'Just as I thought. You have bones.'

My day at the hospital started early on Feb 23rd.  After registering, I headed to the mammogram area.   I was told scheduling screwed up and they slotted me in for an ultrasound first and then the mammogram.   Well, if there is anything I learned, the mammogram has to happen before the ultrasound.  The mammogram scans the entire breast meanwhile an ultrasound focuses on a specific or problem area.   The receptionist said, she would like to say these scheduling errors rarely, if ever, happen but unfortunately she says it frequently does.   She further quips that the hospital wants to move towards centralized scheduling however she said this is clearly an example where it doesn’t work.  There are specific nuances for each of the various departments.   Regardless, she assures me that I will be “squeezed” in.   Yes, squeezed in..for what I call a mammo-slam…good one!

She worked her magic, told ultrasound people not to expect me for my 9 a.m. and it would happen after the mammogram.  She also had to talk to mammogram people but couldn’t til after their morning meeting was finished.  Surprisingly she had this sorted out easily and fairly quickly.   Some good people out there.

I get called in for the test.  I confirm that the mammogram is for the cancer free boob only.    The nurse exclaims you are not due til April based on the date of your last annual exam and tells me I am a few months early and generally, the preference is to wait a year due to the radiation.  I explain I have breast cancer in my other breast and that was done in December and I wanted to ensure this one was clear prior to my oncologist appointment next week.   She says but you will have to come back for the other one in April.  I ignore that comment,  because if radiation was a concern, that would mean the breast with cancer would have been exposed to radiation twice within 4 months…plus I am going to need radiation to kill cancer?!  Funny radiation gives and takes away cancer.  Whatever?!   I think, surely, the oncologist will know what needs to be tested and when.   The 1 year rule must be a guideline and I figure if/when you find cancer, there has to be another guideline.  Time will tell.


Then I ask if this is for my  cancer free boob, why did Dr. Deli, the surgeon, order an ultrasound because wouldn’t that imply something was found?  Nurse says yes she should have identified a target area and asked if I wouldn’t mind waiting while she reads through my file.  She also tells me if necessary she may have to call Dr. Deli.  I said of course, take your time…I have appointments in the other part of the hospital for later.

While I was waiting, I am in the waiting area with a volunteer and another woman.  I notice that the lady that went in for her mammogram looked pretty distraught.  Somehow Anne the volunteer and I start talking about healthcare professionals and we both agree that you have to be proactive.  Anne explains she is on the hunt for a new GP because her doctor is getting forgetful and often asks Anne for her personal notes that Anne takes at each appointment.  Scary!  Anne said the GP is due for retirement and it’s complicated because her whole family goes to her.  I told her not to wait because there is no guarantee that her Doctor will retire especially given my recent experience.

I proceeded to share the fun Mike and I had,  a few weeks ago, at the Walk-in, where Mike’s family Doctor works in.   I tell Anne we were asked to go in and told to see any Doctor on duty to get a non-urgent update as Mike’s Dr was unavailable.  I will refer to the Doctor on duty as Dr. Sad.   Those are the actual first 3 letters of this guy’s name.    Mike also needed to get his blood work done which he must do regularly for his INR levels for his heart valve etc.    Well that too was no fun, over 30 minutes, 2 tries and some big bruises, no blood was drawn.   Mission unaccomplished.   Mike had to stop the girl from trying the third time.  Mike politely says, I will do my blood work another time.   I wouldn’t have been as polite and wanted to say maybe try this on an orange or a pin cushion first.   The girl which I will refer to as the Bruiser was new and just ill-suited for this job.   Did not even apologize for her inability to do her job…poking someone that can bleed uncontrollably isn’t cool.

Mike returns to the waiting room and we wait and wait and wait.  Finally, we are called in to see Dr. Sad.  Dr. Sad pops his head in the door and asks why we were there.  Dr. Sad walks and moves really slow…I have seen snails move faster.    Mike explains and Dr. Sad goes into another room where we believe he is reviewing Mike’s chart.  It was taking an inordinate amount of time and we think Dr. Sad forgot about us.  We both decide to go to front desk and just make an appointment with his regular GP as we really didn’t think Dr. Sad could figure it out.   As I walk towards the front desk, the Bruiser hands me a prescription for Mike.  I see Mike’s name on it and say fairly irritated, what is this for, Dr. Sad never saw Mike to prescribe anything?  Also why is the Bruiser handing us this prescription?   The reception, who appeared to be the only one with a brain, intervened and sorted it out.   She apologized that the Doctor wrote the prescription in error.    Whoa, what if we just blindly accepted it…Mike could have been treated for vaginitis?  Worse, what if it messed with his coumadin levels etc?

