I was the type of person that would wait until I absolutely couldn’t stand whatever IT was that was ailing me before I would go to the doctor (or dentist for that matter). I don’t think that I have ever even had an annual physical exam by a doctor, at least after age 16. The only thing that I was pretty good with was seeing my female-lady-parts doctor every year, but that’s only because I wanted something from her: birth control. Everything else could wait until it hopefully went away on its own. And I’ve tried some pretty unconventional ways to try to naturally “cure” things that really could have used a round of antibiotics.Oh, how things have changed. The carefree days of my health are officially over. The next six months are quickly filling up with doctor appointments. We’ve got our standard lineup consisting of the two doctors that I have seen up to this point: Dr. Dermatologist and Dr. Surgeon. With Dr. Dermatologist, we need to make sure that any new moles don’t pop up or change, which he again said that it’s completely possible (I'm something like 10-12 times more likely to develop an additional 'tumor' than the average Joe). I’m already scheduled to see him twice in the next four months then hopefully that will spread out to where I won’t need to see him once but every 6 months. Then we have Dr. Surgeon to follow up for blood work & x-rays to make sure that there aren’t any signs of cancer making himself at home in my lungs/heart. That will be once every 6 months or so, then drift off to about once a year (which I will be bummed about; I really like him).
And then we have a couple of new players added to the lineup. Introducing: ENT, Gastroenterologist, Internist and Optometrist.ENT: As I’ve mentioned before in a previous post, I’ve been having what I’ve assumed are “sinus” related headaches for quite some time now. Things changed in this big, beautiful head of mine after I had my very first sinus infection February of last year. My nose gets plugged up on a nightly basis and once I stand up, it goes away. Pretty much every day I have a headache that seems to be in my sinuses. So, I need to find out what the heck is going on in my dome. I had my appointment with an ENT today and she took a camera up in my nose to check out my sinuses - which she said looked totally normal. I do however need to get a CT scan of my dome to figure out why I am having these headaches. Oh, and on a side note, she said that I should totally think about pulling my tonsils because they are in such crap shape. She strongly advises it. Joy. I will make an appointment for my head scan (which should only check out my sinuses, not my brain, but I will take it) and then we will review the slides together.
Gastroenterologist: During the first appointment with Dr. Surgeon he said that since I now have Melanoma along with ulcerative colitis I should be having a colonoscopy every 3 years. YAY! When you just have colitis, you should have your bum checked out every 5 years…and I’m totally tardy with my 5 year follow up by over a year. I haven’t really had any symptoms, at least when I am not freaking out about something. So what do I do? I wait until I actually need it. It’s not the most fun procedure… It’s really shitty. Pun intended. In all reality, it’s the preparation that is shitty – the procedure itself is fine. You have to drink TWO of these disgusting drinks that will Clean. You. Out. You can’t eat while you’re "preparing", but honestly I wasn’t hungry one bit. When your entire day (and I mean ENTIRE DAY) is spent in the bathroom it completely curbs your hunger. Diet anyone?
Internist: At my appointment with Dr. Dermatologist he said that it would be very wise to find myself a good Primary Care Doctor, possibly an Internist (which I prefer them anyways to general/family practice). I should have annual checkups with this internist in conjunction with the rest of the lineup. I figure I won’t need to find this doctor for at least 6 months to a year because I will be seeing everyone else. I’ve done a little research already and have a doctor in mind of who I’d like to see; I’ll keep her information handy for when she’s ready to be put into the game.
Optometrist: I started wondering what other doctors I should see just to make sure. I know that I will need to get my eyes checked soon, my Rx expires the end of this month. I've went ahead and added my eye doc (and possibly later will add my ophthalmologist) to the line up. They ran a battery of tests on me about two years ago because they thought I was starting to get glaucoma. Yes, really. Apparently my optic nerve is shaped weird - which I've attributed these little flashes of light that I occasionally see to that... Worry wart, straight to the rescue! I'll get that shit checked out, too. Might as well, my deductible and my out of pocket max will have been reached with the surgery I had.
While at my last dermatologist appointment, he said that I really need to be diligent in my follow ups. It made me curious who the hell that person is that is like "no, really - I don't need to be seen - I'm getting good at dodging bullets." It kind of shocked me that he would even need to say that to someone that just had surgery to make sure that cancer hadn't spread and was given clear results. I want those results to stay that way, so of course I am going to stay on top of my appointments. I am already borderline crazy with checking my skin (and the hub's skin, too). I may even start buying sunblock at freaking Costco...no joke. This summer should be interesting with O.C.S.D = Obsessive Compulsive Sunblock Disorder.