Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What I did this weekend: The six-hour doctor appointment

Remember when I mentioned how it must be hard to be my friend because I'm constantly flaking on people? Yeah. I flaked on you guys, too. :'(
My mom didn't know I was taking this picture.

It's not because I hate you, or I'm lazy... it's because I'm sleepy. Yesterday, I promised to finish telling the story of what happened last weekend at my appointment with the Endometriosis specialist. I didn't because I fell asleep- and stayed asleep all day long. I eventually woke up at 10 pm and found 3 missed calls and 13 text messages. Oops.

I'd like to apologize for forgetting to write yesterday. I suck. We can blame that on the Vicodin. ;)

Back to my doctor appointment:

After the four hour drive to Houston, my mom and I spent the night with some wonderful family members who live there. We woke up at 5:30 in the morning for an 8:00 appointment. Why? Because my uncle told us the doctor was on the other side of the city and Houston traffic is notorious for making people late for important things like this. My mom and I didn't even eat much of a breakfast; she had a cup of coffee and I had a small cup of yogurt. We felt the need to rush over to the medical center so we wouldn't be late. We eventually made it to the hospital with half an hour to spare.

Now let's note here that I've have very little to eat. If I were to take my pain medicine at this point, I would barf. So, I decided to wait to take my pills so I could accurately describe the pain to the doctor. It can't be that bad since the appointment is at 8am... so it can't last that long... right?


We sat in the waiting room for about an hour. It was about 9:15 when we were called back. Now, this doctor does things very different than many other doctors. He called me and about 8 other patients and their families back. They crammed about 20 people into this one office. Dr. Mangal sat at his desk. Behind him was a large aquarium and to his left was a white board with some diagrams sitting against it. The room feels cramped. Some people are sitting on the few chairs that were available, and others were standing in the remaining space. Others were listening from just outside the door. Dr. Mangal began to speak about Endometriosis- what it is, what it does, what it looks like, and how it's treated. His speech was about an hour and a half long. While it was long, it was also very informative. Everything he said described me and my symptoms and what I was going through. He understood that I and everyone else in that room were in pain due to Endometriosis. Every few seconds, my mother would look at me, as if saying "Oh my gosh! He's describing YOU!"

After his lecture, the nurse took our group outside into a smaller waiting area. She gave me a piece of paper and told me to go downstairs to get my blood drawn. I noticed a few other women following me to the lab, while others were ushered into the rooms to be examined by the doctor or to have an ultrasound.

Once I had come back form the labs (which were very quick and painless, might I add!) I thought things would speed up. Instead, they slowed down. Way down.

My mother and I read Tucker Max books for almost three hours. Don't get me wrong, Tucker Max is a very "entertaining" person, but after three hours of reading about his shenanigans, I began to feel disgusted with myself. I couldn't read any more of "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell". (If you haven't read anything by him, I suggest you don't, unless you wanna feel disgusted with yourself later on. Not sure why I waste so much time laughing at how much of a douche he is.)

At this point, I was hurting pretty bad. I couldn't eat anything since I was stuck in a doctor's office, and if I were to take anything to ease the pain, I would puke everywhere in front of everyone. Needless to say, I thought I was dying. Not literally, of course, but it was pretty awful. I didn't wanna do or say anything about it because I didn't wanna cause a scene, but eventually, I didn't care about what anyone thought. I was in pain and I wanted to hit the road so I could take the magic pills that were calling me from my purse.

At about 1 pm, the nurse called me to get my ultrasound. This was the first thing anybody has said to me since they asked me to get my blood drawn. I thought they forgot about me. When we reached the door, she quickly turned me around and told me to wait- AGAIN - until the room was ready for me. GRRR!

After another HALF HOUR, they called me back, told me to get naked from the waist down, and left. I looked around for a hospital gown, but only found these thin, blue sheets. I looked at my mom and she just shrugged her shoulders. I pulled the curtain around me so my mom couldn't get a look at my funny business, and did as I was instructed. I wrapped the thin sheet around me like a flimsy skirt and waddled to the bench. How awkward.

After the ultrasound, the nurse asked me to go straight to the next room for my examination from the doctor (why he couldn't just do it there, I don't know. The room she took me to was exactly the same and even had another ultrasound machine in there. WTF). She said that no one was outside the room I was currently in, so I could just wrap the thin sheet around me and go straight to the new room, instead of the laborious task of putting my pants back on, only to take them right off again.

Unfortunately, one of the other patient's husbands was sitting out there waiting for his wife. When he saw me, he immediately shifted his eyes to the ceiling as if that ceiling was the most interesting thing that as ever graced this planet. I giggled a bit as I awkwardly waddled through the waiting room. 

Most awkward moment ever. 

Anyway, we waited for a little while and eventually the doctor rushed into the room. He quickly explained that he had been called into emergency surgery. He had no time to examine me as thoroughly as he did his other patients, but he did examine me quickly and leave me a number I could call later to ask questions when he was out of surgery. He was literally there less than 2 minutes. I traveled 4 hours to get there and waited for about 6 hours just to talk to this man, and he left before the 2 minute mark was up. I was pretty pissed.

But after my mom and I returned to San Antonio and called his office at 9 pm, he did answer a lot of my questions and made everybody much more optimistic about my treatment. He told me to see another doctor on his team (a gastroenterologist) to stop the seizures in my intestines (yes, I have intestinal epilepsy, too. Isn't that fun?!) before he operates on me.

My appointment with this other doctor (also in Houston) is next Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. Our Thanksgiving plans had to be derailed because of this, but at least I'm getting the treatment I need. 

I'm mostly looking forward to the Buc-ee's trips to come. :)

<3 Mouse

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