Find The Doctor That Has His Own Tissues ....
Updated: Oct 31
“What about any integrative practices? I’m follow a very clean nutrition plan, but what are your thoughts on anything else like acupuncture, sauna…” I didn’t even complete my thought before he was shaking his head.
“Nahh,” the middle-aged, dark-haired doctor let out. “None of that is really going to help.” He finished, dismissing me as I sat there sitting on his exam table legs crisscross, protected only by a paper drape over my bare lap.
My heart sank just a little.
Id talked to five doctors in the last month.
Two emergency doctors, two gynecologists including my own, and my general practitioner. Each one had slightly different ideas on what was growing inside me. It was thought to be a cyst, the size of a golf ball on my ovary which was discovered after giving me excruciating pain one morning in late summer.
“The mass likely twisted the ovary, it’s called torsion.” Concluded this fourth doctor. “Patients say It’s the worst pain of their life, worse than childbirth.” Commented doctor -
with - glasses, number two.
I really liked dark haired number six. He was the first one, other than my acupuncturist, to spend more than five minutes with me, he wasn’t warm and fuzzy but he was the only one who agreed that it was a little off that neither of the two ultrasounds nor the CT scan agreed.
“It’s a cyst, they are every common.” Said pretty doctor number three.
“I’ll give you some pain medication and let’s do a follow up in two months.” Doctors one, two, and five said.
Three bottles of pain medication I had no intention of touching later, I had some hope that number six would finally figure this out.
But then he had to say that.
“We can’t blame our doctors. They just aren’t trained. Medical school isn’t teaching them to prevent its teaching them to fix.” This from one of my health coach friends.
“Yes, but a good doctor should keep learning!” I insisted.
“Let’s just go to med school and fix it.” She says, not for the first time.
“But then we wouldn’t get sleep.” I laugh. Joking, but also serious. I’d love to be a doctor or a nurse and help people even more. But I honestly wouldn’t do that to my body.
A second, and even third opinion these days is a must. For me, I just didn’t feel comfortable going into surgery for a cyst when none of the doctors or pictures they took were clear on what they were going in after. Plus, I know that our bodies can heal themselves if we include mind and spirit into our medicine.
“It’s an endometrioma.” Number six finally concluded after an MRI. He had called me a week before while I was an uber headed to the Natural Food Expo in Philadelphia. He had done a CA-125 blood test on me a few days earlier, and while he expected the results to give us reassurance that it was a cyst, they did not.
“We got your blood test back.” Some of the most cortisol producing words a doctor can call and speak. You know it will be a portal message or a nurse call if the results are good. Doctors only call if it’s bad,
“Your number is elevated, three time normal.” It doesn’t mean it’s for sure cancer, but it means we aren’t going to do nothing.”
The blood test was an ovarian cancer test.
I thanked him.
As I got out of the Uber, the driver with the beautiful accent handed me a blue and orange beaded ring.
“This is for good luck, my son made it.” He smiled as he passed it back to me.
I thanked him.
And only then started to cry.
My MRI was still a week away, but I called to ask for cancellations and got one just three days later.
I climbed out of the machine watching the very pregnant technicians face for any signs of what she might have seen.
As she walked me out, I wondered if she was being so kind because she saw something inside that was going to possibly end my life.
After the longest five days, the results came back “Almost Certainly Benign.”
I fell to my knees in praise and twisted the bright stretchy ring from the Uber driver, that still graced my finger.
As I waited for surgery to remove the mass, and the ovary, “There is a still a chance of something in there,” downer number six tells me, I’m certain all this confusion about what is inside of me is a result of being not sick, but healthy.
An endometrioma comes from endometriosis which can be a debilitating disease that effects about 11% of women in their reproductive years. Even though I did struggle with infertility, I was never diagnosed with endometriosis. Each of my six doctors asked me all the screening questions and other than that one, I was able to say no to all the signs and symptoms of endometriosis.
