THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE HMO HELL TUNNEL

Well, I’ve had my biopsy. I went in early Monday morning to the Breast Clinic. When I signed in, I wrote them a check for $100. Fortunately, they called and told me a few days beforehand that I would have a significant copay. If they had told me, at 7:15 am (and only minutes past coffee ingestion) that I owed them $100 when I was thinking about a much lower amount, I would have passed out. As it was I had all weekend to figure out what Peter had so I could rob him and pay Paul (aka the Breast Clinic). These copays are killer and I could really whine, but I won’t. (I don’t really like myself when I whine). I feel really sorry for Peter, who is always robbed to pay Paul and I’m pretty sure Paul never pays him back. I’m just so grateful I’m not paying the full price for all of these visits and procedures. I also know God has provided in a many a pinch before and I know He won’t let me down now.

I was glad that I didn’t have to wait long. During times of stress if I contemplate too little, I explode, yet if I contemplate too much I implode. It’s a fine balance I’m still learning how to manage, but I’ve gotten better at it. At 7:30 I was ushered into the changing room, where I was given a small shirt with only two snaps at the top. Showing more midriff than Britney Spears, I was then taken across the hall by a nice female technician.

Tech explained everything to me in fine detail without talking down to me. This was very appreciated. She did an ultrasound, showed me what they were going to do and how they were going to do it. She told me when or if it would hurt. All appreciated…and so was the orange anesthetic (lydocaine).

The doctor came in and did his own ultrasound. He told me he was going to do a biopsy (incision) rather than a needle aspiration. The procedure was over before I knew it and I really didn’t feel any pain. I watched it all on the monitor. It was so cool. The only thing that made me wince was the tissue taker. I don’t know what else to call it. All he said was, “you’ll hear one click, then another.” What he should have said was, “you’ll hear me pump the shotgun slowly.” I wasn’t even looking at it, but when it “clicked” I almost jumped.

I was praised that I didn’t bleed more (ha, that is so rare) and instructed about wearing ice in my bra for the next hour and then alternating ice/no ice every twenty minutes for the next three hours. Check. Don’t lift anything heavy. Check. Check. No strenuous activity. Check cubed.

Before the procedure was finished, however, the doctor inserted a “marker” that will show up on all future mammograms that will tell anyone who sees the film, “abnormality was right here.” I won’t be able to feel it, but it’s there. Unfortunately, this meant I had to have another mammogram so they’d have a record of the marker in case they have to go back and do another procedure.

I thought they were kidding. You don’t smash something you just cut open, right? Wrong. Thank you, Lord, for Lydocaine…Lydocaine that doesn’t wear off quickly.

Then I stuffed ice in my bra and was on my way home by 9 am.

I was a little sore yesterday, less sore today, and I’m sure by tomorrow I’ll feel even better. Thanks to all of you who remembered I had this procedure done and did not HUG me when you saw me afterward. 😉

After one more follow-up visit (on my birthday no less), I’ll be HMO free for a while. I’m almost out! Again, the thought of having to pay for all of this without going through hell makes me sick to my stomach, but what most likely would have happened was I wouldn’t have gone to the doctor at all if I hadn’t had the insurance. I think healthcare should available to everyone regardless of their ability to pay but that’s a whole other debate…

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