Friday, October 23, 2009

Overdue for an update

Sorry I've been negligent in the blog-updating department. Not only have I had alot to worry about, I've just had alot going on! It's been crazy here! Where do I start?

One week ago today, poor little Emma woke up with a temperature of 103. I kept her home from school that day and thought little of it. We just kind of hung around on Saturday and then on Sunday she was fine. We went to church and also had a fun afternoon at Papa's Pumpkin Patch in 80 degree weather!! Monday morning after waking the kids up, Gage comes upstairs crying and telling me his eyes hurt. I thought that was a little weird, and when I leaned my head against the side of his, I noticed he felt warm. Not good! He was scheduled to get his tonsils out the next day and I knew that if he had a temperature, they would not do it. I had all kinds of crazy thoughts floating around in my head, like not telling anyone, etc. etc. However, my gut instinct was telling me I better do the right thing. I called up the Surgicenter to notify them of the low-grade temp, as it said to do in my instruction booklet. Of course they said I would have to have him cleared by our family doctor in order for him to continue with the surgery. I kept him home from school and spent the morning on the phone trying to get an appointment with our pediatrician. I finally got in touch with someone and got an appointment for 10:40. After sitting in the waiting room for literally an hour, we finally made it in to see the doctor. Because there were tons of kids sick with the H1N1 (swine) flu, they sent Gage to the lab to be tested for it. There had been 118 kids sick from Northridge school the past couple of days, and there were 3 other families we knew from Northridge that came into the doctor's office while we were waiting. Later that afternoon, they called us to tell us that he tested positive for influenza A, which they said most likely is the H1N1 (swine) flu. UGH! Needless to say, his tonsillectomy was cancelled. I was sad about that because he would have missed less school if we could have done it this week since we have a 4-day weekend because of Teacher Convention. Oh well. Everything happens for a reason, right? I think I was actually a little bit relieved, because I was scheduled for an outpatient procedure just 2 days later.

When I went in to consult with the surgeon a week and a half ago, he gave me a couple of options on what we could do. The first option was to do a core needle biopsy. The second was a wire-guided excisional biopsy. Even though the latter is a bit more invasive, we chose that direction because it gives more definitive results. I had the procedure done yesterday and will have to wait until Tuesday for any results. The first part of this excisional biopsy was performed in the radiology department where they used mammography to locate the site of the nodule so they could insert a wire through a needle into the area so the doctor could open up the breast and excise the tissue around the end of the wire. As gruesome as it all sounds, it wasn't all that bad. I have very little, to almost no, post-op incisional pain. It was a very weird feeling as I was lying on the operating table looking around at all of the lights and equipment and the next thing I know, I hear the doctor talking as he is finishing up the procedure. I immediately started asking questions, like "What did you find?" etc, etc. Even though I can't really remember what he said, I do remember them showing me the tissue they excised that was in a little ziploc bag. Apparently he told Scott that he didn't think it looked bad, but that we would have to wait until Tuesday for the results. We've been waiting for 3 1/2 weeks, so what's another 5 days?

Scott has been VERY busy lately with work and guiding DU donors on hunts. It has been very difficult for me not having him here. He later claimed that his way of dealing with all of this was by staying busy to keep his mind off things. Unfortunately that wasn't what I was needing, but hopefully all of this will be in the past come Tuesday when we get final results. I have quite a few doctor's appointments coming up this next week. I am to see the Bone and Joint doctor for my shoulder, I am to see my doctor to talk about the Holter monitor study and then return for a follow-up with the surgeon on Friday to make sure the incision is looking okay. I am sure going to hate it when all of these medical bills start making their way to our mailbox! I'm hoping to get all of this overwith and get on with life. It's been a little hard to focus lately, as you can imagine!

Monday, October 12, 2009


I think waiting is about one of the worst things in the world. I can't stand waiting. I've never been known for my "patience". Sometimes I can hide it better than others; however.

In my last post I mentioned all of the tests I have had to undergo recently. I have finally gotten some results back from a few of them. The MRI of my left shoulder showed I have a torn labrum and 2 labral cysts (that's not to be confused with labia or labial) which is part of the rotator cuff. I have no idea when I injured it and I have to go in to see the Bone and Joint doctor on Thursday to see what to do about it.

I was told when I turned in my Holter monitor that it could be 10 days before I get those results.

