I couldn't decide if I should post this, but ultimately decided that it was OK to let friends know that I get scared. This is about a visit to the doctor for a biopsy. The test came out clean. All is well. Warning to boys: Icky girl stuff to follow.
Dear Clinic Administrator,
I received your letter asking me to fill out the survey about my visit. However, the online survey wouldn’t accept my answer to the question about what could have improved my visit. Here it is:
I shouldn’t have had to wait for two weeks to get an appointment for a BIOPSY! That is a scary test to have to contemplate for 16 days. I realize this is routine stuff for medical staff, but it made me very anxious. In fact, it eventually caused an anxiety attack, complete with chest pains.
When my primary doctor called to tell me that I had an abnormal PAP smear, why did she make sure I knew the name of the test I needed so I could tell the person making the appointment? Why couldn’t she just order the test—as she would have for lab tests—so there was no possibility of me ending up with the wrong procedure? I saw a specialist in the same clinic!
The nurse that checked me in, weighed me, and so on should not have suggested that the test I was there to get was not the one that would normally be given to people who have an abnormal PAP smear. See anxiety about correct test above.
Though the person scheduling my test did not mention it, it occurred to me that it might matter that I would have my period on the test day. I called the nurse line and asked about it. She said it was fine and might actually be preferable. That was incorrect. When I came in for the test, the doctor said it was not optimal to have my period and there was a possibility that the rather painful test would have to be performed again, if the first one didn’t yield the necessary sample.
Why did I have to ask the question about my period? Why did the scheduler not know to ask? And further, why wasn’t I offered additional information about the test, what it entails, and what the results of my PAP smear meant?
The doctor seemed surprised and taken aback that I was upset. But I had been waiting so long! And maybe now I’d have to wait longer if the test didn’t come out right! Also, does no one you know get scared at the thought of a BIOPSY?
I had to wait another week to get the results of the test – why does it take so long? I spent almost an entire month worrying about this.
And while I have your attention: When I came in for my PAP smear, I was kept waiting in a gown for at least 30 minutes in an exam room that must have been colder than 60 degrees. Freezing!
Frankly, my terror at possibly having a serious disease was compounded by the idea of having to regularly interact with medical professionals who couldn’t care less about my state of mind or how it might be affecting my health. Glad to have dodged that bullet!