I am a good test taker. I always have been. Unfortunately that makes things a little difficult when it comes to the medical community.
I know something is wrong. I’ve known something is wrong for several months. My tests all look good. It can’t possibly be a big deal right?
There is a great deal of evidence that women present differently than the male based “standard” in a lot of conditions. There is a great deal of evidence that women are dismissed when they report symptoms. Historically I have found that my instincts are probably more reliable than a few tests:
I told my mother I had a tummy ache. She said it was because I’d eaten too much (chocolate). I said I couldn’t get up. She said I shouldn’t stay home from school. 24 hours later my appendix burst on the operating table.
I had a surgeon ask me flat out if I was sure he should take out my gall bladder. After all I was pregnant and the tests were not definitively bad. After the surgery he said my gall bladder looked like a green raspberry it was so full of pencil point sized stones. Yes, it needed to come out.
I had a GI specialist do a CT scan. All the other doctors and nurses were whispering colon cancer under their breaths. Late that evening he came in and told me not to worry. It couldn’t be cancer. It was probably crones disease. How can you possibly take away a diagnosis like that unless you’re sure? He was sure, based on the tests, and he was wrong.
I had persistant bleeding, a little anemia. It’s that whole peri-menopause thing the doctors told me. The anemia wasn’t that bad – take some iron. Talk to a gyn about an ablation, you could force menopause that way. The gyn did a biopsy (as standard procedure) but everything looked good. It did force menopause. I had endometrial cancer and a hysterectomy.
I’ve had high blood pressure that didn’t respond to blood pressure meds. That’s because the rise in blood pressure was indicating pain (which I and really bad at reporting). I’ve had blood clots with both cancers, and it’s a good thing because treating those blood clots is the only thing that got the cancers diagnosed. It’s not like I haven’t gone off the rails on tests, just not in predictive or indicative ways.
So for the last two weeks I’ve been taking tests. They all look great. That’s supposed to be good news. But I know something is wrong. My experience tells me the harder it is to find what is actually causing the problem, the harder it’s going to be to address it. Still more tests. Still more to come………