And she swears theres nothing wrong, I hear her playing that same old song….

September 8, 2008

The moment I saw the envelope I knew was it was; a reminder about my 6 month mammogram and biopsy. Since last spring I had been using all of my very best ‘ignore it and it will go away’ tactics, but there was no denying the envelope was real and it was time to face the music. Six months ago, during a routine exam my Dr found a number of lumps in both of my breasts. After some very painful and very ineffective attempts aspirating them (read: stick a needle into your ta-ta and try to suck out whatever is inside) he concluded they were solid masses and I needed to see a surgeon. My surgeon concluded pretty quickly that they were NOT CANCER (maybe i should have started with that) but they needed to be dealt with, as they could become cancerous. Sixteen in total, we would start with the larger more difficult ones and move on to the smaller ones. I know that their is no excuse, no reason to ignore your heath, but since I am being so honest….here are the five reasons I have put it off for six months.

1) It hurts – yup, it does. Anyone who is wearing a white coat or a set of scrubs and tells you you will only feel a slight pinch is LYING. Apparently they are not capable of using any sort of numbing technique. This means all biopsy’s, not matter how close to my ribcage, are done with me wide awake and feeling everything and it hurts.

2) It is time consuming – Due to the non-numbing situation, they are only able to do a few at a time for fear that it might be too much for my body to take…or for them to take when I start screaming bloody murder. This means I have to go in at least five or six times for appointments that can only be made smack in the middle of the day at a hospital that is notoriously running behind schedule to spend most of my work day in a waiting room reading back issues of US magazine. I have a brand new job and no sick time, you do the math.

3) It is expensive- Because I am too young to be getting mammograms every six months my health insurance does not pay for them. Yes, you are reading this correctly. My health insurance does not feel my mammograms are necessary even though my Dr has ordered them and needs them to keep record of the progress of my tumors (ALL 16 of them). The last conversation I had with Horrible Heath Insurance Helga went something like this:

Me: I am calling because according to the information I have, all mammograms are covered. However, I am being billed for mine in the full amount.

HHH: Well, all preventative mammograms are covered, as are follow up mammograms. Not mammograms that are ordered by your physician. You are too young to qualify for preventative mammograms and you need to have first mammograms for follow up mammograms.

Me: So, you you mean to tell me that if there was nothing wrong with me you would cover the mammogram, but since my Dr is worried about something, you won’t.

HHH: We like to encourage preventive care and good healthy behavior.

Me: But you just said that I don’t qualify for preventative mammograms because I am not old enough and I am trying to engage in healthy behavior by seeing the Dr and taking care of this. I feel like I am being punished for being young and having this heath issue.

HHH: Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Me: * CLICK*

4) It is aggravating – Horrible Heath Insurance Helga is not the only one making my life difficult. Every time you call the scheduling office you get transferred to a million people. No one can figure out whose patient I am or what waiting room I should be sitting in leaving me to wander around the hospital in that oh so attractive gown looking for my Dr and my handbag. Once I find the correct place and lay down for my umpteenth sonogram no one will tell me anything and I can’t figure out who should be doing what. For example, another fine bit of information from Horrible Heath Insurance Helga.

HHH: We pay for the surgeon to read the biopsy but not perform the biopsy. We pay for the radiologist to perform the biopsy and to read the sonogram but not to perform the sonogram. We pay for the sonogram to be performed by a tech but not to be read by the tech. If the biopsy is done with the assistance of a sonogram we pay for the radiologist to perform both the sonogram and the biopsy but then do not pay for both the radiologist and the surgeon to read the sonogram and biopsy. This is all listed on our website for additional clarity.


5) I am scared. There, I said it.


11 Responses to “And she swears theres nothing wrong, I hear her playing that same old song….”

  1. OMG, I had no idea… that IS scary, and it’s perfectly fine to be scared, I’m sending you a big hug, when you get there you could always call me and I’ll come up with some smart-ass comment to make you laugh… yes? hahaha love ya girl! ps: dont go alone, take a friend with you, if i lived closer I would soo be there!

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    Many, many, many things running through my head. The first being – WHY didn’t I know about this before today?? Second,I know how scary this is – been there, done that – but try to remain in good spirits and keep the ‘silver lining’ in the forefront… you are young, you caught the tumors early, you’re a tough cookie. I’m with La Petite Belle – if you need a ride or a shoulder – CALL me. I always have time for you.

  3. fritz Says:

    My thoughts are with you! and i will even throw in a few prayers…and all those reasons are exaclty why i avoid my six month check up with the puppet master (read…OBGYN)

  4. Matt Says:

    I’m so glad it wasn’t cancer..

    and yeah…being scared should have been #1.

  5. OMG! Well I should have given you a bigger hug today!! I LOVED seeing you today!! You look so happy!!

    Honestly, call me next time, I will go with you and hold that handbag and look for the doctor!!! Please call and I too will go!! **HUG**

  6. adorablybitter Says:

    Argh, the insurance people – they should realise that the callers already have a health thing to worry about – they should make an effort to be nice and supportive. Sending you good vibes and virtual hugs from my side of the world. And I agree – recruit a friend or family member to accompany you when you go through it.

  7. Molly Says:

    Why didn’t I know about this? Breast health is such an important thing in my family too. I’ll have to start my mammograms way early. Hopefully without as much aggrivation.

    But you know what? In the end, I’m SO happy you’re ok.

  8. Mike Says:

    And now i’m feeling guilty for not reading this sooner. I’ve been so freakin’ swamped…and here I come to catch up with my most favorite and i feel awful for not doing it sooner….you know how i feel about this. And you know what a moaf hug feels like. So go with that feeling for now, ok?

  9. Erin Says:

    I’ll help you take down HHH. She’s the last thing you should have to worry about right now….Can’t believe you have to go through this. I say after the next appointment we eat sushi and drink wine until we’re in that warm, happy place. Hugs, hugs, hugs.

  10. Pessimistic Redhead Says:

    Oh my goodness. This is just sickening. We live in AMERICA. We are supposed to be one of the most developed countries in the world, and stuff like this is happening to people everywhere in our country–including young women.

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. I hope everything is okay.

    PS I love Bill Simmons too. He is my homepage at work 🙂

  11. […] For thous of you who read this blog entry, and are wondering about the status of my health or have sent e-mails inquiring, thank you for your […]

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