But that makes sense to me.
Endometriosis is an inflammatory disease and I design my entire life around antiinflammation. No symptoms, no diagnosis, no wonder it took six doctors. So, you can imagine my frustration when would-be-surgery doc number six didn’t put any stock in my holistic ways of healing.
Had he let me finish before telling me “none of that stuff” works, I would have given him this list.
Anti-inflammatory diet. No meat for now, minimal sugar, no processed food. Green leafy veggies, apple cider vinegar, flax seed, minimal caffeine, no alcohol. No pain meds.
Exercise every day. Weightlifting to move estrogen. Walking. Yoga
Sauna for anti-inflammation and detox
Castor oil packs.
Destruction of stress through lifestyle changes and meditation.
A dedication to daily integrative treatment and prevention has left me pain free for over six weeks and with the full assurance that my body is healing and if I have to have surgery it will be breeze.
I scheduled surgery with doc number six but because it was a few weeks out I was able to get in to the one doctor that my brilliant acupuncturist wanted me to see.
“He’s the best doctor in Pennsylvania for gynecologic surgery, and he’s kind, but he’s got a four month wait list.” She told me as she pulled needles out of my belly at the end of a blissful session. “Let me call and see if he can get you in sooner.”
She got me in, in under four weeks.
Here’s where I wish you would have been in the room with me.
Here’s where my faith in modern western medicine is restored.
He was brilliant, he was understanding, he spoke in real words and mentioned what he would do if it was his wife.
He told me it was certainly not cancer, and we didn’t need to treat it as such.
He said we could wait indefinitely on surgery if my “quality of life,” was good. Because I was doing all the right things to stay pain free.
“So then do I schedule an ultrasound in a month or go back and get another…” I asked him after I had confirmed that this brilliant forty something doctor who did fifty or sixty of these a year should be the one to operate if the time came, as opposed to a doctor who did maybe six.
“Kerstin, Kerstin…” He gently interrupted. Leaning forward on his chair, “Why don’t you let me manage all of this for you? I’ll take care of it, and you.” He spoke.
I think we all deep down, just want someone to take care of us. Sometimes were so tired of being strong and caring for everyone else. The hours of phone calls and research cycled through my head. The days of working a full-time job, caring for three wonderfully needy kids and a husband while waiting for someone to give me more than five minutes and tell me what to do to save my life, washed through my mind and poured out my eyes.
“I’ve seen seven doctors and not one of them has said anything like you did or showed me this amount of kindness” I sniffed. “I’m sorry I’m crying.” I said as he reached over smiling and handed me his tissues.
That alone was enough. The tissues. His tissues. Not the tissues I brought with me from my purse that I had to fish out and I had to remember. But his.
So as of November 1st, I’m not currently getting surgery. I might, if the pain returns or if in this dream doctors monitoring, he deems it necessary. I trust him more than I’ve trusted any doctor since the high risk OBGYN that kept me pregnant and delivered my one and only miracle baby.
Despite my joyful demeanor I naturally tend towards glass half empty. The ability to stay positive and inspired comes with non-stop practice and prayers. Even as a write this, updating you on a truly blessed outcome, I could easily be pulled under to what could still go wrong. That’s when we lean harder into Jesus and remember all that He has already done through me. And right now, I’m so freaking proud!
I want to shout out my window that THIS STUFF WORKS!!! Taking care of yourself through food and treatment is key! You must do this in addition to getting more than one opinion and working with a doctor who will give you more than five minutes and a pill.
We give our doctors grace and ourselves even more. Because I know this is new. We were raised to just go to the doctor and be done with it. Doctors are life savers, but they are human, and we now have more information than ever proving that we can do more to stay healthy than just to go a doctor.
We need to searching until we find one that will hand us tissues.
As always, praying my story inspires you to ask more questions, research ways to heal yourself and prevent disease.
God bless and be well.
Ways to connect:
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