dramamama gets serious Tale – The new Dr.

Exactly two weeks following my full work-up with Chewy and associates, the phone rang…

Upon answering the telephone, I did not recognize the cheery caller on the other end, “Hi, this is the Medical Assistant from the Dr.’s office.” Chewbacca? Wow, I never would have guessed, as she sounded, well, jovial. “Yes?,”  I responded, thinking she must have some wonderful news for me. “I’m calling to let you know you have abnormal results,” Chewy continued with such enthusiasm I thought she must not know abnormal results do not mean that I have won the lottery. “I see,” I said trying to get my bearings. She went on about how they wanted me to go see some OB/GYN in East Bumfuck. At that point, I decided this was my final standoff with Chewbacca and that I really needed to get serious about my health and take charge. I thanked her and said, “No thanks, I’ll find my own new OB/GYN.” Peace out.

Being in the Healthcare Industry I had learned a thing or two in the nearly 9 years since my last child was born (except for the not going to the Dr. part) and while I’d loved my last OB, I didn’t like the “renowned” facility which had neglected me in his absence. Therefore, I knew I wanted to choose the Network of hospitals first, and then begin researching doctors. Soon I found my man. A former military Dr., he was known for experience with the most modern gynecological surgical techniques (only being done since 2006). Since even though I didn’t know the extent at that point, from the initial report, I had a pretty good idea I would be needing surgery.

Within days I was at my first visit at this new Dr.’s office. The receptionists, while slightly confused, were very friendly. Once getting escorted to the examination room I met the medical assistants. Both were extremely attractive, waxed, and well-groomed. Smiling. They offered me water and ensured I was comfortable before I got poked and prodded. One thing I have noticed, attractive women are far more pleasant.  In any event, when I met the Dr. I could tell there would be no yee-hawing as with my last OB/GYN, but that was fine by me. I wanted to get right down to business. And he did. With nary a handshake he dove right under the sheet.

Well abnormal results, turned into more abnormal results, turned into more visits for biopsies, turned into more biopsies, turned into the Dr. telling me it was time to come back in again to discuss the diagnosis and treatment options. In the meantime, I had already braced myself  for the very worst it could be, and I had a feeling it was pretty bad at this point, so I was ready for whatever he had to say on that day:

I sat on the edge on the table fully dressed this time, swinging my legs, waiting. Finally the Dr. comes in and pulls the stool up very close and tells me Pathology confirmed I have Level III carcinoma, which is very severe but means from what they can tell the cancerous cells are still encased within the epithelium so are likely isolated to the cervix and uterus. Meaning this is not a cancer diagnosis, but pre-cancer. The treatment is a full hysterectomy, with removal of cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes. However, if the ovaries did not have cancer they would leave them in (for homormal reasons) and they would also check the bladder for signs of cancer so I needed to give permissions for removal of the additional organs if needed. Pissa.

First I thank him for his timely diagnosis, as well as for the fact he may actually be able to save my ovaries because if I were to be thrown into instant menopause I would not go gracefully. I told him I would be like one of those women on the i-cool commercials stripping off clothes wherever they happen to be when a hot flash hits. Also, I would absolutely, positively need hormone replacement therapy because I would be a hot mess and need every Suzanne Somers creme available to rub on me constantly. In addition, I mentioned I get hot enough at work already, paging OPS to turn the heat down not only when I am hot but whenever anyone else in the building is hot, including the men.

The Dr. was completely silent at this point so I decided this was the perfect time get down to the nitty gritty with the list of my  questions I had prepared as to when it had to be done, how it would be done, and how long I would be out of commission:

“How long do I have before I need to have this done?” The Dr says, “As soon as possible, definitely this month. “Sooo, I ask, “Is the week after next since I have a business trip next week as soon as possible ok?” and “Exactly how long will I have to be out of work?” I realized this was a run-on question but he grasped it all and said, “Fine for the week after next, and four weeks out of work.” I stand up now. “Four weeks out of work, are you sure I cannot go back sooner?!?” He said we could discuss that again later and wanted to detail the actual procedure. I sit back down.

He said he would do the procedure laparoscopically. Right on. This is why I picked you Dr. He went on to explain he would go in through my navel with the scope to view my organs, then make four other key-hole size incisions to perform the actual procedure and that was basically it. That’s it? Wait a minute. That cannot be IT. So now I ask him, “I hear you with key-hole size incisions but how are you going to get all those organs OUT of incisions that small?

A funny thing happened here. My military Dr. got red in the face and said in a very low voice, “Well we take those out through the vagina.” And when he said vagina it was almost a whisper. I looked around because I am confused now. Why are we whispering? There are vaginas all over the place in here. Vagina models. Vagina drawings. Doesn’t he look at vaginas all day long? He is a Vagina Dr. for crying out loud.

Before signing my John Hancock anywhere, I figured we’d better get a few things straight and make sure he is comfortable with vaginas before he works on mine. So I say, “Speaking of vaginas I have a few questions…. I’m really not worried about you being able to get all that out because I did pop out a 10+ lb baby, but will it still be the same after you do your work?” I chuckled.  He does not chuckle. Nor does he even crack a smile, but looks perplexed so I guess I need to clarify further. I clench both my fists and say, “Will my vagina still be tight?” The haze clears from his face and he responds, “Oh yes, yes, yes!” Good to know. “I am also wondering, will it still get wet?” Without even whispering he says, “Yes, the vagina will be absolutely the same.” Marvelous! We got the vagina covered.

Next, I start firing away with my “when can I get back to Zumba questions” until he slapped me on the knee and told me to save the rest of my questions for the pre-surgical appointment.

Oh goody, I get to come back yet again.

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