Saturday, April 10, 2010

When Even Benign is Bad

Note: The proselytizing Jesus freak doctor story will be posted tomorrow. It's actually kind of funny.

I've been trying to educate myself about this 'thing' on my lung in preparation of an upcoming appointment with my pulmonologist.

The funny thing is, I just can't work up my usual curious zeal when it comes to learning about my health. I'm actually tired of having to figure things out.

After doing infertility treatments for 4? 5? (Ha. I can't even remember!) years, I promised myself I wouldn't have to go to the doctor anymore. If you've ever dealt with infertility, you know that it can be demanding. Not just emotionally, but also you have to show up and show up and show up.

It was not uncommon to be at the clinic daily or to have 10 doctors appointments in a month. The appointments always involved uncomfortable nudity in front of multiple strangers who needed to touch you intimately.

While an annual pap smear is over and done, infertility is constant. For me, it began to feel like a violation. Worse, the way fertility clinics are run--they rotate staff constantly--you aren't even stripping for the same people so you never begin to feel comfortable, like, at least you're naked with someone you know. You don't even get that much. Just a gauntlet of strangers who want you to spread your legs.

It is just all around unpleasant. I thought once I was done with infertility, I could just be normal. As in, not go to the doctor all the damn time.

I even planned to cut back on the pulmonologist. She likes to see me every 3 months. I wanted to go to 6 months. I mean, I never get sick, right?

Well, I can't say that anymore, can I? Now I think I probably do need to see her every 3 months because the lungs are twitchy. I have a lot more nocturnal symptoms. The peak flow meter is all over the place. My airways are wildly reactive, I'm having issues with smells/airborne irritants which haven't bothered me for years.

Then the high blood pressure popped up and I couldn't responsibly ignore it. Then it behaved oddly which meant even more doctor visits with more to come.

I mean, I just can't get away from these people.

And now the thing on the lung. I spent most of last night reading and then watching information slide off my brain as if I had coated it in Pam. I don't know if that is a coping mechanism, if I'm tired, or if growths in the lung are just that boring. I do feel weary. I don't want to read long dissertations on Benign Lung Tumors. I don't want any of this and I kind of don't want to know either.

I want to go back to 'I'll be fiiiiine' land. I want to feel that I don't need to know anything because my doctors will be so super awesome that I can let them carry the load. But that trust boat sailed a looooong time ago.

Overall, the thing that jumps out at me is even a benign growth sounds pretty crappy.

I want to be aggressive. I'm young enough that I don't want this to be left to fester. While I don't have any of the major risks for lung cancer (non smoker), I do not feel lucky enough to just assume it's fine without proving it to be so. I've been the outlier patient before and, once you pop that cherry, there is no going back. You never find comfort in the bell curve again.

I am not comfortable waiting a year for another scan and it looks like that was a pretty conservative schedule from what I've read. I'm going to want a biopsy at some point, assuming it makes any sense to do one. It appears most of these things do eventually get biopsied. It seems to just be a question of do we wait for it to grow or biopsy preemptively? Also, which network do I go to? Who do I see? Who is good?

Fantastic. Yet another doctor I have to find. Unless this is pulmonary territory? I am not even clear on what specialty I need!

But I know what I want. To live my life without worrying about my health. Will I ever get there?

I'm starting to think not.

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