Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Pound of Flesh

Just as I was getting agonizingly tired this afternoon, I received a call back--finally--from my gynecologist. We chatted for a while and we agreed we should do some lab work to see where all of my hormone levels are in case this whole thing might be menopause hitting me in earnest. Yes, at 38 years old. We chatted a bit more about how I'd rather not do a laproscopic procedure (which could show endometriosis because that does not show up on ultrasounds) unless we had exhausted all non-invasive diagnostic measures. He said he totally understood and as we wrapped up the conversation he hit me with, "We really do need to have a serious discussion about hysterectomy at some point, though." Um, what? I was too stunned to say anything but the usual end of call pleasantries.
Hadn't this whole phone call just been about not wanting to do that unless absolutely necessary? Hadn't he told me that even if they see nothing wrong during a laproscopy they could do the hysterectomy if I wanted to do it because it may or may not help with the unknown problem? Now he's all like, "Hey, yeah, let's do this thing already."
I talked with Nate and reaffirmed that I would not have a hysterectomy if there was nothing indicating a need for one. Nate also said that if I get to the point where there is nothing else that can be done and Doc starts talking about it again that we'll get a second opinion or two or three.
Something has been bothering me during this whole thing, though, and that is this: All of my medical records from all of my doctors are available to all of my doctors since the are all affiliated with the same medical center. And both the gynecologist and the reproductive endocrinologist asked me about my moods and my Bipolar II in seemingly offhand ways and I'm always up for talking about it because I like to try to show people, that, "Hey, I do have a mental illness, but I'm okay and there is nothing scary or stigmatizing about it." Obviously, neither of them were merely curious but somehow connecting the mental health issues with my gynecological health issues. So it leaves me feeling like the diagnosis I am being labelled with behind closed doors is female hysteria. ("Keep her from breeding. Off with her uterus!")
At the end of the phone conversation I had with Nate I said, "Okay,well, I'll see you when you get home and, by the way, we really should talk about castrating you." He laughed nervously and said, "Um, what?" And I said, "EXACTLY! That is exactly how I felt after I talked to Dr. [name redacted]!"
I hadn't slept at all last night and was by this point trying to stay awake until bedtime, but the call and the dogs being snuggled up on top of me left me with little choice but to take a nap. I slept for two hours. I still feel utterly exhausted but I am quite worried that that small amount of rest will have me hanging out in Insomnia Cafe again, tonight...


Vicki said...

I wonder if a female OB/Gyn would've been so cavalier about it? He doesn't get that it's different from removing a cyst or tumor or parasite. Maybe worth getting a 2nd opinion from a female doctor, if you haven't seen any at your practice already.

Ellie's Escapades said...

I agree with Vicki. I believe a female dr would not have been so haste in wanting to do the procedure. Does he need a new BMW maybe?

Get as many opinions as you need. See a specialist. I am seeing the best menopausal dr Indy has. I am so happy with her and my treatment. Seek the best and hope for the best.

Good luck to you

kaylynuke said...

I honestly think this is a matter of training and norms not a male/female thing.
I'll seek a second opinion when I get to that point, if needed, but he seems well-informed and listens well on every point but this one.
It is still pretty common to do hysterectomies when not necessarily warrented, so I blame this on the schools and the lack of research done in women's health fields.
As far as a BMW, my medical center's doctors really don't make much comparitively speaking as it is a state university medical college, so it's a teaching hospital/system.

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