Thursday, January 10, 2008

Note To Self

My doctor doesn't think that I'm dying of cancer.

I went to see him about the mysterious blister on the underside of one of my breasts that doesn't seem to be healing well. When added to the terrible itchiness, brief flirtations with mastitis, and alarmist emails, well . . .

It turns out that I probably have dry skin, irritating nursing bras, and a burn on the underside of one of my breasts from sleeping on a heating pad turned up too high to help with a (normal, typical) clogged duct.

He thinks it's healing fine, and will send me to see someone else if it still looks ugly in a couple more weeks. (It has started healing better over the last couple of days, and the increased pain I think is a good sign of feeling actually returning to the burned area. The only weird thing was that it didn't hurt at the time, probably because I was feverish and sleeping. I am an idiot.) And since my itchy skin is much, much better with the new moisturizer I'm using, I'm inclined to believe him about the cancer.


Here's where I went wrong with the doctor's appointment. "I need to find a babysitter; what a pain," I thought when the doctor's first available appointment was at an inconvenient time for Paul to be away from work. Then I remembered, "Hey, I'm in a babysitting co-op!"

I made one call, which didn't immediately pan out perfectly. And I hate the phone and go to great lengths to avoid it.

"Hey, again," I thought. "This is a short visit. I'll just take Ada with me. Everyone will love seeing the baby I was pregnant with this time last year. She can sit on my left knee while the doctor fiddles with my right breast. Much easier!"

See what I mean by great lengths?

This is how it actually played out. I arrived on time (yay!) but neglected to think about the fact that the doctor's practice had split/moved, plus it was a new calendar year, plus we have new insurance. So I had to occupy Ada while filling out a lot of paperwork.

Ada loves books. I packed 7 of her favorites, and she wasn't interested in a single one of them. Of course. So after the paperwork, I spent the next 10 hours (or minutes, whatever) bouncing up and down, singing, dancing, whooshing around the tiny waiting area, letting her touch the doorstop, blinds, magazines, etc.

Finally (after a wait that would have been too brief if it had been just my book and me alone in a chair) I got to go back to an exam room. Well, first I had to be weighed, and the less said about that, the better. The nurse held Ada, who screamed about it.

Then I had to figure out how to unhook my bra while holding a child. (I put her down, natch. Fortunately, she was willing and able to stand next to me.)

Then I held her on my lap, perched on that table we women know all too well, feeding her Goldfish while we waited for the doctor. Who wanted me to lie down for the examination.

Picture this: I am lying back on the exam table, shirt raised and right arm over my head. My left arm is fully extended out in front of me to hold onto Ada's arm. She, meanwhile, is perched on my left knee and is not very fussy or wiggly, thankfully.

But she must have been a little stressed by the experience; she fell asleep in the car on the way home and napped for more than an hour; an unusual experience for my little daytime sleep dieter!

"Self," I thought on the way back out to the car, "Just pick up the doggone phone next time. What sucks in the moment is so very, very worth it in the end."

Also, I'm having a hard time imagining my next annual pap smear (8 weeks from now, but who's counting?) with a baby on my lap.


Tracey said...

I am empathetically laughing my butt off at the visuals. Oh I have so been there, and I am not a huge phone person too, but I think next time (8 weeks!) grabbing the phone would be a good thing for you.

Glad everything is okay in boob-land :)

Victoria/Beachcomber said...

Heh. BDTD too. No matter how I rationalize it at the time, it is NEVER easy to manage a baby or toddler at some kind of adult appointment. They don't do well at Dr's offices, or at Investment counsellor's offices or anything like that. Don't even go there.

Sarahlynn said...

Tracey, given 8 weeks of notice, I might even be able to set up something . . . in person! Or I could take the easy way out and try to schedule an appointment when Paul can be here. No, Sarahlynn, bad idea! I simply must learn to do this.

Beach, what's BDTD? And you're so, so right. I remember one particular mortifying moment from 3+ years ago, trying to secure a home equity line of credit at the bank with a baby who should have been sleeping in her carseat but was NOT. Very very loudly NOT sleeping. And our credit back then, when we were trying to learn how to live on one income, was not something I wanted to draw such loud attention to!

Anonymous said...

I had a bit of a fear like yours a few months ago. After many tests, I was told I just had a funky rash that was stubborn and didn't want to go away.

I hope you heal quickly and don't have that fear again.

Sarahlynn said...

It's a feeling unlike any other, isn't it? I hope that you're better now.

ccw said...

NSBH sat in the stroller ripping my sheet to pieces while I waited and during my pap smear.

Sarahlynn said...

CCW, I remember reading about that! I should have let your experience be a lesson to me, but, no . . .

JennyH said...

That is funny. Glad it was nothing. I just had my pap done last month with 3 kids in the room. Thankfully my baby slept in the car seat the whole time. The other 2 sit in a chair or hold my hand and generally eat snacks while I am being checked out. My 4 year old has lots of questions though!! Just wait for those from Ada! And I do plan things like that when my oldest is in school! one less child, the better!

Kristi said...

I nursed Trystan through my last pap/postpartum followup. Luckily my OB was very relaxed about the whole thing.

It sounds like your moisturizer is working for you, which is good. If you get stuck, we use a lot of Aquaphor around our house--its kind of a fancy vaseline. Both kids and I get eczema, and it's the best, quickest treatment we've found.

Sarahlynn said...

Jenny, your kids sound extremely well-behaved! I am envious. I have a 4-year-old too, and she was a wonderful companion on some of my prenatal appointments last year. When I saw the nurse practitioner instead of my doctor, the nurse was excellent about including Ellie in the exams. (I do try to schedule most appointments and grocery-shopping trips for preschool mornings, though!)

Kristi, part of what scared me was that Aquaphor had no effect whatsoever, and that's good stuff. I'm using some sort of cow udder cream now (Udderly Smooth - ugh, what a name!) which is udderly (sorry, couldn't resist) non-glamorous but seems to be working.