Something my father has always told me, as an adult, is that you have to take your health into your own hands. His feeling, as is mine, is that these doctors don’t actually know or care.
I have been a crazy amount of pain for MONTHS. It has been in my pelvic area. I have not been able to pinpoint exactly what causes it or when it occurs but recently I have.
Originally, I thought it was something I was doing. I first started really noticing it when I got into Pilates. I thought I was just stretching too far. After a few days rest, I thought it went away. Then it would return. I went on like this for months, probably close to – if not more than – a year. Eventually it bothered me enough to see a doctor. A doctor I am no longer seeing, but this doctor told me it was nerve damage from my c-section(s). Mind you, it has been almost 13 years since my youngest was born – via c-section. Only within the last year – maybe two, have I been experiencing this pain. Whatever, I really did not care for this doctor to begin with. Maybe I did pull something during Pilates that irritated the scar tissue from the c-section. I proceeded a few more months under this assumption. But every few weeks (what I would originally notice was once a month) I would have a really uncomfortable week. It would hurt to try and pull myself up, or even get out of bed. Yoga/Pilates was always out of the question during this pain. I still was not sold it was nerve damage from a 13 year old c-section scar. Why is it only on the one side? The same spot? Every. Time.
Eventually I decided since it was my pelvis area maybe it was female reproductive area related. I made an appointment with my OB/Gyn. All the questions that would cause concern, or point to something in particular I answered with a no. A quick internal exam showed nothing, so a(n) (internal) ultrasound was ordered. When I went for the ultrasound the tech asked if I was on birth control. I told her no. (Tubes tied, 12 years ago). I remember asking her why and she explained that I had a lot of cysts which is not uncommon for someone not on birth control.
Needless to say, everything came back “fine”. Alright, it must be nerve damage. I hate the fact that the first doctor may be right. (I really did not like it).
A few more months go by and the pain still comes and goes. I don’t get it. I would think nerve damage would be a more constant thing. It does not seem like something that would come and go. The pain was getting worse though. By the end of the day, the pain would get so bad it would go down my leg. Maybe it is nerve damage. Googling nerve damage, the definition is pretty spot on:
“Neuropathic pain is usually described as shooting, stabbing or burning. Sometimes it feels like an electrical shock, and is often worse at night than during the day. The pain may be constant or it may come and go. It may be accompanied by tingling sensations (such as pins and needles), itching or numbness.”
Come January I decide I have had it with my primary care Doctor and decide to switch back to a provider I had too many years ago. When I went in for my yearly physical I brought up the pain in my pelvis and she confirmed that is sounded like nerve damage. She went on to explain that if I pulled or twisted the scar tissue it could damage the nerves.
I decided to let it go. There is nothing that can be done about nerve damage. I’ll just have to suffer through this for possibly the rest of my life.
Then Coronavirus hit… COVID19…
Over these last few months where all I was doing was going to work and the grocery store. I noticed that this pain was happening ALWAYS right after I got my period. Like clockwork. Within a day of my period ending, I would start getting the pain. And it would last few several days after the end of my period. It would then completely go away. HOW FRUSTRATING.
Which brings me to today. My period ended earlier this week. The pain started yesterday. I have been trying to just push through it all these months. I did a workout last night (at home) and I needed a heating pad to able to go to sleep last night. This morning it occurred to me that maybe I should go to the doctor’s today since I was actually in pain. Maybe a scan or test could be done that would yield some results. I went to work and looked up to see whether the urgent care was opened and debated on whether to go or not. I decided that I should go and I should go today because I was in pain and uncomfortable. With that, I told my boss I needed to go to urgent care and left work.
According to the website, there was a 0 minute wait. Great! I don’t generally go to urgent care, so I was not entirely thrilled to be going with all these new restrictions…
Checking in was a process. I checked in, then had to wait in my car for them to call me. But first they had to text me the check-in information so I could pay my co-pay. Not too long afterwards they called me in. Where I had to still wait in the entry way because I couldn’t wait in the the completely empty waiting room.
A urine sample was collected, the nurse asked what my pharmacy of choice was. She asked about the pain, I told her about my previous encounters with doctors and told her that I finally realized it was happening after I get my period every month. Then it got strange. She started asking me if I was concerned about STDs…. no bitch.
The doctor came in and asked me almost the same questions every other doctor asked me. No I have had no issues or discomfort using the bathroom. No pain during intercourse. No heavy bleeding. No… No… No…..
I told the doctor I saw my OB already and he did not find anything, but figured since I was in pain now (and since the urgent care is connected to my medical group) I should come in and see if there was ny change. The “doctor” (only by title) then asked in a lot of inappropriate terms if the doctor performed an internal exam. The words this man used, “he put his fingers in”.
Yes doctor, my OB put his fingers in.
Then it was explained that my OB ordered an ultrasound which came back with nothing out of the ordinary supposedly.
This urgent care doctor then proceeded to tell me that my large intestines are in that same area and started to ask if I had any gastrointestinal issues.
Finally we go to an actual exam where he felt around in my abdomen. Increasing pressure. And he came back with – I used quite a bit of pressure and you didn’t even flinch.
THANK YOU DOCTOR OBVIOUS. I know that, I am in fact here.
The guy then says I’m an “anomaly” and that there is nothing he can do for me today.
He tells me that I should get a cat scan. Then asked if I knew what a cat scan, or a CT was.
Thank God I am wearing a mask because my WTF face I am sure was strong. I told him I was aware of what a cat scan was. He then said that my OB would need to order it and asked if I would remember to ask for a cat scan.
I told him I would. And thanked him for his time. He apologized for not being able to help me and left.
I left the empty office and sat in my car and cried for at least ten minutes. Never had I experienced such an incapable doctor. In an urgent care no less. And this was not a young guy either. If it was some young dude, fresh out of med school I might not have been so upset but this guy was older. I would imagine seasoned and it was like he could not be bothered. Mind you, I never even got the results from my urine test.
The guy who I guess is titled a doctor as some point asked if my OB found an fibroids. And I told him no. Upon getting my shit together and no longer crying I drove my ass home (because I already took the day sick) and started googling fibroids. What they are. What they do. What it feels like to have them. What is the worse case scenario. Which leads me to the whole point of this…
YOU HAVE TO TAKE YOU HEALTH IN YOUR OWN HANDS.
Minus the heavy menstruation, sounds like it could be that. The ultrasound tech did mention cysts… causes of fibroids are increased hormones during childbearing years. Vitamin D deficiency can cause them (which I have). In addition to alcohol consumption. I definitely don’t have a “healthy” weight either. I have been pretty active up until COVID19… but it sounds like I will have to make some changes to my lifestyle in order to take care of this myself because none of the four doctors I spoke to about it could really be bothered.
Basically since I am not in an emergent state no one wants to be bothered. I have to have a popped cyst, or severe vaginal bleeding for any medical professional to give a fuck.
If these health professionals actually cared they would be more interested in preventative care instead of trying to treat the emergency. If more was done for preventative care we wouldn’t have the issues we do. But there is no money in that, or not enough.
So it’s on me now. I’m going to actually take my vitamin D supplements, cut down my drinking and try and lose weight (especially since it seemed I have gained another 5lbs I do not need). What’s the worse that can happen… I’m in the exact same position I’m in now. Uncomfortable and in pain with no answers….