One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

March 19, 2010


Doctor to me: I’m going to send you for an ultrasound on your breast just to make sure because it seems like a surface thing, but sometimes these things get missed for a while because people assume they’re surface things. But with the heavy periods and the back pain, you’ll just have to … you know… keep dealing with it.

Me to myself: No, dammit. You were supposed to tell me the spot on my breast is nothing but that you had an answer and a solution about the periods and the back pain.

And then I started crying right before I left because of the fucking back pain. As if my dignity wasn’t already in tatters just from all that paper-sheet, examination bullshit. Actually, probably the tattered dignity contributed to the lowered defenses and hence to the tears.

At least she wrote me a prescription for some painkillers…

* * *

On a less glum note. Wednesday night I ordered a whole bunch of swarovski crystals for my wedding dress-sewing endeavours. On Thursday, at work, I told two coworkers, “Hey guess what I did last night! I ordered $200 worth of swarovski crystals, most of which are going on my wedding dress.” And both of them were like, “ohhhhhh-kaaaaay. That sounds… nice.”

Then I went to my belly dance class. (Although that was a horrible experience of mostly sitting by the sidelines with my back threatening to spasm, but whatev.) And I said to one of my belly dance friends, “Hey guess what I did last night! I ordered $200 worth of swarovski crystals, most of which are going on my wedding dress.” And she got almost as excited as I was, breathlessly exclaiming, “Oh my god! You rock!”

Sometimes you just have to know your audience.

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  1. Alison

     /  2010-03-19

    This isn’t a rant directed at you. I want to make sure you know that before you read on, because you are probably feeling tired and fragile.I just seem to be on a mission today to leave comments about people getting ridiculous responses to things and to not put up with it. First, good on going to the doctor, but she gets very low marks for the put up with it bit. Okay, I don’t know anything about the periods – I assume she means that there is nothing seemingly wrong? If I was in your shoes, I might start investigating some alternative stuff. Reiki? I know I did months of self hypnosis for the pain I used to get. It got better, but I can’t swear the self hypnosis did it – I can’t swear it didn’t either.

    But the back pain? Srsly? Unless you have an actual injury that is going to cause chronic back pain, that is a ridiculous answer. Do you have an injury? Did she even take x-rays? What is wrong with people? Sorry, that slipped out. You need to become your own best advocate. You are a young, healthy woman – there’s no reason you should have chronic bad back pain. Investigate other options. A chiropractor? A massage thereapist? Do back exercises – I know you exercise a lot, but that is not necessarily the same as doing exercises for your back. Investigate your house and your life for clues about what is going on. I suggested the mattress before. Is it lugging the Hannah? Wrong shoes? A large, heavy purse? Are you doing something different at this house that you never used to do?

    I just don’t want you to take the doctor’s answer as the answer, because it was a stupid answer. I know it’s hard to be tired and in pain and all you want is for it to go away and be better. And it’s hard to have to be the person that figures out what the problem is. Or you should see another doctor.

    I hope, hope, hope this didn’t seem like a rant at you. It totally wasn’t. You know I love you lots and think you are a strong, powerful woman.

  2. Hah. I was just, just as we were driving home, ranting to Ian about this experience. Just that what really, really bugged me about the visit was this overly patient stonewalling attitude, like I was some extremely fussy person complaining about things that normal people just would deal with. She had a student working with her today, so the student did the exam and then consulted with her and then they both came in, so I felt like I was being ganged up on with the breezy medical profession fake sympathy.

    But even the interview about the back pain (that was done with the student) irritated me. It was like when my descriptions didn’t match the textbook descriptions they got discarded. “Is it like shooting pains into the leg area?” “I told you, it radiates into my butt and sometimes my legs. My legs ache constantly, I have a pulling/stabbing pain through my inner hip & upper thigh.” “So not really…” (… the fuck???) “Any numbness?” “My toes have been numb for a couple of years.” Dismissively: “Yeah, I saw that in your chart.” (subtext: not relevant.)

    And, “Anyhow, working 60 hour weeks at a desk can certainly cause some back pain.” “Yes, but I’m not doing that anymore and it’s getting worse.” [dismissively again] “Yes and sitting on a ball is certainly a step in the right direction. It will help you develop some core strength.” (Yeah, other people have said that to me and that always gets my dander up because I don’t lack core strength. In fact, I’m very proud of my core strength. So I’m certainly not going to accept platitudes about how once my core strength is better it will get better.

    So anyhow, because of the student training setup, I didn’t go over any of that with the actual doctor. The student just took her assessment out there and then the doctor came in and said what’s what.

    Ugh. But, as I said to Ian, right now, it’s all manageable. If there’s something serious going on, it will get worse. And then I will keep going back and keep making an issue out of it and eventually it will all work itself out. : P

  3. Oh yes. And you’re right, of course, about researching ways to take care of it myself. I’ve found a massage therapist who’s half a block from my office. I’ve got a recommendation for a chiropractor. I’ve switched to sitting on a yoga ball at work at least 80% of the time. I stretch regularly.

    I did take the featherbed off my mattress. I’m doing slightly more walking and will ramp that up as the weather gets nicer.

  4. Deb C

     /  2010-03-20

    Did she at least check your hemoglobin and iron to see if you were anemic?

    Reminds me of some time after I started having the short cycles/heavy periods and I was in seeing Dr. Reisner and I was hoping to discuss this with her, but when I said I was having (what was to me) short cycles, she said in this bright congratulatory voice, “That’s nice.” In retrospect I should have punched her in the nose several times. So I never really discussed the heavy periods with any doctors until they became really bad. Did you discuss the possibility of uterine fibroids, because they can totally cause heavy bleeding. And that’s an easy thing to do an ultrasound for.

    Also wondering if you could see Tennille’s physiotherapist. He sounds like he’s got it on the ball and could help point you in the right direction, but I suppose you possibly can’t see him without a recommendation.


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