The receptionist further tells us that Mike’s GP was actually on duty and will review his chart right on the spot with Mike.   Suddenly Mike’s GP is available.  Mike’s GP asks Mike why he didn’t do his blood work.  We tell him about the Bruiser and the very sad Dr. Sad experience.   Mike’s GP confirms the Bruiser is new and he also says Dr. Sad is 83 years old.  Okay he looked old but 83 years…wow!   Mike GP figures that no one has the heart to ask Dr. Sad to retire because they think once he retires he will die.  I am thinking he will probably end up killing someone first….   We all agree if we see Dr. Sad on duty best to come back another day.   Sad very sad!

Anne shudders and says she feels Doctors should be re-tested at regular intervals to confirm they are still qualified to practice.  Anne tells me she lives in my area and I share where I found Dr. OK and she may want to see if they are still accepting patients.

Meanwhile that woman that went in for her tests returns to the waiting room and sits down and is completely teary eyed.  She was definitely crying and was noticeably  stressed.   She shares she had a mammogram, then an ultrasound and then asked for a mammogram again.   Yup that happened to me.  I remember thinking there was an issue but didn’t dwell on it.   This poor girl was just beside herself and she was concerned with  her regular GP being away that she wouldn’t get her results for over a week.  I tell her if there were any concerns, it would be this office calling her versus her GP and the next step would be a biopsy and even that may result in nothing.   It seemed to relax her a bit.  Anne and I try to console her by telling her not to jump to any conclusions, it could be nothing.   For example did you know if you had on deodorant it can screw with the machine and show calcification or false results?   The woman did tell me that the  technician tried to ease her mind indicating it looked like scar tissue due to an earlier breast reduction surgery she did.  I told her to think positive and if the technician said  scar tissue then she should try not to worry too much.

Seeing this woman’s reaction, was a bit surprising to me particularly because I did not react like this myself.   It made me think, maybe I am strong, like everyone tells me?!  I never feel strong…I just do what I need to do.   I know everyone processes things differently…  Anyway I pray this woman is cancer free..   I also think you are probably stronger than you think you are.

A little while later, my nurse comes back and tells me she got a hold of Dr. Deli and the ultrasound is not required.   I hope that was based at looking at the mammogram that I just did and it was clear.   Who knows?   Dr. Deli ordered the ultrasound in error.  Human beings make mistakes.

I have a couple of hours to kill before my bone scan.  I grab some lunch and decide to take a walk outside away from the hospital because I really didn’t want to be near any of Percy’s parasitic relatives that live in the hospital.  I finally go up to nuclear medicine, get shot up with some radioactive dye and wait approx 2 hours.   The test takes about 1 hour and is completely painless.   You just have to be very still.   Since I started this journey I have been radioactive 3 times, once for the surgery where I thought I was peeing out blue toilet bowl cleaner, then for the CT scan and now for the Bone scan.   Wonder what that does to your system?   Two times the dye was colorless.   I prefer the coloring!  Not only is it entertaining, it helps you know when your system has eliminated it all.  Oh well.


Just wondering if some of my experiences are signs of a healthcare crisis.   Is this limited to just my neighborhood?   One of my friends told me that our area is increasing by another million people and with the current infrastructure it will be a huge challenge. What about regular testing for Doctors?  I wonder if Doctors have regular audits? How do they follow up on GPs that have had complaints lodged?

Pay attention and stay on top of your healthcare professionals! They are certainly there to help you but you kind of have to take charge of your health!  Your life depends on you.

Overall enjoyable and painless day and met some interesting people.  Ended off the day celebrating my son’s birthday with family!  Plus had delicious chocolate cake!



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  • Thanks for sharing your experience with us Aunt Annette. I admire your strength and wisdom. Advocating for your health needs is a must. Keep up your positive attitude and taking things one step at a time.

    Love Daniela xo

    • Thanks Daniela. Hope you read the earlier one about Uncle Mike and his parasitic buddy. I tell u..may need to leave him home or have him covered in a hazmat suit so he doesn’t pick up any other unwanted sickness…I think I have a stronger immunity them him.

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