Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stupid lump

Disclaimer - sorry guys, it's a story about girly stuff.

Lumps in breasts frighten people. Probably because the world is decorated in pink every year with breast cancer awareness. Well they've done their job so well that every little lump gets ultimate care and attention. It kinda reminds me of being pregnant when any little ache or pain could constitute days of bed rest if the story were told to an especially conscience caring nurse or doctor. Every ultrasound was poured over by the doctor, oh is that a little mark I see on the babies tummy, hmmm gotta watch that. Make sure it doesn't get any bigger.

Lest you think I jest - I don't. I've just grown a little battle worn from the pressure to panic about every little thing that goes wrong in an aging/post pregnant body. Not that 35 is old by any modern scales but still it is an aging body.

So when a lump appeared 2 months ago, while I was still nursing I did what any practical person living in modern society would do - I went straight to my OB/GYN who confirmed, yes it is a lump. Go get an ultrasound. The radiologist confirmed, yes it is a lump. Go back and talk to your OB/GYN who said, hmmm let's refer you to a General Surgeon who can review the lump and make the next decision. The GS also agreed, yes that sure is a lump and my don't you look great for just having a baby 9 months ago (um thanks!). She told me to put hot compresses on it 3 times a day and take evening primrose vitamins to take down any potential swelling. She thought, it must be something to do with nursing.

So I stopped nursing (was winding down anyway) and took 3 weeks of doing the hot compresses once a day if I was lucky. Got busy with life, ignored the lump. But it wouldn't go away so on my last check up GS decided it should probably just come out. Okay fine I said. We scheduled the appointment, I made sure it was after Charlotte's birthday and the date was set for tomorrow. Then the surgery center called to say my insurance was charging a $500.00 deductible plus $100.00 office visit. Huh? For a little incision to remove a 2-3cm size lump? Yes, they confirmed, it is surgery after all.

So I stopped for a day, reconsidered the doctor's title - General Surgeon and decided to find a doctor who specialized in breasts. Told her my history of just recently finishing nursing and she said I should wait 6 months for my breasts to go back to normal. Wow, that simple? Just wait? Yes, let everything go back to normal and come in if it changes or gets any bigger.

But society tells me to panic and take action. No she tells me, be patient. Um okay, I guess I'll do that. But I'm really stressed from life and I've already scheduled the day off work so I think I'll just disappear for the day tomorrow and take a rest - at the beach or maybe the movies. Something quiet without people and babies demanding things of me. That sounds nice.

6 comments:

Gilmore-Kozlen said...

I am so proud of you for taking charge of your health (and cost) and not just listening to the doctor!! I work for a LARGE health insurance company and this is exactly the problem with our country and health insurance! People need to be in charge of their health and health costs!! WAY TO GO!!

Greasycog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel M. said...

Thanks Gilmore, I appreciate the boost in confidence. I don't want to be pushed through the system like a robot. I feel good about my decision.

Amanda said...

It always amazes me when you get 2 totally different opinions from doctors...even here in Canada where most of our medical costs are covered. It totally makes sense to take the time for your body to "go back to normal" before going through any form of surgery...that may be all you need.

Unpolished Parenting said...

It's the fear of the unknown that makes us pay those outrageous costs and just go through the system. Good for you for taking a step back and allow your body to do what it needs to do!

Grit said...

wow, i hear your reasoning and those panic voices too. you are right to do the thinking and planning of your own body. keep monitoring it all, and you'll make the right decisions.