I had a mammogram this morning and was told I definitely do not have meningitis. Wait. That’s not right. I mean, I had a mammogram AND I don’t have meningitis, but that’s not what happened.
The mammogram was completely uneventful. This was disappointing. Why, based on my last mammogram, I was expecting at least two blog posts’ worth of material out of this adventure. Damn that tech and her efficient, ordinary ways!
After having my breasts smashed between a couple of plexiglass plates, I stopped and bought myself a chocolate chip muffin, because I figured I (or at least, my boobs) had earned it. That was the highlight of my day, right there. It was still warm. (The muffin. Try to stay with me, here.)
I had two important phone calls to make after returning from my exciting morning. First, I called my gynecologist’s office to let them know that the estrogen gel samples forced on me at my last visit were indeed lovely, and I would appreciate it if they would call in a prescription for me so that I can continue to use the gel. It’s not that I haven’t really enjoyed walking around with a big sticky patch on my ass for the last two years, or anything, but why not get a little wild and crazy and change things up as per my doctor’s suggestion? They agreed to call it in for me.
Next I called my primary care doctor’s office and said “HI I HAVE HAD A HEADACHE AND A FEVER FOR 10 DAYS NOW AND I DO NOT LIKE IT” and they gave me an appointment to come in and see the nurse practitioner. I happen to love the nurse practitioner, which is useful, because my doctor is never actually available. I often see Dr. Backup, but he is male (and young! and cute! which are two highly UNdesirable qualities in a doctor who sees you naked sometimes!), and with the nurse practitioner I tend to feel just plain stupid, as opposed to the stupid AND flustered I often feel with Dr. Backup.
Let’s note for the record that TODAY I actually didn’t feel too bad. I only had a LITTLE headache, today. And no fever! Really, if not for the fact that yesterday I thought I was going to DIE (when? oh, right around the time I realized I had pretty much tried every pain medication I had in the house and MY HEAD STILL HURT), I would’ve skipped this entirely. But it seemed like I should get checked out, just in case.
So the kids and I set out for the doctor’s office, and they brought books and I brought a large sack full of angst, and the nurse practitioner came in and oohed and aahed over the kids (particularly over Monkey’s loose tooth, which is dangling on the gum from an invisible thread) and asked me what was going on. We talked a bit, and then she examined me.
She looked in my ears, nose, and throat. She tapped on my face. She had me move my neck all around, and she felt my neck and told me I’m very tense. (Really? My neck is tense? Was your first clue the way my shoulders delicately nestle inside my ears, or was it something else?) She made me lie down and she felt around on my stomach and legs. Then she told me I could sit up again.
She made some notation on my chart and announced, “Well, you don’t have meningitis.”
“Oh!” I said. “I get it! We’re going to play what I DON’T have! Is it my turn? I don’t have… ummm… leprosy!”
Whaddaya know! I was right, too!
So, um, I have been definitively diagnosed with Not Meningitis. But she has no idea what I DO have. And I managed to deduce this because the next thing she said was:
“But I have no idea what you do have.”
It’s that kind of sureness that makes me trust those in charge of my healthcare.
[Okay, in fairness: About two sentences later, she said that if she “had to guess” she’d go with mono, as she’s seen “a rash of adults” with mono, lately. After she said that? “I have no idea” started sounding pretty good.]
She went on to say that it could be any one of a number of things, and she wanted to take some blood and run some tests, but not to worry, we’d get to the bottom of this. Of course, I had to try to listen to this through the stereo chatter of “They’re going to take your blood? Cool! Can we watch? Does it hurt? Will you get a sticker? How much blood do they take?”
Then she launched into how, in the meantime, we need to break the headache cycle, and we could do that with some strong painkillers. Like Vicodin. Which is great. I’m a fan of Vicodin. But I can’t actually take it during the day when I need to take care of my kids or drive or, I dunno, THINK. I pointed this out, and she said something about how at least I’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep when the pain is bad. Okay, then. Bring on the narcotics. Woo!
I did get my blood taken; it didn’t hurt; and the kids got stickers. I kind of feel like I got a raw deal, but what’re you gonna do? I did get a Daffy Duck band-aid, so there’s that.
At about 5:15 (so, after the doctors’ offices were all closed) the pharmacist called to say that my prescription had been received, but the estrogen gel isn’t covered by my insurance. The patches are, but the gel is not. The kicker? The uninsured price of the gel is HALF that of the patch. But it’s not covered. That’s logical! Hooray for HMOs! (I need to make a call about that in the morning, or maybe I’ll just start using Canadian mail-order for my hormones.)
Tonight I had to go to some PTA thing because apparently I am a committee chair…? Seriously, who’s in charge of this thing, and how did this happen? No thinking person would make me chair of a committee, especially in this town. A group of three PTA higher-ups were clustered around me trying to explain the meeting schedule, and I said something about how I’d have to check with my sitter, and one said “Well your husband can stay home with the kids!” and I said, “Yeah, um, I’m divorced,” and all three of their faces just fell. It was sad, really. You’d think I’d told them that I was delighted to have been made a committee chair, because really nothing has been going well since the leprosy was diagnosed.
I managed to escape by going to pick up a friend’s dog. They are going on vacation and we will be dogsitting all week. This is good, because the dog is sweet and cute and the kids love her. But this is bad, because HELLO, I have been feeling like crap and now I have ANOTHER SMALL CREATURE to take care of. Oh well.
Tonight I was on the phone, reporting my mysterious but definitely not meningitis-ish state, and the dog clambered onto my lap and licked my nasal cavities. I believe she was trying to tell me something. Like that she will make me all better. Or maybe just that my breath smelled like peanut butter. Hard to say.