Thursday, January 7, 2016


I had a recent medical scare. You know, the kind where the doctor says it’s probably nothing but it could be something horrible, so let’s run some tests.

I won’t use this for suspense, which would be gross. Three weeks later, I heard. Nothing. Yay.

But it got me thinking.

First, someday, it is going to be something. I desperately don’t want to go down that mental path.

Which leads to number two. You know how doctors sometimes talk about “watchful waiting”? Well, I’m clearly incapable of that. For those three weeks, those MRI results were always on my mind.

This shit’s scary. This study, of women who had false positives on  mammograms, showed the majority had symptoms of anxiety not only while waiting for the follow-up but also up to one year, and other studies have shown up to three years, later –that’s after the all-clear.

And some waited six months for those follow-up results. My husband tells me some of his patients, with no or shitty insurance, have to wait and save for tests. My own doctor said I could wait if “having the MRI would bankrupt” me.

That, my friends, is criminal.

(And no, for most lab and radiology tests, the doctor has no incentive to send you.)

And how about The Phone Call?  The nurse calls to tell you something funky turned up but can’t say more. Gack.

Actually, hearing from the nurse, rather than the doctor, is probably a good sign. I say this as a person who micro-analyzed every word and facial expression of my MRI technician, who also isn’t supposed to say anything.

I know I’m lucky I got this all-clear and to have access to medical care and, someday, I may be lucky that they catch something early.

But, man, it’s scary.

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