Friday, June 04, 2004

Lets start at the very beggining

On May 15th, G and L came down to visit for the evening, then we went over to S's house for a party. When G and L left, I walked them to their car. I felt a mosquito on my neck, so I reached up to swat it. But when I did, I noticed this strange lump just above my collar bone. Hmm, thats odd. I had G feel it to make sure it wasn't in my head, and she agreed, yes there was a small lump, but notihng to worry about. It was about an inch to inch an a half long and maybe half and inch wide. Kind of egg shaped. Went back to the party and started making joke about my lump. We all just dismissed it as a fatty tumor (a lipoma, nothing to worry about). A week later (5/21), I was at my laser hair treatment lady, who works for an otolaryngolgist, and I showed her. She said lipoma seemed like a good guess, but to get it checked out. I felt perfectly fine, so I wasn't too worried about it.

A couple weeks later, just after Memorial Day, I decided I wanted to see my Primary Care Physciain for a couple things, needed my birth control renewed, some alregy medicine to deal with mosquitos, follow up from a couple other things, and look at the lump too. There are two doctors in my primary care office, I had seen Dr N once and Dr T multiple times. Dr T never really seemed to listen to me when I saw him - I felt like he thought I was a hypochrondriac, just dismissing my complaints. Since I had liked Dr N the time I saw him, so I made an appointment for the morning of June 4th with Dr N. I think switching to Dr N for that visit was the smartest thing I have ever done.

Dr N said he did not know what the lump was, but he was fairly concerened about it. He said it couldn't be a lipoma because it showed up pretty large virtually overnight. He didn't think it was a lymph node because no other ones were swollen, it was kind of hard and lumpy, and it wasn't tender. So he decided the best course of action was to send me to an ear, nose, and throat doctor to check it out.

Here is where I start to think this is a bigger deal than I first though. Dr N said he was going to have his staff call various ENTs until he found someone that could fit me in that day. He was very adament that I had to get it checked out right away. I still wasn't that concered. It wasn't until after I left the office, referal in hand for a 2:30 appointment that I realized it was kind of odd for a doc to try so hard to get you into a specialist the same day.

So 2:30 rolls around, and I show up at the ENT. The next hour is a strange blur. The doctor didn't keep me very well informed of what was going on. I had a camera up my nose and down my throat. That was an very, very unplesant expirence. Next, I had a fine needle aspiration biopsy of my lymph node. This was the first I heard it was a lymph node. The biopsy was a miserable expirence. I've never had a problem with needles before, heck - I can watch them stick the needle in me for blood. That said, something about a needle going into my neck, even with the numbing cream and local - it sucked. The doc tried to get me talking about other things, but it didn't work. My body went into "Fight or Flight" and decided to "Flight" by passing out. Blech! I came too all light headed, nausous, and covered in cold, clammy sweat. Anyway, the appointment ended with the doc telling me the results will be back in a week, and he has no clue what it could possibly be. I have antibiotics for the next week, just in case it is an infection. I'm a little freaked out because of the urgency the doctors seemed to have today, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed for infection. In the mean time, its off to watch, wait, worry, and research other options. I think I would rather find out my worst case - then the rest is good news.


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