Monday, April 13, 2009

Not so lovely lady lumps

It's been a long time since newFNP has been on the business end of a cytobrush.  A year, in fact.  But today was the day for newFNP to go from provider to patient and shimmy down the table into the stirrups for her annual exam.

When newFNP was in training, it was one of her articulated goals to perform the pap well, with the least amount of discomfort possible.  NewFNP has achieved that goal.  Her patient frequently tell her that they barely felt a thing - it makes newFNP so proud.  

In order to achieve her gingerly executed pap exams, newFNP uses the cervical spatula and mascara wand combo and performs 1/2 - 1 turn of each.  She goes from 12 o'clock to 6 o'clock with the spatula and makes a turn with the brush adequate to touch on most areas of a parous cervix.   If she sees an area of suspected abnormality, she gives that a swipe as well.  Throughout the process, she uses a light touch.

NewFNP's OB/GYN, on the other hand, uses the broom cytobrush, aka the cervical pitchfork, and makes about 75,000 full-force turns with that SOB.  She clearly does not believe in the light touch and her "a little cramping here" warning is an understatement indeed.  But fine.  It last for six seconds and is over.

What is not over is the wait for newFNP's diagnostic mammogram.

NewFNP is certain that whatever is embedded her breast tissue is a fibroadenoma.  She is certain that it is not cancer.  But now she has to have a boob and metal sandwich because the seed of doubt has been planted and her OB/GYN encouraged her to get that frigging thing done without delay.  And she's kind of pissed because of course it will be nothing yet she will have had to have her never-lactated, full-density breast all squished up in order to have the reassurance.


And nothing makes a lady feel old - prematurely old - like having a goddamned mammogram.  


Anonymous said...

I feel ya, sister! That happened to me too, and it sucked! Not only is the mammogram un-fun, but I had to follow up at the Breast Center afterwards. Of course, everything was fine...but there's nothing like sitting next to a pamphlet titled "Are You Losing Your Hair After Chemo?" to make you nervous!

Nurse Teeny said...

With a major family history of "lady cancers", I've been told to start getting screening mammograms at the ripe ol' age of 30. That's next year. Now we'll just see if my insurance covers that...

Best wishes, newFNP. At least now you can empathize with your patients about the illustrious mammo experience.

And thanks for being gentle!

Rebecca said...

Why not get an ultrasound? And, if they can feel a lump, aren't they going to strongly suggest you get a biopsy regardless of what the mammo says? Seems like you get squished boops with no benefit.

Beth said...

at the age of 30, I agree with Rebecca.....and I think your insurance should pay given the family history, especially if you complain of occasional mastalgia or something like that : )

Anonymous said...

How about a diagnostic mammo followed by ultrasound on Monday and then on Friday a pelvic ultrasound to confirm dx of ruptured ovarian cyst. Woo hoo! What a week!!

Boob and metal sandwich - I feel your pain, sister!