Whoah Horsey!

November 14, 2012

Okay so I start the day getting lost and driving in circles in downtown Canton. I finally find my building and can’t find a way to get into the parking lot as there are plenty of exits but just one entrance. Okay so I make a u-turn or sorts and get back on Tuscarawas Avenue and find my way to the entrance to the parking lot. I walk into the building and find there is no really readable directory that isn’t printed in black and white to determine where the doctor is.

Finally another woman came to the board who looked to be 50 something and I heard her say the name of the doctor – Dr. Hopkins. I followed her and found the suite on the fourth floor. I sat down. I filled out paperwork. I waited. My name was called and the nurse tells me to get undressed for my exam.

Whoah Horsey! Who said there was a physical exam? No one prepared me for that. I have uterine cancer. What is there to see? For Pete’s sake do you have me mixed up with someone else? The nurse explained that the doctor likes to do his own exam before making a recommendation. Ok, I thought to myself.

I complied and waited…and waited. The doctor was called out to the Operating Room and there I am sitting in a cold exam room without clothes covered by a thin sheet. 40 minutes later a doctor walked in. I’m still unsure if it was Dr. Hopkins or his associate as the nurse came in at one point and said he should be back quickly. I just know the picture of the doctor I saw online that was labeled as “Dr. Hopkins” was not the man who came in my room.

He had not read my chart prior to seeing me and was reading as he asked questions. He was cold and his words were anything but comforting. He didn’t seem to understand why I was even there much less did he seem to care. First of all — a physical examination without another female in the room was conducted. I’m pretty sure that isn’t allowed. Is it? I’m doing my research on that right now. It is not an hour later and I’m still not sure if that is law or not.

Secondly he says that he needs to take everything — meaning radical hysterectomy – just to be safe and he will do what could be considered plastic surgery while he is at it to remove the lower portion of my stomach as he needs a flat surface on which to to do the final stitches and staples to hold me together after surgery. By removing the lower half of my stomach known as “the bread basket” from having children he will have a better shot at making more precise cuts through my muscles and it won’t require an extra person or mechanism actually holding my stomach up during surgery. His nurse also shared that because I have cancer now it is unlikely he will prescribe hormones to get me through menopause. I did menopause without help for six months while on Lupron. I don’t know that my son and husband will be able to endure that again.

He told me to get dressed and see the surgical nurse for scheduling. He said he would see me for surgery in a month or so — “it’s no big deal or a pressing matter.”

Umm, its cancer. It’s a big deal to me. Waiting around isn’t an option for me. I want this done and handled, plain and simple.

I talked with his nurse for about 30 minutes. She took pictures of my stomach and I explained I have plans to go to The James. She said, “Go ahead, they consult with Dr. Hopkins all the time because he wrote the book on surgery.”

All I could think is that if he wrote the book how are the records so bad for 5 and 10 year survival rates. Perhaps it is that attitude of “its no big deal” and pushing surgery out for at least a month if not more?

At any rate, I requested the transfer to James. I have all the paperwork filled out. I now wait for them to get all my records and most importantly, test results from the biopsy and a D and C that was done at Affinity in January.

On the bright side though, last night Rob and I came back from a trip to the drug store and Jason greeted me after dinner with a big hug before bed. It was the first awesome hug he has given me since we told him what was going on last Thursday. Thank you Miranda. You are a miracle worker. Rob and I enjoyed an evening watching television after some Chinese food — my favorite. And thanks to modern medicine and Dr. Shilling — I got six straight hours of sleep last night. It was AMAZING to wake up and not want to go right back to sleep because you are still tired from waking up every hour.

So the wait is on for everything to get to The James so the healing can begin. Maybe they will tell me the same thing I heard today — but I sincerely doubt it.



6 Responses to “Whoah Horsey!”

  1. Jacob Mahaffey Says:

    Bev I know in the back of the ambulance it is not illegal to have a female patient without a female present. I am pretty sure it carries over to the exam room as well. Only because in the case of emergency you may not always have a female employee present. With that being said it should be a common courtesy. I know in the ambulance if I have a female EMT on duty I want them in the back with me if we have a female patient.

    • bevieboooo Says:

      Thanks Jacob. It was just every weird because I’ve never had an exam without another female present — even if the doc is female. Ultimately it is not like he did anything inappropriate, but its still a full exam not just like listening to your lungs or something.

  2. Elaine Miller Says:

    Bev, That was so cold & lacking compassion! Glad you are heading to the James, Praying for you and your family for the best! Hang in there!

  3. Julie Rose Says:

    Yup I would have said “Whoa Horsey” too! And the paper towel they have you cover up with is…well it’s just THAT. Ugh! So was Canton just a second opinion? I’m a little bit lost. You will find warm, compassionate people at the James! Trust me on that one! *hugs*

  4. Karen Says:

    I talked to cousin Elaine, she is currently in Missouri babysitting her youngest granddaughter, and she highly recommended The James center as that is where her husband, Roger, had his robot surgery four years ago. She also said they would keep you in prayer. I also talked to our friends in PA and they too are praying for you. I will keep them posted as to your surgery date.
    Aunt Karen

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