You have been warned.
Yesterday was the big UroGyno appointment. My day started way earlier than I would like because the doctor's office is 3 hours away. On my way out the door, I saw THIS on the counter...
Rockin'! It's already a great day. I was really having stress about this appointment because I felt like we are really getting to the end of the road for options and doctors who could possibly solve this problem. Plus, I made the mistake of investigating the doctor's website where I read things like 'urodynamics' and 'robotic assisted gynecologic surgery' and 'cystoscopy' and all manner of torturous things. Praying and being still was the only thing keeping me from flying out of the car and hiding in Mexico.
We were able to find the office with little fuss and went straight up to get signed in. They had sent me the paperwork to fill out in the mail, so I had already done all that. And I had worked really hard to make sure that Dr. Urogyno had all my previous records and was hopeful that he had had time to read them prior to my visit. These are the things I had with me that brought me comfort...
Took my Chicas with me in the form of my chickie socks that were gifted to us at one of our retreats. You guys were even with me during the exam of neverending torture.
This is my most beautiful, quilted, Bible study bag - hand made specially for me. I will make a special post just to show you this bag, and even tell you where you can get one. It was so peaceful to just hold the handle and rub the beautiful stitches and know that each one was placed there in love for me. I rubbed the handle almost the whole way up there.
I also had the comfort of being accompanied by my husband who had returned from his efforts in Texas. Thank You Jesus. On the way up there he offered such a sacrifice to me that if this became too much, then I could tell him and we would stop pursuing it. That he loves me and we would work it out. I cannot tell you the relief I felt and the overwhelming feeling of someone being willing to sacrifice out of love for me. I didn't ever know that I would see my husband modeling God's love for me.
Finally, I had my Bible. Speaks for itself, does it not?
The nurse took me back to the exam room even before my appointment time. That happens like once in century. My husband came too. She said, you two can go ahead and sit in the chairs over there (bypassing the ominous stirrups). She told us that the doctor likes to talk a lot before he ever examines. We sat and waited and waited and finally the doctor came in - yes, 15 minutes AFTER my scheduled appointment time. Which I was a little irritated, but not a lot because I figured, you know, maybe he just hadn't had time to go through my records yet and so he was doing that now. I mean I guess I can't expect him to take my stuff home and read it over dinner. Sadly this time left to ourselves in the girlydoctor's office, caused us to ponder if doctors such as these subscribe to magazines such as vagina weekly. When he came in, he had an electronic notepad. Made all his notes on there. Conspicuously absent were my medical records. Hm. So, we talked for a while about what was going on with me. I said - oh, I made sure to have my records sent over. He said - oh, I don't have those. I raised my fists in the air and growled out loud. Here is the thing - not only do I not want to spend my office time rehashing all the junk that you can read - I CAN'T REMEMBER EVERYTHING. I NEED YOU TO LOOK AT MY RECORDS SO YOU CAN KNOW WHAT WAS ALREADY DONE FOR ME. So we talk some more, he gives his thoughts on what it could be - he's pretty sure at this point that it is Interstitial Cystitis, which I say, I believe me and all my very personal friends had ruled out. But he explained that it can be illusive in certain kinds of tests but there were some good ones that were pretty sure to identify it. Yes, well I don't know if those have been done because we do not have my records. He talks about the option of physical therapy, which just sent me into a tailspin of trying to imagine what on earth kind of physical therapy you would DO for the tip or your urethra.
So he says, okay - The blue one there goes on top, open to the front - the white one is for your lap; I am going to step out while you COMPLETELY undress because we are going to examine you from TOP to BOTTOM. Yes, I said from top to bottom. TahTah's to HooHaw and beyond. So, my husband and I have one of those retarded discussions. "Should I stay or should I go now? If I go there will be trouble. If I stay it will be double...." I am stressed, and my mind is going a hundred miles an hour and I can't possibly know what to do. My poor husband really doesn't want to stay, but doesn't want to be a jerk if I want him to stay. So I think, he really does not need to see what is going to happen to me. He'll just have to read about it. Haha. So we agree that he can go out and about and I will call him when I am finished.
The doctor comes back in and tells me all the things you girls already know - place your feet in the stirrups, and lay back. As he is doing the breast exam I tell him about the 'mass' that was found on my mammogram and he says, "Oh? I don't feel it. Don't feel a thing." Then looks at me and says, "It's nothing to worry about." So he finishes that and then on to my abdomen and pelvis. Poke poke poke (Do you know that that hurts? Geez.) He finishes that portion of the move to the south and then he moves to the end of the table and says ~ say it with me ladies ~ "Slide on down to the end of the table." WHO can 'slide on down'?? There is no graceful way to get to the end of the table. None. No not one. But, truly, at this point how lame is it that I am still caring about my dignity? Do I honestly think I have a shred of it left? By the way, I had had a discussion about this the prior evening with my Chicas, and as a result, I literally laughed out loud when he said that. Thanks girls. So, as previously discussed, over the last three years we (me and my personal friends,otherwise known as every doctor in the southeast) have determined that it is the TIP of my urethra that is the problem area. And as we also know, each new person that comes to the party has to determine that for themselves. He did the most thorough interior exam I have had to date.