I also had the special view mammogram and ultrasound last Thursday. When I was in with the mammogram tech I asked her when I would get the results and she told me the office would probably call me the next day with them. When I told her they didn't call me with the first set of results, she suggested that I call them the next day. The ultrasound tech gave me absolutely no information at all. I know they can't, but she could at least TALK to ease the nerves a little! Maybe ask me how my day was or SOMETHING? At this point I am a little frustrated and thought I would attempt to get any information she would give me (which was nothing). I asked her a few questions like, "Have you found it yet?" "How will the doctor know by looking at that black area what this is?" "What do you think it is?" "If this turns out to be something, what will be the next step?" And of course, as I said, I got no answers. Well, I did get one answer and what was, "I can't tell you that, you'll have to get that information from your doctor." BLAH BLAH BLAH! When I got home and after talking to a friend, she suggested I call the office and demand results. Well, you know me. That isn't something I would normally do. However, the waiting is driving me absolutely crazy! I called the office and ended up getting the answering machine for the nurse. I was really upset when I learned by listening to the message that they would not be in the office on Friday, which meant if I didn't get answers then, I would have to wait the entire weekend. I left a message and I'm sure when they listened to it they probably were afraid to call me. It was a combination of mad and sad that I'm sure wasn't making them want to call me back anytime soon! After awhile, I decided to call back to see if there was even anyone in the office. When the nurse answered, and when I said, "This is Stacy Stephens" she says, "OH! Stacy! I have all of your results on Dawn's desk and she will be calling you shortly." THANK GOODNESS! It was probably within 10 minutes or so when the doctor (nurse practitioner) called me back. It wasn't the news I wanted to hear. The results of the mammogram and ultrasound suggested further evaluation yet. She said I would need to come in for an ultrasound guided aspiration (I think). It really is true, what you see in the movies, when someone gets that awful diagnosis, you truly don't hear much of what is said after that. She told me not to "freak out", that's easy for her to say, and she thought they were just being cautious since I have a family history of breast cancer with my sister. She told me she would talk to the surgeon and call me back Friday to let me know if they would be doing it in the office or in the OR. More waiting! She did get me called back on Friday and I had to be connected with the surgeon's office to schedule a consultation. More waiting! I talked to them and have my appointment scheduled for tomorrow morning at 10:45. Yet more waiting! UGH! I'm not sure if I can take much more waiting. I just want to know, one way or the other, what this is! Needless to say, I have been quite full of emotions. The worst part is, I know that when I see them tomorrow, I am then going to have to do MORE WAITING for the appointment when they do the procedure. Then, more waiting, to get those results. Please pray with me that I get the results at that point, and don't have to wait for yet another test to determine what this is! Did I mention that I can't stand waiting?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Falling apart

I'm wondering if the body starts falling apart at 40? If so, I'm a few years ahead of schedule. UGH! I have been having a few "aches and pains" that I decided to let the nurse practitioner know about when I went for my annual exam. Now I am wishing I hadn't done that. I felt a bit like a hypochondriac as I wrote down a list of the things I wanted to mention at my appointment. Some of those things I "complained" about are my left shoulder that has been hurting for quite some time and has progressively gotten worse. I've thought that maybe it is a rotator cuff injury and thought maybe I shouldn't let it go any longer, in case it could get fixed before it gets worse. The other complaint I had was heart palpitations. I have had them in the past and it was assumed that they were due to caffeine intake or anxiety/stress, as it was back when I was working. I've had them off and on an infrequent basis, but it seems that lately they have increased to where I was starting to worry about why I was having so many. My nurse practitioner sent me to another doctor, in family medicine, since OB/Gyn is her specialty. I've never even really been to a general practitioner since we've been here because I haven't really had a need. I also had requested to have my cholesterol checked and a mammogram, since my last one was a couple of years ago.

Well, a week ago yesterday I went to an internal medicine doctor for the shoulder pain and heart palpitations. She ordered an MRI of my shoulder and a 48 hour Holter Monitor study for my palpitations. I did the MRI last week and haven't heard anything yet. I went in this morning to have the Holter monitor put on and am feeling pretty stupid having it attached since I haven't had any noticeable palpitations since Friday, and on that day, had about 5 or so. I'm also not thrilled that one of the leads is almost right in the middle of my neck, at the collarbone level and will be hard to hide. I'm sure I will have lots of people asking what it is and I'd prefer not to have to tell everyone about it. A turtleneck would cover it, but I don't care much for them.

I had my cholesterol checked at my original appointment and it came back perfect, so I was happy about that. I had my mammogram a few days after that appointment and was just notified, by letter, by the radiologist, that there were some findings that suggested further evaluation and they wanted me to call to schedule a special view mammogram and ultrasound of the area. I still have not had a call from the nurse practitioner regarding such, and am wondering if she is just being negligent in contacting me, or if it is really nothing to worry about? Well, needless to say, I am worrying about it. My appointment for those 2 tests is on Thursday afternoon and I guess I will have to suffer with worry for a couple of more days.

I think I am just starting to fall apart and I just don't like it, not one single bit! I'm praying all of this turns out to be nothing! I am hoping that you will pray for the same.