Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Squeak Squeak!

First of all I should say I'm fine, all clear and nothing to worry about. Now, to explain what I have actually been worrying about over the past month: I found a lump in my breast.

I am terrible with anything medical-related, I am a total hypochondriac and am also pretty much nervous/scared of hospitals and lots of things associated with them, e.g. I *hate* needles. So when I found a lump I obviously thought the worst and got quite worried (understatement) about it, enough to get me to book an appointment with my GP.

My the GP was fab (I should say all GPs I have ever had/seen have been fab, I'm sure it's part of the job description) and after my burbled explanation had a bit of a prod around and declared that it was likely that I had a "breast mouse"! I believe that the more formal, medical description is fibroid adanoma (excuse spelling or medical inaccuracy here).

[ I would provide a link to some information about this but I'm not going to searching Google as I'll only likely find something else that might freak me out - if anyone has any good links (Jen, you had one :) ) please post them in the comments for others to find/use ]

Anyway, I was assured that this is perfectly benign and nothing to worry about but, as a precaution my GP referred me to the breast screening clinic to get it checked out. I was obviously quite pleased to know it was nothing bad and promptly forgot about it until I got the letter asking me to book an appointment - the NHS now have this choose and book service; not the worlds most swish website but it works really well and is a fantastic system (Note to NHS IT department: honestly the website is fine, please don't try and modernise it and put swishy AJAX and things in it'll just complicate matters :) )

I finally sat down to book the appointment on Sunday and got it for 10:10 this morning - and there were plenty of other alternatives as well. I guess this may not be the same for busier hospitals but it's still fantastic being able to choose days and times.

Very nervous and distracted this morning, in fact have been since I booked the appointment - obviously thinking about things too much (ignorance really is bliss sometimes, for some of us anyway). Got there in time and parked (that's a miracle for most hospitals! Wish they wouldn't charge for parking or at least make it easier to pay - "No Change Given" pay and display is a bit cumbersome).

I got seen by the consultant within, what seemed like only 10mins of getting there. Explained everything about the lump, the hormones I take, other pills (spironolactone in my case), and how far I am with transition. He then had a bit of a prod around (as did the medical student with him: really does anyone ever say "no" when asked if a student can be present, I always say yes immediately and dismiss the question) and confirmed that it felt like a "mouse" or possibly a cyst. Said I'd have to have an ultrasound to check and then they may have to stick a big needle in my breast (he phrased this alot better/kinder than I just did!).

Waited again for a very short period of time before getting the ultrasound, the doctor doing that said almost immediately that it was instead a cyst, nothing to worry about, probably didn't need the needle and was all fine. Phew!

Had to wait again for her to write a report on this and then for me to see the consultant again. Really not long waiting at all, or didn't feel it anyway :)

Consultant said that they *could* use the needle, then quickly said there was no need to, remembering my earlier comments about that procedure! He suggested that given my age (he did actually get it wrong and knocked 5yrs off me - that really cheered me up) cysts were normal and that also, because my hormones were all over the place at the end of last year (I was trying out gel then panicing and going back to patches) that this would also explain their development. Apparently menopausal women can develop cysts due to their hormones fluctuating. So, no need to go back, unless I want the cyst removed (I don't, have plenty of other lumps/bumps and blemishes and in no rush to have anything removed that isn't going to hurt me) so all clear.

Every single doctor/nurse there was fantastic; they were so lovely and reassuring and chatty and the whole visit took only an hour and a half in total, and as I said, it felt quicker and they really went through the packed waiting room very quickly (only two people there when I left).

Really, the NHS is fantastic! I know people complain about it and I'm sure there are cases where things are less than perfect but I am more than happy with the service I've got on the, thankfully, relatively rare, occasions I've needed to see anyone.

Anyway, I learnt a few things today: 1) even though you are desperate to get out of the hospital it might have been a good idea to nip into the toilets and put your bra back on (bouncy boobs not ideal on half-sprint back to car lol) 2) don't muck around with your hormones! Will be sticking to prescribed patches and regime from now on, nice and stable is best.

Me and the mouse are going to get some lunch now, "squeak" :)

1 comment:

Calie said...

I got a lump in my throat when I read that first paragraph. I'm glad everything is OK. Now, put that bra back on.

Calie xxx