Does it hurt here?
No, just when you bother the tip on your way to "here".
When is the last time you had intercourse? We tried yesterday. *Wishing that the table would just swallow me whole*
Hm. Does it hurt here?
Um, I can't tell if that hurts or if you are pulling on the tip.
YES!!*My foot automatically responded by making contact with his nose, and my thumbs went in my mouth.* *Well, maybe that didn't EXACTLY happen.*
That IS the tip.
YOU THINK?*Some crying going on now. Trying so hard to be brave*
Okay, yeah - it is definitely just that tip.
Thank you. It is nice to have confirmation of that. Again.
Now you are going to feel some pressure in your Anus.
HOW have I not completely dissolved from utter humiliation?
I want to rule out those std's that we talked about before and I can do that with swabs, so we'll do that now. Tell me if I am hurting you.
Okay *quiet tears* (That really hurt; my urethra AND my heart.)
I don't think you have either of those things, but at this point we need to be sure to be certain we have ruled out all possibilities.
After that was all done, he let me sit up so we could talk about what he thinks now that he has done an examination. He is less convinced that it is IC, but he wants to have certain tests done for that because, again, at this point we have to be sure that we are certain we have ruled out every possibility. HE, however, does not do those particular tests. Only a urologist can do those tests, and you may remember that my urologist moved his practice to Houston.
SO - guess what?? I get to go see YET another new doctor. Oh but the exciting news does not stop there. No. There is more. I have to wait until Dr. Urogyno (who can't do some urology stuff) tells my primary care manager that I need to go to a urologist and then wait for HIM to request the referral from Tricare. Hopefully without requiring me to make an actual appt and come back in to discuss the whole matter. And then wait for THEM to process it.
So where was I? Oh yes, our course of action. He tells me that I am not really a candidate for physical therapy because my muscles are all in great shape. Except, of course, for urethral massage. Mmhm. He thinks, that when I had my weekly sessions with my gynecologist for this lovely adventure, that we just didn't do it enough times for long enough. That it really could help to desensitize the area if given proper time and attention.
So, what I want you to do, S4J is to MASSAGE YOURSELF TWICE A DAY FOR FIVE MINUTES. EVERY DAY. AND KEEP TO IT. DON'T GIVE UP. You are the best person for the job. You are very in tune with your body, you know exactly where the problem is and you can just reach in ~ and I am not kidding here folks~ he actually made a motion at himself of 'reaching in' and wiggled his fingers to give me the general idea of what I would be doing.
Keep on taking the Neurontin - it's a great idea - take it long term. It will need time to take effect. And go get those tests. I am sorry, but there may be no answer to your problem. We may just have to do pain management. Has anyone suggested numbing creams or gels such as lidocaine?
Oh yes. Been there, done that. No worky. Not.Even.A.Little.Bit.
Okay ~ we will have the results of the std tests by Monday and we will call you. I will call Dr. S and request that referral. And you will do the things I told you and we will go from there. You can go ahead and get dressed and head out.
Thank you and goodbye.
Now I am weary and sore and sad and tired. I clean up. Get dressed and slowly walk out of the office cause walking is painful. Call my husband as I am heading down in the elevator and we make our way to the car. Slowly. Did I just have a baby?? Geez.
Hubby offers to take me shopping as we drive by Hobby Lobby. Had to say no. Had to say no to all shopping because I wouldn't be able to tolerate the walking. So hubby found us a big city place to eat lunch - The Macaroni Grill. Here is our table covering. (As always, you can click on the pic to enlarge)
We finished lunch and decided that we needed to get on home as the kids were riding the bus home to an empty house if we didn't show up. I was really done with the day and just wanted to get home and sleep it off. In my room. With the door closed. And no one else there.
Sorry. Not yet. On the way home, we got this....
Wow. That is a day. We got home, I went straight to my room and went to my bed. With the door closed. And no one else there.
I finally heard today back from the hospital about my ultrasound! The ultrasound shows that the mass is a cyst. That it has no blood supply of its own and the follow up needed is a mammogram in six months. Thank You, Lord for mercy.
I am most sad that I missed the opportunity to tell Dr. Urogyno that he has not met my God if he thinks there is no solution. I pray that the Holy Spirit takes over next time and gets the job done where I am lacking.
Again I say...
In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust.