, just like me!) and then from doctor appointment to doctor appointment (lasting a couple of weeks, yikes!) and finally to surgery to have her (supposed to have been painless, but in fact was very painful) Fibroadenoma removed. They had at first thought it a cyst, but then when they could not drain it, they re-diagnosed it and scheduled surgery to have it removed. At first she was told it would be a dent sized scar but that was revised to a divot sized hole in her chest (even typing this makes my chest hurt, but I know I should not complain). At the end of the page, the writer promised a final post surgery entry, which never happened. WHAT? Man, that did not leave me with a warm and fuzzy feeling.
Well, moving along, after a painful mammogram and uncomfortable ultrasound, the diagnosis was in fact a fluid filled cyst. Phew, right? But that was also what’s her name’s diagnosis right? Well, I think I am going to have to do my best to try and forget what’s her name. So after the tech delivers the “good” news from the doctor… she just says, okay. That’s it? So, I ask what the next step is… hello, painfully large cyst is still the problem here. Now, because its not cancer, it doesn’t exist? Her response is… well, you can have it drained, I guess, if you want? REALLY? Uh yeah, I think I will have it drained… or perhaps I could live with it FOREVER? So, of course I want it drained right then. Well, that took her by surprise and she said that was impossible. The labs would have to be sent back to my doctor, who would then have to send over the proper paperwork for the procedure. Oh man, bring on the bureaucracy.
In the end, my procedure is scheduled for Friday. I’m sure it will all turn out for the best (since I have completely forgotten what’s her name, wink wink), but it does make me wonder if life was less or more stressful before the internet. Also, for the record, I believe women should get mammograms and do self exams… it just makes sense.
Yesterday I had a bad day. I still have some “minor” moments of anxiety and one of those involves a certain upcoming medical procedure. I turned 50 two years ago and I was supposed to get a routine colonoscopy that year, but then d-day and trauma and agoraphobia and paranoia set in. I bagged the procedure. Last year I wasn’t feeling it either. This year my doctor is insisting. I gave her the “meh, I don’t think I’m ready yet” response and she gave me, in her beautiful thick Indian accent, the “oh, yes, I believe you are ready” reply. So, actually, I am not just being obstinate about this because I don’t want the discomfort (from what I have heard, all the discomfort comes from the stuff you have to consume, and expel, before you even enter the clinic) of the procedure itself. No, actually, I have serious anxiety when it comes to anesthesia. We have known people (a friend of a friend and a friend of the in-laws) who have gone in for routine dental work, been “put under,” and never came out of it. Does anyone remember Joan Rivers… hello??? Insert favorite Joan Rivers quote here: “I don’t exercise. If God had wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor.” I miss her. Okay, so anyway I know she died from complications of a biopsy that wasn’t supposed to have been performed or whatever, but the procedure she went in for was ROUTINE. Even thinking about being under anesthesia causes me anxiety. I already have high blood pressure, which is currently uncontrolled as the doctor is also switching around my medications. At home I am pretty fine, but put me in front of anyone wearing a medical jacket and the BP shoots through the roof. They call it “white coat syndrome,” but that is a misnomer… have you seen the variety of colors on those coats these days? Add that to the fact that the people administering the dreaded ANESTHESIA will be wearing those coats, and YIKES!!!
I had an appointment today to go over everything and schedule the damn colonoscopy. First, they weighed me, in the middle of the day, out in the open, fully clothed, with shoes on, right after lunch. WTF. Talk about stress. We talked about my anxiety and my blood pressure (which of course was sky high), but the tech wasn’t swayed. She said they would do the procedure at the hospital if necessary. Now that just makes me even more nervous. I am picturing those crazy paddle things, that will attempt to revive me, sitting by my side the whole time. Wait, wait, wait… I need to talk about the breast thing and the Facebook trigger. How did I get so off track? So yesterday, I found out one of our Finnish business associates was in town. Somehow Blue Eyes forgot to tell me about this. Typical of the old Blue Eyes, not so typical of the new one. Now, he knows how much anxiety this whole colonoscopy scenario is causing me and yet, this is what he said when he realized my appointment was smack in the middle of the Finnish guy’s visit, “do you need me to go to the appointment with you?” Obviously, read between the lines, he didn’t want to go and was only prepared to go if I insisted, not because he wanted to be by my side to comfort me. HUGE TRIGGER. Exactly six years ago today, Blue Eyes told me he would not be able to go with me to my breast cyst drainage appointment, because he had a “very important, cannot be changed, your thingy is not that big of a deal right?” business trip scheduled to Silicon Valley. He could have re-scheduled, but he chose not to. I was scared shitless (hey, that’s a good description for the colonoscopy) and yet his trip was THAT IMPORTANT. Turns out his fucking sex addiction was that important. He couldn’t cope with me and my cyst and my anxiety, and he already had his whore scheduled, so he took her to California for two nights. At first it was one night, but after he found out about my cyst/procedure, he EXTENDED it to two nights. My beautiful friend Dee accompanied me to my cyst drainage appointment, which turned out to be just that, a cyst that needed to be drained, not something scarier, THANK GOD.
I am not a needy wife, but there are a few things that scare me and I am less solid than I was 22 months ago. I know things now, awful things, that trigger me. I have anxiety attacks now. Sometimes I want him to be there for me. In other words, yesterday I was so over him and his lame excuses for being a shitty husband. I told him to go fuck himself, which is technically not allowed, cuz you know, sexual sobriety and all, but whatever. I wrote him a long email and he acknowledged his shittiness and said of course he would be going with me to my appointment, and he did go with me, which was probably good because there are a lot of rules to this thing and he can help keep me honest.
Of course he had no idea Facebook reminded me of that fateful day six years ago because again, you know, NO SOCIAL MEDIA FOR THE SEX ADDICT, and honestly those dates don’t mean anything to him. He does not sit around looking at dates and all the ways he destroyed my life as I knew it. Lucky him!
My colonoscopy is scheduled for two weeks from today. Starting a week from today, I can’t eat a bunch of stuff… the day before Thanksgiving. Great timing, huh. I’ll keep you posted.